Employees are everywhere. Literally and figuratively.
Physically, they’re together just some of the time. Mentally, they’re often not on the same page. Sometimes, they’re disinterested in the work and their colleagues.
So how does an HR pro or front-line manager engage a hybrid workforce?
With a little forethought, some planning and willingness to go with the flow.
No one said this would be easy, but many leaders are finding crafty and unique ways to help their teams stay connected and productive in the absence of regular time together.
That’s the reality in the scattered workforces that came about after the pandemic.
3 ways to engage a hybrid workforce
In this episode of our 3-Point from HRMorning video series, we gathered expert-driven strategies and practical solutions to engage a workforce that works different hours, from different places and with different objectives.
In fact our experts have ideas to engage your employees whether they’re never together, working side-by-side once in a while or regularly on-site to get the job done.
Watch and listen for more from a few of our panel of experts.
Transcript (edited for clarity):
Everyone is everywhere all at once and you’re supposed to keep them connected. That’s a tall order with today’s hybrid and remote work models.
McKinsey researchers found almost 60% of employees can work from home at least one day a week. So how can you keep them engaged when they aren’t physically together?
Joe Urbanski is the COO of Total Solutions Group. And he says, you need to ask one question first:
Urbanski: We are taught to disengage. We are taught, “You can do it right here.” It’s on your phone, it’s on your big device. And so I think all the way from the top down and all the way around, we have to have one engagement strategy and it’s figuring out what does engagement mean to us.
And once it’s defined …
Karsh: Whether you’re seeing me or not, you realize the work that I’m doing. And I think it is way easier honestly to do that in person. It has to require much more intentionality if you’re going to do it virtually. So you have to take the time and the effort to pick up the phone and call somebody schedule a zoom, shoot him a quick note. But any way we communicate with people. We have to let them know that we see the effort that they’re putting in. We recognize the work that we’re doing and we appreciate everything that they’re doing for the organization.
And what about when you can get together?
Tedesco: We do an in person meeting, three times a year. So we do one kind of end of year celebration in each of the physical locations that people come and join us in. It’s really just a celebration and an opportunity to, you know, really casually get together. And then we do professional learning and team building twice a year where the whole team gets together. And so we do that, but we also make sure that they’re connecting with their manager on a weekly basis, at least with one on one meetings. So that they’re really, again staying connected to the culture of the organization.
Remote, hybrid or even in person, engagement is everyone’s responsibility. So that means nearly anyone can:
- Ask the important question. What does engagement mean to us?
- Be intentional. Bosses need to call, click and connect.
- Get together. Set up fun and learning for the group. When you can do it once or twice a year.
No matter where employees are, they’re ready to be engaged.