13 Feb Hybrid Work: Insights from RealHR’s Panel with NXUnite
In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations moved to a virtual work model for the first time. Others have operated remotely for years. As it becomes more common for businesses to adopt hybrid work structures, implementing best practices is essential to supporting employees.
RealHR Solutions’ Jill Krumholz joined Erin Linkins of Kanopi Studios and Allison Fuller of Envision Consulting for NXUnite’s Our Semi-Virtual World: Nonprofit Hybrid Work Best Practices panel. The panelists offered suggestions for leading an organization with remote workers, focusing on these key recommendations:
In hybrid work environments, ensuring that all employees feel included in company culture is essential. Kanopi’s Erin Linkins emphasized the value of making sure that fully remote employees don’t feel disconnected, offering suggestions for building a culture of inclusion.
Erin recommended inviting remote workers to virtually attend in-person meetings, allowing them to stay up-to-date and involved in company decision-making. She noted that this practice may involve holding meetings that are at inconvenient times for people in different locations. Rotating meeting times can help avoid consistently inconveniencing certain groups.
Offering online community spaces is another valuable way to build an inclusive culture. A Slack channel where everyone can share pictures of pets or vacations creates a digital platform for both work and fun.
Finally, Erin highlighted the importance of providing equivalent benefits to in-person and remote workers. For example, if the company is taking everyone in the office to lunch, offer remote workers a stipend for getting lunch with other employees in their area.
Jill Krumholz of RealHR Solutions shared best practices for ensuring your hybrid work structure and inclusion efforts are effective. She recommended taking the pulse on how your organization feels about policies, incorporating employee feedback into leadership decision-making.
This practice offers insights into policy changes or additional programming that would improve the hybrid experience. For example, offering a comprehensive employee assistance program may help support employees struggling with remote work.
Conducting stay interviews provides an additional way to connect with employees. These conversations are an opportunity to assess what is working well and why an employee has chosen to remain with an organization. Build a culture where employees feel comfortable going to HR and advocating for their needs.
To create consistent communication channels in your organization, schedule regular meetings. While not everyone will be able to attend every week, having a set day and time provides a recurring space for connection that people can block off on their schedule.
Larger meetings are an opportunity to learn what other people are working on. This information helps employees understand the overarching direction the organization is heading. It also puts individual roles in relation to the work others are doing, helping people feel engaged in their position and the organization as a whole.
Transparency in communication between employees and leadership is crucial to an effective hybrid workplace. Jill noted that this transparency can begin during the hiring process. Job postings play a role in your organization’s marketing strategy. Employers can tell a potential employee where the organization is in establishing their work strategy, allowing the candidate to make an informed decision about the role.
Leadership should also communicate clearly with current employees. Be clear and purposeful in explaining why some workers are on site and others have more flexible work locations.
If there is potential for the organization to shift to a different work model, be open with employees about that possibility. Sharing this early demonstrates that leadership is thoughtfully planning and isn’t going to make major changes to the organization’s work structure unexpectedly.
An effective hybrid work model requires organizations to take new approaches to building community and fostering an inclusive workplace culture. Leadership can support hybrid employees by thoughtfully creating opportunities for employee connection, communicating clearly, and asking for feedback.