IT ’S CLEAR HYBRID WORKING IS NOT ONLY ABOUT MEETING EXISTING EMPLOYEE EXPECTATION, BUT IS KEY TO TALENT ATTRACTION. CIPD RESEARCH REVEALED MORE THAN 50 PERCENT OF ORGANISATIONS BELIEVE THEY MUST PROVIDE HYBRID WORKING AS AN OPTION IN RECRUITMENT AND SO THE NEXT PHASE WILL BE DOUBLING DOWN ON THE DETAIL, TO WIN THE ONGOING SKILLS WAR.
There is no question that the pressure is on, skills are in high demand, candidates are more choosy and people now have options to work for a wider range of organisations remotely. They are also inclined to be critical of an employers’ hybrid offer, if it doesn’t stack up. So how is this informing where hybrid modelling goes next? Recent research found that there are key areas where employers are stepping up to improve and gain an edge. Many organisations are currently rethinking their workplaces as a destination for collaboration, rather than somewhere people go and work on the same things they can at home and so the main focus is on finding the right balance. Meanwhile, those firms that are steering away from formalising hybrid working policies too much or stipulating how many days people need to spend in the office, say the focus needs to remain on listening to people and discovering what works best for individuals, based on their personal circumstances.
This is a positive step and will be particularly important for both recruitment and retention – as one HR leader put it, “when you don’t fully embrace remote working, there’s always the danger that you’re limiting the size of the pool you’re fishing in.” Other organisations recognise it is important to listen to what teams – not just individuals – need to make hybrid work for everyone. Councils across London have recently addressed this by creating a teamwork assessment model for hybrid working environments, which has given them a framework for identifying what’s going to work realistically for different services.
By doing so, they are correctly recognising that a blanket policy will not work. One of key success factors is wellbeing, which now needs to move forward, as the long-term reality of the isolation of home-working kicks in and new challenges like the cost of living crisis bite. This means focusing on joining up improved financial, mental and physical wellbeing programmes – ideally under a single lead with full accountability. It will also mean leaning on comms departments to boost communication, simplify access to resources and package up a fully rounded wellbeing offering that resonates will with candidates and employees. In a hybrid and remote working environment, the line manager becomes the focal point for the relationship between an employee and the organisation. Employers need to acknowledge this, put tailored training in place and make it a key part of their message to prospective candidates that they’re going to be well supported. Those that don’t will be missing the chance to make sure their hybrid offer is fully nailed down and institutionally robust.
HR teams admit that some of the support they have put in place over the last two years has yet to have had a positive measurable impact. For example, only a quarter say they have been able to prove the worth of efforts to increase recognition for individuals working remotely. This is a gap that needs to be filled now, more than ever and employers need to do a lot more to understand how the changes they are making to employee experience and working patterns are making a difference. This will guide future investment and help organisations make sure their employee offer stays relevant. Those businesses that fail to put sufficient measurement in place will find it hard to fine-tune their support for hybrid workers or, indeed, retain and recruit the talent they need in the midst of a once-in-a-generation skills shortage.
FOR FURTHER INFO
Sign up for a Platinum Subscription where you will receive the publication both in print and digitally for only £175 pa (£250 pa overseas)
12 x print & digital issues pa
All back issues
Invitations to our events
PLUS you will receive:
‘The GC Index®’ profile to measure your business impact worth £100
HR business book of the month
25% of fee donated to the ‘Hope for Justice’.
‘No paid for’ editorial
56 pages each month
75% / 25% editorial ratio
Topical features, interviews & case studies