The Covid 19 pandemic has been the catalyst for many businesses to embrace new technology and new ways of working.
Before 2020 concepts such as remote or hybrid work were unfamiliar to many. Now, more than two years after the first lockdown, organisations have adapted and in spring this year, 38% of working adults reported that they had worked part of the time at home in the previous week.
Many of our customers have also followed this trend shifting to either remote-first or hybrid working set ups. Although the pandemic might have been the catalyst for change, many have seen opportunities and benefits from working remotely and elected to embrace the approach. Here are just few examples:
1. Updating processes to ensure focus:
ILUX is an IT services and consultancy business based in Cambridgeshire. Like similar organisations in the sector, they shifted to remote work during the pandemic and have now adopted a hybrid approach.
This change in working practices prompted a review of their performance management process. They wanted to make sure their processes were fit for purpose and that managers felt supported, whilst making sure everyone had relevant objectives to focus on.
Updating their processes by introducing quarterly reviews and including questions about career development has allowed employees to see how their roles bring value to the organisation and given managers a robust framework to support their people management.
Read about ILUX performance management journey since adopting a hybrid approach.
2. Instil a culture of feedback
Working from home can sometimes be seen as isolating. MullenLowe Group, a creative network based in London, wanted to ensure remote working didn't negatively impact company culture.
During the pandemic, the focus was on employees having a chance to "properly catch up with their line managers" to discuss concerns and highlight successes. They also wanted to "get it right" and be there for employees who may need extra guidance and support.
When implementing Appraisd they decided to rewrite their review form questions. Focusing on positive outcomes and encouraging employees to look to the future and their career development. This resulted in a more positive and dynamic process, helping employees to feel in control.
Besides regular check-ins, MullenLowe Group also incorporated open feedback across the company. As noted by Jamie O’Connor, Learning and Development Partner at MullenLowe Group: “We want everyone to feel empowered and comfortable to give and receive relevant, timely and useful feedback. This is enormously useful, providing recognition when it's due and addressing concerns before they become too difficult or messy to deal with."
Find out how MullenLowe Group embraced remote working whilst ensuring an open culture of feedback.
3. Keeping things organised and getting the bigger picture
Duplo International has historically had a mix of office-based employees and remote workers. The balance was around 50/50, but since the Covid 19 pandemic, this has shifted, with around 70% of employees now working remotely.
They used Appraisd to move their lengthy, 15-page paper review form online. The shift to online performance reviews allowed for simpler and faster reviews. Sarah Smith, Office Manager at Duplo International noted that: "Having everything saved in one place means nothing gets lost or overlooked and they can quickly check what they need to do and by when".
The move to online has also allowed managers to become more organised and less stressed about completing the reviews. Each review is signed off by managers, HR, and senior leaders which has brought the organisation closer together and ensured those at the top have a much better understanding and awareness of what more junior employees are working on and achieving.
Discover how Duplo International made reviews less painful and more insightfull.
4. Facilitating ways to ask for help and team collaboration
Suma Wholefoods is the UK’s largest worker-owned cooperative and Europe’s largest equal pay organisation. According to their business model, employees may take up more than one role within the organisation. This approach means remote collaboration tools are important to keep employees connected and focused.
By allowing employees to request a check-in outside of the regular review cycle, Suma was able to keep team members in the loop. This means those working remotely have a way to keep in touch with the business or ask for more support if they feel they need it.
Lauren Barber, Learning & Development Administrator at Suma Wholefoods: “From a personal point of view, I found the request a check-in functionality extremely helpful. I’m the only one in the business working in L&D and working from home I’ve missed the opportunity to bounce ideas off colleagues in the office. Through check-ins with my coordinator where I can ask for guidance or share ideas, I’ve been able to keep focused and remain productive,”
Find out how Suma Wholefoods performance management journey has helped them live up to one of to their core values: self-responsibility.
These four examples show that businesses of all types and sizes are adopting hybrid working. It will mean different things to different organisations and the important is finding an approach that works for everyone.
If you would like practical insights on how to make hybrid work for your business, watch our webinar recording, where Director of Performance and Change Amira Kohler, along with our Founder and CEO Roly Walter and Neil Wainwright-Farrar, Head of Learning and Development at Clarity Travel discuss how to optimise performance in a hybrid world. Click here to watch the recording.