There are many positives that will come out of hybrid working. Some examples include, increased flexibility leading to greater work life balance, the potential financial benefits of limiting the commute and the level of productivity that can take place with employees working from home. However, hybrid working is not without its risk and complexity.
A lot has been written about the loss of structured or unstructured innovation, collaboration and team building that not being together in an office can bring. There are also risks around inclusivity, fairness and the two-tier system that can be created between those who can work from home and those who cannot.
Leaders have a huge responsibility to role model hybrid working for it to work well. Presenteeism is real and can be created by leaders, sometimes without them realising it. Leaders must be fair and inclusive in everything that they do or run the risk that employee engagement will fall, a lack of trust will fester, and the culture of the organisation will not support the aims of hybrid working. Ultimately if hybrid working is not managed and led well productivity will fall and the senior echelons of the organization (who may be seeing the current period as a trial) will deem hybrid working as an ineffective working model and things may go back to how they always were. This would be an opportunity missed and could lead to the perfect storm of an inability to attract and retain talent.
Therefore, it is important to measure the success of your hybrid model and to manage the risks associated with it to ensure that if any issues do start to appear the risks are mitigated against and the model is tweaked to make sure it works. After all, the benefits of hybrid working are huge, and it is all our responsibility to make it work.
So how do you measure its success and proactively manage risk?
The answer is in the same way that we measure culture, employee engagement, our diversity, equity and inclusion strategy and all of the other people and culture related goals, objectives and processes i.e. We gather data.
That data can be gathered from many sources and collated in a centralised data hub, whether that be a spreadsheet or HR system. All managers and department heads have a responsibility to gather the data and seek feedback from their teams on a regular basis to find out what works and what could be better. This can then all be fed into the system along with survey data and other data related to the employee lifecycle such as attrition rates, performance management data etc.
KRM22 have created a risk management system that can link to your organizations data hub and align the data gathered in a risk cockpit. An example of a dashboard in the risk cockpit that focuses on measuring the success of a hybrid working model can be seen at Fig 1. The risk cockpit gives business leaders a very clear analysis of all their data and allows them to view the risk status of all of the risk related to the successful delivery of their hybrid working model.
If you would like to know more about our People and Culture Risk Cockpit which incorporates hybrid working, please get in touch with Chris Cherrington our head of people and culture risk.