3 ways leaders can improve well-being in a hybrid workplace
The culture of an organisation is shaped by its leaders, so the most vocal, visible advocates for wellbeing should be at the top.
Employee wellbeing is a critical success factor for organisations in the hybrid world of work. Yet, what organisations currently understand about employee wellbeing is based on our past experience. As evidenced by many employee engagement surveys and data on burnout, in the current environment, employees’ social and emotional needs are often not being met. Managers are in the best position to tackle this problem because of the personal relationships they have with each member of their team, but managers themselves need more support too.
A Gallup study showed that those in management positions have taken a greater mental health hit than individual contributors during the pandemic. Over the last two years, many newly promoted managers have been overwhelmed by having to suddenly manage remote workers facing health and childcare issues, relocation, and a mix of other personal challenges. Once managers have the support they need, they can take steps to foster emotional connection and shared purpose to compensate for the loss of proximity in the office.
1. Listen to employee feedback
Employee feedback is a great way to understand what is important to them. For example, surveys are an effective way to determine what is important to employees in a blended work environment. A one-way conversation doesn’t leave room for employees to be their authentic selves – on the other hand, when leaders ask questions and show genuine interest in their answers, employees are more likely to trust that they can share more freely, increasing overall employee engagement.
2. Organise purposeful meetings
Meeting attendance has become a commonly used metric to represent productivity in the absence of other measures. However, organisations that cultivate a meeting culture oriented on preparation and purpose can reduce unnecessary meetings and the serious drain on wellbeing that comes with having too many of them. When inviting people to a meeting, determine whether they need to be present to reveal, discuss, or decide on something. Invite only those whose presence is essential.
3. Manage expectations
When working in a hybrid environment, it is harder to gauge expectations and communicate work priorities, which can lead to the habit of treating every task as the most pressing. Regardless of where we work, our productivity depends on being able to manage our time effectively so that we can be as productive as possible. With remote and hybrid teams, leaders should implement teaching techniques for employees on how to effectively manage their time, stay focused and take ownership of their own workloads. This includes getting an understanding of their individual tasks, setting priorities and delegating when appropriate.
A shift to the new way of hybrid working requires a change in mindset. Organisations can make it happen by adopting a more collaborative approach, addressing any resistance they face and asking employees to embrace various ways of communicating and working. It’s no longer just about putting in the hours – it’s about creating a culture of belonging and shared purpose that drives organisational growth.
At Acumen, we pride ourselves in offering training and development that gives managers practical tools to help solve real-life challenges. We offer an extensive menu of courses, workshops, and coaching programs, ranging from communication skills to executive leadership development. In most cases, we design the interventions specifically for each client, but we also offer a wide range of off-the-shelf programs for those who prefer this approach. For more information about our programs please contact Simon at firstname.lastname@example.org.