Organisations are standing at the top of a slippery slope. On the left-hand side is the shale that will slide them right back down into old ways of working, engaging with employees and office dynamics. It’s very easy to step to the left, to go back to how it was, to simply reboot the business using the same processes and platforms.
On the right-hand side is another climb. This is the not-so-easy route. However, it is the one that will tap into the immense potential of the organisation’s most valuable resource – people – and unearth new ways of collaborating, connecting, and building talent. This is the route of the hybrid workforce where talent and tradition come together to provide employees and organisations with the perfect combination of work, office and success.
McKinsey defines this reinvention of the future of work as playing the new talent game, and it is one that will woo back those that left in the great resignations of 2020 and 2021 and reinvigorate those who remained. It will also shape perceptions of the organisation from multiple perspectives – the employee, the market, and the customer. The choice between attrition or attraction lies in the hands of organisation and its commitment to changing how it manages its talent.
McKinsey also points out that it is the hybrid workforce that’s proving invaluable in driving talent acquisition and retention – the firm’s survey found that employees and employers both find this to be the right balance to meet changing workplace expectations and to help build a better culture of inclusivity.
It is critical to understand the why.
The answer lies across multiple layers within the business. The first is relationships and respect. People are quitting because they don’t feel valued or don’t feel a sense of belonging in the workplace.
This disassociated distance from work and other employees can be triggered by limited access to the right tools and technology and often translates to limited productivity and a lack of commitment. It can be exacerbated by badly managed or rigorous working frameworks that don’t take employee needs and expectations into account. Pew Research found that one of the biggest reasons for leaving in 2021 boiled down to not enough flexibility.
This can be forcing people into remote working when they thrive in an office environment or forcing people into the office when their home/life commitments make this hard to manage. Most people have walked out of lockdown with a clear sense of perspective – they know what kind of working environment suits their lifestyle and they are voting with their resignation letters. This is one of the primary reasons why a hybrid working environment – half in and half out the office – is immensely beneficial as it allows for differences while maintaining physical contact and ensuring the company culture remains vibrant and intact.
Companies want to craft working frameworks that align with employees and that are flexible on both sides. This will allow for the give and take that defines a truly agile operating environment and will ignite the one thing that every employee seeks today – passion.
This is also very closely connected to the need to reinvent the human experience within the company by creating a transformative and engaging company culture. It’s a slow process and will take time to seep into the fabric of the organisation, but it will shape who stays, who goes, and who joins the company. It will also give your talent something to work for, a vision to work towards.
Of course, to continue the analogy, if organisations want to climb the cliff toward inclusive, hybrid and dynamic working environments, they need to invest in the right tools. They need technology that will help them to innovate frameworks that embrace the different working environments and that align with the company culture. Technology that supports how people live, learn and work.
As it navigates the hills and troughs of change, the organisation can redefine how it connects with people and how it collaborates with technology to build a sustainable culture of innovation and creativity.
By Mandisa Ntloko-Petersen, Chief Marketing Officer, BCX.