The way we manage hybrid workforce performance needs a radical change.
The study noted that hybrid working is evolving as the pandemic drags on. And companies need to keep evolving on how we manage and measure the hybrid workforce.
"For those who are not bound to being physically present to perform their work, it is obvious that we will never return to the office in the same way and that the future of work is flexible. The pandemic has accelerated existing trends to the point where they cannot be ignored, and future success depends on individuals and leaders adapting to them,” said Alain Dehaze, the chief executive officer at The Adecco Group.
The study noted that companies should not be looking for one-size-fits-all approaches when managing hybrid workforces; there aren’t any.
“Our research clearly shows that ‘one size will not fit all’ when it comes to addressing employees' needs, and we're increasingly seeing a leadership struggling to balance remote working and care for their teams,” said Dehaze.
“Now is the time to start bridging this gap by developing and equipping leaders and workers alike with the skills and capabilities they need to reignite motivation and build a cohesive company culture that maintains and develops a successful, resilient and healthy workforce,” he added.
It is also becoming more urgent as key talent are watching how companies are measuring performance.
“Companies that are able and willing to recognize and deal with these issues will thrive, and those that are not may be left behind,” said Dehaze.
So, how can companies rethink hybrid work management? The Adecco Group study had five pointers.
1. Do not dictate hybrid working conditions
The study showed that globally 53% of employees want a hybrid working model. They are also ready, with 71% having already set up for remote working after a year and a half working through the pandemic.
Yet, employees do not want to be told how they should determine hybrid. More than three-quarters of workers want to retain flexibility over their schedules. Many still want to go back to the office, but on their terms.
Interestingly, the younger generation and parents are the ones calling for more office time, with those who have children wanting to be in the office more (51%) than those who do not (42%). No surprise there.
2. Not everyone has had a positive experience
Companies need to understand that not everyone had a good experience from hybrid working.
The main sticking point is the length of the working week, which The Adecco Group believes companies must address and be flexible about. Fourteen percent felt that their long hours increased last year, while 57% stated they could have done the same work in less than 40 hours.
According to the study, 73% of workers and leaders want to be measured by outcomes and results rather than the number of hours spent, a trend that was already strong in 2020, and yet many companies aren’t addressing it.
3. Poor mental health is a rapidly emerging issue
The study called out rising mental health concerns, especially with young leaders. For example, the study noted that more than half of young leaders (54%) suffered from burnout and 3 in 10 workers felt that their mental and physical health declined in the last 12 months.
The Adecco Group urged companies to re-evaluate how they support mental health and provide wellbeing resources within the new hybrid working model. And poor mental health is also leading to frustrations among non-managers, saying leaders didn’t meet their expectations for checking on their mental wellbeing.
4. Solve the leadership delusion
It seems leaders are fooling themselves into thinking that their performance is meeting or exceeding the expectations of their non-managers or employees.
The study noted that leadership satisfaction is low, with only a third of non-managers feeling they are getting due recognition. Only half of all employees said their managers met or exceeded expectations for encouraging a good working culture (48%) or helping support their work/life balance (50%).
This is primarily a major concern in Western Europe and Japan, where employee satisfaction of the senior leadership is the lowest.
5. Look out for warning signs mass recognitions
Despite the economic downturn, companies cannot think that employees are in no position to resign. It may even lead to mass resignations.
According to the study, the low motivation and engagement saw less than half being satisfied with career prospects at their company. Nearly two in five are changing or considering new careers, and 41% are considering moving to jobs with more flexible working options.
While we still have not seen the so-called 'great resignation,' companies need to reconnect with their workforce urgently. In addition, two-thirds of workers are confident that companies will start significant hiring again and are considering entering the job market to find better security, agency, culture, wellbeing, and development — the most important aspects of the future of work as highlighted in the study.
Image credit: iStockphoto/LordIvanhoe