Rethinking Agility with Hybrid Ways of Working
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Rethinking Agility with Hybrid Ways of Working

Jenny Shiers, VP, Employee Success at Salesforce
Jenny Shiers, VP, Employee Success at Salesforce

Jenny Shiers, VP, Employee Success at Salesforce

Ensuring success from anywhere is becoming a critical element of every modern business. As the cost-of-living crisis continues, businesses are reconsidering their priorities to ensure they remain agile in the midst of an ever-evolving landscape. Today’s business leaders must not only consider a more measured approach towards expenditure, but continue to prioritise well-being, building a digital HQ, and knowing their customers.

As such, business leaders have an opportunity to create an even better workplace— one that allows us to be more connected to each other, find more balance between work and home, and advance equality. This will ultimately lead to increased innovation and better business outcomes. With the right technology, they can do this by building trust, redefining how our teams work together, and reassessing the support they provide employees to retain and grow talent.

Building Trust through Flexibility

Companies have had to fundamentally rethink everything from their operating models to their products to their events in the aftermath of COVID-19. In this new world, well-being and trust are one and the same. Leaders who do not prioritise this risk losing trust with their employees, as well as their customers and their communities.

To navigate the challenges ahead, teams seek empowerment to decide how, when, and where they work. It is therefore incumbent upon business leaders to recognise that employees have unique constraints. Every member of a team has a different home environment. Some have children. Some don’t. Some have private home offices. Some take meetings in a busy kitchen. Some may have greater responsibilities outside of work, while some crave the interaction of the office.

  A
vital ingredient in the hybrid workspace is creating a digital HQ, a hub where
everyone can collaborate easily and efficiently, wherever they are.
   
By embracing hybrid ways of working, we can open up new ways to meet their needs: flexibly, fully remotely, or entirely office-based. If done right, employees can be as, and even more productive when working remotely, as they are in the office, flipping seamlessly between the two.

Reimagining Collaboration

The pandemic provided a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to not just reimagine where we work, but how we work. From in-person meetings, company-wide emails, and strategy offsites, processes and tools organisations previously relied on have been reinvented for the digital-first world.

A vital ingredient in the hybrid workspace is creating a digital HQ, a hub where everyone can collaborate easily and efficiently, wherever they are. By seamlessly bringing the right people, information, and tools together, this technology is helping businesses to become more connected, more productive, and more innovative.

Collaborating in channels and enabling communication with clients, vendors, or partners in real-time, the power of a more integrated approach is helping address issues immediately and freeing teams up for deeper, more focused work. It is streamlining workflows built around CRM data, giving teams a single source of truth for their business, and a trusted, shared view of their customers.

Reassessing Support to Retain and Grow Talent

In a period which has been dubbed the Great Resignation, workers around the world are rethinking their relationships with employers. A study of more than 1,500 knowledge workers found that employees dissatisfied with their technology offerings and tools are twice as likely to say they are burned out, and half as likely to say they are generally happy with their work. They view their employers as responsible for providing the right technology they need to do their jobs.

This is also an opportunity for businesses to reassess the support and training flexibility they provide workers. The rise of hybrid workplaces, for instance, coincides with the demand for digital skills. One study forecasts that emerging technologies will increase demand for digital skills by up to 50 percent across the U.S. and Europe in the next decade.

Having the right digital infrastructure gives companies the opportunity to create a richer onboarding experience, while streamlining communication, mentorship, and continuing education. Leaders shouldn’t assume that new employees have the same knowledge, have worked with the products, or understand the culture that they are already familiar with. Developing a virtual communication and resource library including training with leaders or subject matter experts anyone can access is just one example of how companies can help employees at all levels succeed.

As well as keeping people connected and engaged in a remote environment, collaboration platforms are creating opportunities for company leaders to make themselves available to employees at all levels of seniority within their business. With the quick setting up of channels, for example, they can have open-door policies which just might not have been possible before. They can also commit to ongoing one-to-one conversations about employees’ future and continuing education.

Ultimately, our new digital world presents a major opportunity for companies to rethink what agile teams look like. By building tailored training programs based not on what they think employees should know, but on what employees actually want and need to know, companies can create a flexible working culture that empowers all employees to connect, learn, and progress from anywhere. By providing the right technology, leaders can also help their teams perform more effectively, and productively, and at the same time boost well-being, motivation, and employee engagement.

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