Hybrid Employee Connectedness and Organizational Culture
It's important that your employees identify with the goals and values of the organization and feel a strong desire to belong to it. "Cultural belonging" is a key component and driver of feeling connected to something.
But the further away people are from something or someone, the less connected, attached, and engaged they typically tend to feel. That is why digitization, the pandemic and practices of remote/hybrid working
are having a negative impact on the perceived connectedness of employees with their company and its culture
A 2022 study by HR advisor Woolrich of Gartner showed that currently only a quarter of hybrid or remote employees feels connected to their organization's culture
A Challenge for Managers
This effect of Covid and digitization is something we as managers and culture experts need to counter. A while ago we already collected ideas
here on 12manage about what we can do physically / in the office
to facilitate hybrid working and promote a return to the office. It's interesting that according to Gartner removing the flexibility which employees have gained over the course of the pandemic by mandatory making them return to the office
is likely to have the effect on knowledge workers that they will become LESS connected to the culture and he company. They have come to like their flexibility
So, now what?
Woolrich recommends 3 things he calls "shifts":
- A shift from diffusing culture through the office to diffusing culture through work.
- A shift from connecting through physical proximity to connecting through emotional proximity.
- A shift from optimising a macro-based experience to optimising a micro-based experience (create microcultures).
In my opinion, a key role in all 3 culture shifts is to be played by the manager, assisted by HR. The relationship between employees and their manager has become even more important than it already used to be. But managing in a hybrid/remote setting is difficult. Luckily you are a member of 12manage😜. Here you can find practical tips on managing from home
💡In this forum topic I'd like to focus on the role of org. culture. Please share your ideas, nudges and tips for increasing employee connectedness to their company and its culture in a hybrid and digital work setting.
Shafat M. (2021), "Why Return to the Office? Reasons and Benefits", on 12manage.com.
Woolrich N., (2022), "Culture in a Hybrid World", Gartner white paper.