What Is a Hybrid Work Culture?
What does it mean for a company to have a culture that’s purpose-built for a hybrid work world? It starts with leadership. As Gartner notes in a recent report, good hybrid work leaders must be “authentic, empathetic and adaptive to individual employees.”
Of course, those leadership qualities are vital in any environment, but hybrid work sharpens their importance because it forces businesses to compensate for the loss of in-person work, which functioned as a kind of cultural lubricant within many organizations.
“With employees working in distributed environments more often, executive leaders worry their organizations’ cultures will become fragmented and weaker, leading to lower levels of engagement, performance and innovation,” says Elisabeth Joyce, a vice president in Gartner’s human resources practice. Gartner notes that 76 percent of employees say “organizational culture is important for them to be effective in their jobs,” but in the past, many companies took culture for granted.
How to Build a Healthy Culture in a Hybrid Environment
Gartner recommends strengthening connectedness in three ways: through the work itself, by making employees aware of the value of what they do and helping them shape their own work experiences; through “emotional proximity” by creating “moments that matter,” when employees are most likely to feel seen by others in the organization; and through smaller experiences, where teams of employees are empowered to create their own mini cultures.
However you do it, remember that a healthy corporate culture isn’t just a statement of values; it’s a series of actions taken by leadership to ensure people are embracing those values in their work every day.
In the absence of physical proximity, how is your organization fostering connectedness? What is it doing to ensure everyone is working together toward a common goal?
If you answered those questions by pointing to your new collaboration platform or a conference room recently equipped with the latest hard-ware, then you may be missing the point.
The available technology for supporting hybrid work is outstanding, but it works best in a culture designed to thrive in the modern world.