Hybrid working? Flexible working? Wellbeing & Resilience? Diversity? Inclusion?’  At The Change Maker Group, our current ‘Insights’ theme of how to be successful through Hybrid Work is nearing completion. Jill Whittington writes…

Hybrid working has provided us a rich and diverse source of stimulation. From the meaning of hybrid work through to its relevance with hybrid cars. It is much more than simply a hybrid working policy template! So, we thought we’d summarise highlights from this series.

Highlights from this Hybrid Work series

Nicky Carew 

Nicky finds it interesting that a frequent search term is “hybrid working meaning”.

‘….. organisations (and their leaders) still unsure of quite what hybrid working means and what it entails.’

‘It takes reflection to know when we are making a decision (to bring everyone back to the office for example) for best practice reasons or because we want to return to the comfortable status quo.  Is the disruption of Hybrid Work worth it?  Well – sometimes the answer is YES if we want to be ahead of the game.’  So in Making Hybrid Working Work she lists 7 important points to make it work.

Malcolm Follos

Malcolm applies the MINDSPACE framework, to changing hybrid work behaviour:

‘You have embedded psychological biases that pre-determine how you respond to familiar situations. For example, deciding to read this this article. Some will read on, some will not. The decision you take is driven by your curiosity and perceived value biases. It is that simple.’

MINDSPACE is a mnemonic for Messenger; Incentives; Norms; Defaults; Salience; Priming; Affect; Commitment and Ego.

Stephen Newman

Stephen takes inspiration from the Olympics in his thought-provoking article:

‘Sky Brown winning the bronze medal in the skateboarding and her approach and reaction confirmed her dedication to her sport, coming across as a happy and exuberant 13 year old should.’

He explores how Generation Z is growing in representation where:

  • Diversity is their norm…
  • They are our first “digital natives” …
  • They are pragmatic and financially minded…
  • Many factors contribute to their mental health challenges…
  • They are shrewd consumers…
  • They are politically progressive — even those on the right.
Vanda North

Not surprisingly, Vanda explored resilience in hybrid working posing the question – is this bigger than Covid?

Her motivation?  The mental health impact of enforced home-working is significant. In a recent study, only a third of respondents had been offered support with their mental health (34%) from their employer. The study by the Royal Society for Public Health continues; “Home working is having an impact on people’s mental health, with 67% saying they felt less connected to their colleagues and 56% saying they found it harder to switch off.

‘What could be worse than COVID? With all we have been through, the global workforce – and people in general – are now suffering forms of mental un-wellness as never before.

‘A recent Harvard Business Review published an analysis of various studies. This showed that when you and your employees are happy and satisfied, there is some 31% greater productivity.  However unhappy workers are 10% less productive. Resilient workers are happier.’

‘Hybrid working? Flexible working? Wellbeing & Resilience? Diversity? Inclusion?’

It ALL needs to be carefully considered.

Astrid Davies

In the Hybrid Meetings Playbook, Astrid Davies takes a light-hearted look at how The Change Maker Profile proclivities might play out in your online meetings.

“A meeting is an event at which the minutes are kept and the hours are lost” Joseph Stilwell

Since Spring 2020, almost everyone in the Economic North has been operating with remote or hybrid meetings.  That has been a massive change in how we view meetings.

‘…at The Change Maker Group, we operate remotely and use our Change Maker Profile to build understanding and enhance our collaborations.  This profiling tool is unique in that it predicts someone’s strengths in change.  It is powered by the GC Index, an incredibly robust base of psychological research (the Index was presented at the International Congress of Psychology, held recently in the Czech Republic).

Jill Whittington

I ask What IS hybrid work? and ‘What we can learn from creating hybrid cars and hybrid roses?’

‘Although a different subject, the commonalities creating hybrid roses and hybrid cars is that of many years of testing, refining, testing.

In both examples however elements from the hybridisation process are clear:

  • Elements from the original, no longer needed or relevant to the outcome, were eliminated
  • The best of the old mixed with new were introduced.
Simon Phillips

In his article From cyber security to mental stability Simon looks at the broad areas leaders must consider when implementing hybrid working:

‘Effective IT, in part, enables hybrid working….”in part” because the mindset of the leadership is the biggest enabler of hybrid working. Some home environments have a designated space with great connectivity. Some others are in a makeshift space every day, with little opportunity to maintain daily security routines. Hybrid working staff face many challenges with IT.

‘….enabling your people to adopt new ways of working without getting too stressed and overwhelmed is one of the biggest challenges you and your organisations face. For many, the options are not great….’

Key Messages on Hybrid Work

There is a danger that we have a perfect storm of ‘business as usual’ pressures, a rush to ‘do hybrid working’ whilst employees are becoming more discerning because they now have more choices, needs and wants.

Never have these 2 clichés been truer – there is no quick fix! One size will not fix all!

Here are key take-away messages from our series:

  • An attractive hybrid workplace with aligned processes, technology AND people strategies requires comprehensive culture change.
  • Tune in to the seismic changes already in society and you’ll have a significant advantage in the recruitment marketplace.
  • Leaders need an agile approach to test what works for their organisation and employees best.
  • Don’t predict leadership effectiveness purely based on assumptions and gut feel.
  • Actively decide the elements from the old and the new to discard or retain.
  • Focus on working for better outcomes, working with and through your organisation’s people.
  • Take time to test, refine, learn

In Conclusion

Key elements in any change, and hybrid working IS a change, is to start a discussion about what change making skills do you have inside your organisation?  Which are missing?

Look within your team for:

  • Game Changers with new ideas
  • Strategists with the skills to manage change within desired plans and frameworks
  • Implementers to manage change projects
  • Polishers who can make those projects even more effective
  • Play Makers who can drive change by engaging people to collaborate.

We are still probably only just scratching the surface of the sea-change shift that hybrid working could bring.  Whether it will bring that shift, remains to be seen.

Change is what we do at The Change Maker Group, and sustainable change is what we stand for.

If you’re a little behind the pace, and are researching “What is hybrid working?” Get in touch to see how our Change Leader Programme and The Change Maker Programme can provide that investment. They will pay back in dividends with sustainable, better outcomes for your entire organisation and all it stands for.