A Blueprint To Improving Employee Engagement In Hybrid Workplaces

Balancing work and life is vital for employee well-being and engagement in a hybrid or remote work setting.


We have seen a wave of change in the way we work in the current era. From traditional full-time office work to new ways of working, like remote work and hybrid work, this transition has been beneficial in many ways. According to a report by Teamlease Services, at least 77% of Indian corporate companies are ready to offer employees a hybrid work model. This shift suggests a leaning towards flexible work arrangements.

However, with this flexibility come challenges, especially in fostering employee engagement. Approximately 41% of respondents from the survey found managing employee performance and productivity in the virtual work model a considerable hurdle. Establishing an engaging culture is critical for maintaining productivity, collaboration, and employee satisfaction in a remote/hybrid workplace.

Proactively make communication your No. 1 priority

In an office setting, we take communication for granted - there is zero friction in just tapping someone on the shoulder and picking their brain. In a remote/hybrid setup - communication is a challenge.  It’s not enough to have “policies” in place. Employers need to proactively set up forums of communication where employees can communicate. 

This means regular check-ins, regular virtual town halls for dialogue between employees and the leadership team, team workstations, retreats and more. Without effective and regular communication, remote/hybrid models will fail spectacularly. HR teams that want to implement a hybrid model - need to make communication a No. 1 priority.

Set clear expectations and goals

In the absence of physical proximity, setting clear expectations and goals becomes even more crucial. Employers should clearly communicate performance objectives, project milestones, and deliverables to remote and hybrid teams. Regular review of progress and providing constructive feedback to align employees' work with organisational goals becomes imperative in this new era of working. Clear expectations enable employees to stay focused, motivated and engaged in their work.

Foster a positive work environment

Creating a positive work environment is vital for fostering engagement, irrespective of the physical location of employees. Employers should champion inclusivity, respect, and trust. Virtual team-building activities, public recognition of achievements, and social meetups can enhance this positivity. 

Empower work-life synergy

Balancing work and life is vital for employee well-being and engagement in a hybrid or remote work setting. Companies can encourage this balance by offering flexible working hours and emphasising the importance of breaks and disconnecting from work. This support for work-life balance shows a company's commitment to the overall well-being of its employees - and, more importantly, leads to higher-performing teams.

Recognize and reward contributions

Recognizing and rewarding employee contributions is a powerful motivator for engagement. Employers should implement virtual recognition programs, where employees can be acknowledged for their achievements. Companies should celebrate milestones, outstanding work, and team successes through virtual award ceremonies or personalised messages of appreciation. Recognizing employee efforts demonstrates their value to the organisation and encourages continued engagement.

Invest in professional development

Providing opportunities for professional growth and development is crucial for engaging remote and hybrid teams. Employers can offer virtual training sessions, webinars, and online courses to enhance employees' skills and knowledge. Encouraging cross-functional collaboration, mentorship programs, and virtual networking events helps to facilitate learning and career progression. By investing in employee development, organisations demonstrate their commitment to their growth and success, driving higher levels of engagement.

Encourage high ownership and high-impact work environment

In order to maximise the full potential of employees in a virtual work environment,

companies need to show support and give them the right amount of ownership. If given freedom and trust, people can create a disproportionate impact with their work. Companies should look at creating a culture where employees are motivated and empowered to utilise their full capabilities by giving them agency, autonomy and freedom.

Innovate to stay ahead in the hybrid era

Staying ahead in the hybrid era requires a commitment to nurturing employee engagement. It calls for a shift in mindset and the adoption of innovative practices. It is crucial for employers to understand the unique needs and challenges of their remote and hybrid teams and tailor their approaches accordingly. By implementing these strategies, organisations can unlock the full potential of their remote and hybrid teams, driving productivity, innovation, and overall success in the evolving workplace landscape.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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