The work landscape is evolving, which means both companies and employees must evolve with it. According to Accenture’s Future of Work report, only 35% of employees are satisfied with their company’s approach to work model decisions. The more satisfied your employees are, the more motivated they’ll be to produce stellar outcomes and stay in their roles for the long run. That’s where hybrid work comes in.
In recent years, employees and job seekers have increasingly prioritized flexibility and collaboration in the workplace. Due to technological advances, this shift is more possible and understandable than ever. Within the hybrid model, employees have more freedom to work when and where they’re most productive, all while maintaining some level of in-person interaction with their colleagues.
Of course, no employee or company is exactly the same. There are diverse values, priorities, and preferences that influence pushes toward and against adopting a hybrid work model. In this guide, we’ll walk through the basics of hybrid work and its current place in today’s working society, then discuss six hybrid employee retention methods that your company can implement:
- What are hybrid work models?
- What are the benefits of hybrid work?
- What is the pushback against hybrid work?
- 6 Hybrid Employee Retention Strategies
To make the most of hybrid work at your company, it’s crucial to understand the nuances of the various models and create a hybrid employee retention plan. Let’s get started.
What are hybrid work models?
Offering hybrid work is an effective way to recruit new talent and retain employees for the long term. Depending on your company and its employees, some hybrid work models may work better than others. Finding the right fit allows you to create a productive, flexible environment for all of your employees to do their best work. Some of the most common hybrid work models include:
- Office-first. This model prioritizes employees coming into the office, but allows them the flexibility to work one or two days a week, or even several days a month, at home. Often, it’s up to the individual employee to determine when they would prefer to work remotely, offering them more freedom to schedule their work week.
- Remote-first. Unlike the previous model, this model centers on employees working and collaborating remotely, while offering opportunities to come into the office and connect with colleagues.
- Flexible. A flexible hybrid work model allows hybrid employees to choose when and where they would like to work each day. Those who prefer working in the office can commute more often, while those who enjoy working remotely can spend more time elsewhere.
- Fixed. This model designates which days hybrid employees must come into the office and which days they can work from home. These days could vary from team to team to optimize collaborative efforts in the office.
Since each of these models has its own advantages and disadvantages, there is no single perfect choice for all companies to adopt. However, choosing one that aligns with your overall goals and employee preferences is key to maximizing hybrid employee retention.
What are the benefits of hybrid work?
The popularity of hybrid work stems from the increased flexibility and trust afforded to employees around the world. As the Cisco Global Hybrid Work Study notes, 78.9% of full-time employees reported that their work-life balance has improved with more work-from-home time.
A hybrid model blends the advantages of in-person and remote work, offering employees benefits such as:
- Increased productivity
- In-person and remote collaboration opportunities
- Improved job satisfaction and well-being
- Reduced burnout
- Time saved from commuting
Ultimately, the most successful companies are those that enable employees to reach their highest potential by working in the most optimal conditions possible. This keeps them motivated to exceed expectations and generate positive outcomes each day.
What is the pushback against hybrid work?
Despite these benefits, some organizations remain reluctant toward shifting to a hybrid work model. With employees spending less time in the office, there are fewer opportunities for more traditional supervision. While 87% of employees indicate that they’re productive at work, only 12% of leaders have full confidence in their hybrid team’s productivity.
This discrepancy leads to employers feeling compelled to track the activities of their employees in order to ensure that they’re remaining engaged and on-task while working remotely. They may also be concerned with effectively managing and building relationships within teams. While employing useful software can certainly facilitate hybrid work, a company’s success ultimately depends on how well it uses its resources to drive results and retain employees.
6 Hybrid Employee Retention Strategies
A comprehensive hybrid employee retention plan accounts for the employee’s experience from their very first day at your company. If your organization is one of the many that are embracing and seeking to optimize hybrid work, there are a few essential strategies to keep in mind.
1. Improve the hybrid onboarding experience.
Your hybrid employees’ onboarding experience with set the tone for the rest of their time with your company. Therefore, it’s crucial to optimize your hybrid onboarding process to provide them with everything they need to get up and running. Here are some ideas to consider implementing:
- Introduce new hybrid employees to the rest of the team either in-person or during a virtual meeting.
- Schedule frequent check-ins to provide new employees with opportunities to ask questions.
- Ensure they have the necessary tools and resources to work in the office and at home, such as a desk, monitor, and chair.
- Provide educational materials and resources, such as a guide to using your virtual communication tools.
- Offer and receive feedback to help your hybrid employees understand the expectations surrounding their roles and to inform future improvements to your hybrid onboarding process.
Build loyalty from the get-go by showing your employees that you’re invested in their long-term success. The flexibility of hybrid work makes it all the more important to establish meaningful connections and present the necessary resources for thriving in varying work locations.
2. Invest in essential technology.
Your hybrid employees will need to leverage more technology to manage their work efficiently on a daily basis. When it comes to working remotely, Citrix estimates that employees could be losing around 54 minutes per day due to technical issues such as resetting forgotten passwords. The better tools you provide them with, the better equipped they’ll be to accomplish their tasks.
Some time-saving and results-boosting technology to look into include:
- Project management tools. Maintain productivity and teamwork among employees working both in-office and remotely by looking into tools such as Zoho and Trello. With these tools, employees can better govern their own workflow and assignments.
- Messaging tools. Communication, while much easier in person, can still be quick and efficient with the right virtual tools. For instance, solutions such as Slack and Microsoft Teams can facilitate the process of updating team members about tasks and reaching out with questions.
- Video conferencing tools. These tools, such as Zoom, allow employees to connect with one another face-to-face, even if they aren’t in the same physical location. This can reduce time spent sharing important or complicated information and minimize the chances of miscommunication.
- Document and filesharing tools. It’s no secret that collaboration among team members is key to achieving overall goals and results. Ensure that your employees have access to everything they need to work productively in the office and at home with tools that make it easy to transfer files and change access settings across the company.
- Remote work tools. From headsets to monitors, there are a variety of physical tools your hybrid employees will need to work remotely. Help them set up home offices that will allow them to work as effectively as when they’re in the office.
Investing in software to engage employees and enhance their productivity will mitigate the concerns that leaders and managers have demonstrated regarding hybrid work. Additionally, by equipping them with tools to streamline their work, you’ll provide employees with a fulfilling experience each day, boosting your overall hybrid employee retention.
3. Be strategic about in-office days.
There are a variety of ways your company can determine when hybrid employees can work from home and when they should commute to the office. The right structure for your organization depends on finding a balance between convenience and connection for your employees. This balance, in turn, can contribute to employee satisfaction and hybrid employee retention.
Gallup’s data on the future of hybrid work indicates that four in 10 employees desire full autonomy over when they come into the office, while about six in 10 would prefer more structure. Before you implement any significant changes, ask your hybrid employees ahead of time about their ideal schedule, since preferences may vary from company to company.
One way to maximize efficiency and productivity, for instance, is to designate specific days of the week for different teams to gather in the office. This ensures that hybrid employees can avoid unnecessarily commuting to the office and finding none of their team members present.
4. Promote culture and connection.
One of the primary challenges that hybrid workers face is reduced opportunities to develop meaningful relationships with their colleagues. According to HubSpot’s Hybrid Work Report, while 66% of hybrid employees indicate that having a close work friend impacts their desire to stay with their company, only 34% feel strongly connected to their colleagues.
Therefore, the link between employee connections and hybrid employee retention is clear. When your employees are sometimes separated by location, it becomes more crucial than ever to instill a strong sense of company culture across the company. Keep employees engaged by encouraging teamwork and hosting office events that will help them cultivate positive relationships.
One impactful way to strengthen connections between hybrid employees is to develop a system of peer-to-peer recognition. Through eCards or an in-office wall of fame, make it easy for your staff to acknowledge one another for going above and beyond in their roles. This ensures that each hybrid employee feels individually valued for their contributions by their colleagues, making them more invested in your company’s long-term growth and success.
5. Recognize hybrid employees.
Beyond ad-hoc peer-to-peer recognition, it’s essential for your company to incorporate fixed methods for recognizing employees in your hybrid employee retention plan. There are numerous ways to express appreciation for your hybrid employees, including:
- Social media shoutouts
- Recognition awards
- Professional development opportunities
- Appreciation parties
You can both reinforce your company values and make your hybrid employees feel valued by sending recognition eCards. Modivcare features an eCard design for each of its values, making it simple and convenient to recognize employees for embodying a specific value in their work.
6. Seek improvements through data and feedback.
As with any program or initiative, it’s important to seek improvements to your hybrid employee retention plan by collecting data and feedback. This information will allow you to hone your strategies to achieve better results in the future. To gauge the effectiveness of your hybrid employee retention methods, send out surveys to your employees on a regular basis.
Some common questions you can include in these surveys are:
- What is your ideal balance between in-office and remote work?
- Do you have the virtual and physical tools to carry out your work effectively?
- How connected do you feel with your fellow team members?
- How would you describe your level of productivity in the office versus working remotely?
- Are there any improvements you would like to see in our hybrid working arrangements?
Seeking and implementing feedback from your employees can go a long way toward helping them understand that you’re dedicated to optimizing their hybrid experience and invested in their long-term involvement with your company. The more tailored your hybrid employee retention plan is to your unique employees, the more successful it will be.
Companies looking to make the most of a hybrid work model can maximize results while reducing concerns about productivity and retention by cultivating an overall positive work experience for their employees.
Set your hybrid employees up for success by providing them with the structure and tools to be productive and engaged at work, then help them establish a healthy work-life balance that enables them to return the next morning, refreshed and eager to drive results.
To learn more about how you can optimize your hybrid employee retention methods, check out these valuable resources:
- A Complete Guide to Employee Recognition + Top 10 Ideas. Get inspired with these 10 impactful ideas for recognizing your employees.
- 11 Top Corporate Gifting Companies & Platforms to Consider. Corporate gifting companies can facilitate the employee gifting process for your company. Discover the best options in this guide.
- 6 Impactful Strategies for Remote Employee Retention. Find out how your company can appeal to and retain remote employees with these six strategies.