‘The future of work is a combination of places’ says the 2022 Global Culture Report by O.C. Tanner, and very rightly so. There is a lot of discussion around offering flexibility to employees and adopting a hybrid work model. However, while trying to offer flexibility to make the hybrid model work, employers should not ignore the career development of the employees.
The Report suggests it will be quite challenging for hybrid workers to grab growth and development opportunities since they will not be physically present with or before their leaders at the workplace most of the time.
With the time spent at the physical workplace being reduced, the leaders will not get to watch their employees or see their work as much as they should. And the decision makers do need to see their employees actually performing to make important decisions and build relationships. The physical absence of remote employees may lead to them being left out of crucial meetings or projects. This will also make it difficult for their managers or leaders to recognise, acknowledge and reward their contributions and accomplishments.
To overcome these challenges, employers will have to come up with ways to offer growth opportunities to their hybrid workers. If they manage to make their hybrid employees’ career development a priority, the likelihood of employee engagement (+115%) is increased, and so is the sense of opportunity (+167%), and the sense of success (+152%). If employees are given a chance to learn more in their existing roles, they are likely to be 79 per cent more engaged and experience 72 per cent more sense of purpose. Similarly, if they are given the opportunity to work on special projects, they are likely to be 60 per cent more engaged and experience 30 per cent more sense of purpose.
Organisations that are able to provide growth opportunities to their hybrid workers in specific areas, along with a chance to learn and master new skills, and occasions to work on new and interesting projects, are 3.7 times more likely to experience increased engagement.
Organisations will need to introduce a strategy that will integrate development opportunities — from formal career development programmes to informal mentoring and networking. Physical office space and remote work technologies can both provide meaningful development experiences to help hybrid workers feel connected to their organisation’s culture.