Hybrid Workplace Series: How to build great culture in a hybrid workplace
Our third discussion on hybrid captures insights and practical ideas from business leaders, consultants and academics about how leaders can build great culture in hybrid workplaces.
Company culture matters. Strong culture is linked to stronger financial performance. During the pandemic, a third of organizations reported challenges in maintaining their company culture. With flexible work models here to stay, leaders are wondering how they can build a great culture in a hybrid work environment.
TILTCO Inc. gathered business leaders, consultants and academics for a series of Roundtable discussions to capture insights and practical ideas that leaders can use as they re-image their organizations over the next 18 to 24 months.
In this special LeaderLab series, our Roundtable participants offered leaders the following tips:
- Don’t virtualize your in-office culture and how you work today. Get creative and design with intention from a blank sheet of paper. As Janeen shared: “Let’s not replace the old thing with a new version of the thing. Let’s actually zoom out now that we’re in a new paradigm. Before we were solving XYZ needs and now the problems are a different set.”
- Hybrid will create two or more distinct employee experiences. Your job: make each of them awesome. Stephen offered this: “If you create a two-class system of any sort at work, that’s bad. So, however, you do hybrid and however you’re modeling it, you need everybody playing by the same rules and principles.”
- Office space will serve a new purpose in hybrid, so consider how you can intentionally design it to bring your culture to life. Jay asked this question: “What is an office? I’ve got this dream that it’s a much more collaborative space, and if you’re going into the office, it’s to collaborate in person. It’s not this, you know, historically walled-off office where everybody is in their own spot.”
- Hybrid is complex and it will amplify culture challenges that exist in your organization today. Overcoming them will require leaders to step up in new ways. Here are Janeen’s thoughts on the topic: “There’s so much of this trust conversation going in one direction, which is ‘Hey, employee. Show me I should trust you.” The reality is do they trust you as their leader in this new environment? You need to create a whole different kind of conversation now for them to actually feel trust on their side of the equation.”
- Leaders will need to intentionally build connection among and between their teams, and they’ll have to find new ways to do it. Fiona said this would be the biggest job for leaders: “Hybrid offers a different set of challenges, especially when you get into different time zones. You can’t just have the big lunch or the Friday drinks or all these things that are already in our toolkit. You really have to be very thoughtful and deliberate to figure out how to bring your people together.”
Meet our Panelists
A special thank you to Will Bachman, managing partner of Umbrex, for his help in bringing these roundtables together. Learn more about the work that Umbrex does connecting independent consultants with one another at www.umbrex.com.
Thank you to our panelists:
- Jay Altizer, managing director, Falling Branch Advisors LLC. Connect with Jay on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/altizer.
- Kelly Duffin is an experienced strategy and transformation leader. Connect with Kelly on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kellyduffinmba/.
- Jennifer Hartz is CEO of Corporate Hartz. Connect with Jennifer on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/jehartz.
- Fiona Lake Waslander is COO and co-founder at Skylight. Connect with Fiona on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/fionalakewaslander/.
- Stephen Redwood is founder of Redwood Advisory Partners. Connect with Stephen on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenredwood/
- Mike Ross is chief HR officer at Simons. Connect with Mike on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikejamesross/
- Janeen Speer is vice president of Talent at Shopify. Connect with Janeen on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/janeenspeer/
TILTCO is a boutique consulting company that helps leaders define and execute their strategies in order to achieve extraordinary business and personal results. Founded by Tineke Keesmaat, she brings her 20 years of leadership consulting experience rooted at McKinsey & Company and Accenture to supports today’s leaders achieve exceptional results.