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00:00:00:00 – 00:00:22:20
All right. Let’s go ahead and get started. Good morning, everyone, or afternoon, wherever you may be. And thanks for making the time to join us on our webinar, too, to have a conversation, which I think is probably on everyone’s minds right now, which is making that shift to a hybrid working model and assessing whether we’re really ready for it.
00:00:22:22 – 00:00:56:22
Just to start out, my name is Michelle, and I lead the North American team at Daggerwing. And with me, I have my colleague and partner in crime, Malik, who is a principal at Daggerwing and will be facilitating the conversation today. So if we move onto the next slide, I promise you, there’s just one slide about Daggerwing, and you probably already know this if you’re if you’re with us today, we’re a global change consultancy, and I think what makes us really unique is we really focus on the people, the human side of change, because our core belief is that organizations don’t change people.
00:00:56:22 – 00:01:24:13
Do you know, we’ve got some accolades where, you know, global top ten change consultant and global leader. Most of our clients are from Fortune 500 and we are a global organization. All right. And that is all we’re going to talk about with staggering, Well, mentioned some clients stories, perhaps so over the next 30 minutes, just to give you a little rules of the road or the roadmap here, we’re not going to spend the time giving you a full on playbook for getting back to the office.
00:01:24:13 – 00:01:42:12
That’s really not what today is about. First of all, we don’t have enough time. We could talk about that all day. But what we really want to do is provide a bit of a different perspective on both sort of, you know, the areas that you should really be thinking about from a people perspective and some of the challenges.
00:01:42:14 – 00:02:07:12
We’re going to try to give you some some provocative insights on how to create an environment that can enable all employees to thrive. That’s really what’s going to be our focus. So to start out with, you know, as we’ve been working, we’ve been working with clients quite a bit over the last probably six months on whatever return to work looks like for them.
00:02:07:12 – 00:02:28:07
And that has many permutations as there are clients, as I’m sure you know, there’s a million decisions that you need to make as you start bringing people back in terms of what’s that what that’s going to look like. But one thing that’s really emerged for us is that flexibility is truly the core principle of of of return to work.
00:02:28:09 – 00:02:54:05
And we can go to if we go to the next slide. This is a really interesting statistic that just came out over the last couple of weeks, which is that, you know, it looks like most people don’t want to be back in, but don’t want to be remote, full time or back in the office full time. What most people are looking for is some kind of combination and what what has emerged as the core value is flexibility.
00:02:54:05 – 00:03:19:04
And you see here that almost 40% of employees now say that they’d consider quitting if their employer wasn’t flexible about remote work or whatever the new model is. In fact, I think many of you might have seen headlines in not only Bloomberg, but Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, New York Post saying that rather than coming back full time people are much more willing now than ever before just to quit.
00:03:19:06 – 00:03:49:14
A statistic that isn’t on here that you’ve probably seen, too, is that 40% of the work force is looking to move and relocate right now. So the talent wars are back. It is heating up. And so that’s why it’s so important as you design what your future of work looks like, that you’re keeping this idea of flexibility in mind and and asking yourself the question, what does flexibility really mean for us at at my organization?
00:03:49:16 – 00:04:11:17
A few more steps. If we if we go forward. You know, most companies leaders say their company is looking at redesigning office space for hybrid work office spaces is move is trending toward becoming a space for connection and collaboration as one of our clients likes to put it. So they’re thinking about what is the Office of the Future really look like?
00:04:11:19 – 00:04:38:23
As I mentioned, 73% of people want those flexible options to stay and have. There has been a benefit over the last year and a half. And but also with that, you know, almost 70% of people do want more in-person work and collaboration. I think we can all feel that we’re all tired and exhausted of looking at screens and we want those opportunities to come back together.
00:04:39:00 – 00:05:00:15
We go to the next slide. I think this is just an interesting slide that came out a couple of weeks ago. It’s already outdated, but it’s a picture of what what this looks like from some prominent companies. So over on the left, you’ve got, you know, the folks that are saying, hey, we’re going to go strictly back to office centric.
00:05:00:17 – 00:05:24:07
You got the Goldman, the Jp morgan Chase, as you know, Goldman Sachs, their CEO, has called remote, working an abomination at JPMorgan Chase. You know, Jamie Dimon has also said he would be happy if he never has to be on a Zoom client again. They, though, are trying to connect it to the industry and their clients and saying, for us in our business, this is what is this is what is really needed.
00:05:24:12 – 00:05:48:23
So the jury will be out to see how their employees react to that. But if you look, the whole point of this slide is that the vast majority of organizations are somewhere in between back to office full time, and this sort of hybrid model, which has many permutations. So if you look at that spectrum, maybe thinking about, you know, where where does your organization fall?
00:05:49:00 – 00:06:17:04
And if you go on to the next slide, the change is really a lot bigger than we think. It’s it’s really interesting. As Malik and I were talking about our clients, there seems to be still a mindset with some of our clients that, you know, what we’re really transitioning to from is before pandemic when we were in office environment to now this hybrid model and almost just not taking into account the last 15 months where people have been fully remote all around the world.
00:06:17:10 – 00:06:46:22
So the change to really consider is the fact that people we’re the we are we are in that remote world now. We are we are past the the office model no matter what where you’re choosing to go in terms of your model going forward. And that shifting from a fully remote remote model to some kind of a hybrid model is a really big change because you almost have too manage to employee experiences at the same time.
00:06:47:02 – 00:07:19:14
So it presents new challenges. Leaders have just, you know, starting to learn how to manage remotely over the last year, and now they’re going to have to learn even more again to manage in this hybrid work environment. Thanks, Michelle Malik Yeah. So how can we all thrive in this hybrid working model? We thought we’d actually start by sharing a framework that we put together, and this is how we’re viewing last year’s transition to remote working and the upcoming shift into a hybrid working model.
00:07:19:16 – 00:07:41:10
So as we flip on to this model now, you’re going to see some resemble resemblance to a certain hierarchy of needs. If you’ve read some psychology textbooks over the years, and that’s okay, it’s based on that. So generally at the start of the transition last year, organizations focused on getting workers functional digital transformation overnight, right? Becoming virtual and productive as soon as possible.
00:07:41:10 – 00:08:10:14
And once that was done, they focused on making that work environment better. So equipment, software, you know, ring lights, new monitors, things like that. The next phase saw many organizations focusing on the welfare of their employees, so supporting more of those psychological needs. So ensuring wellness was discussed and offered revitalizing those inclusion programs that might have been paused or halted, pushing forward career development and culture initiatives, among other things.
00:08:10:16 – 00:08:35:05
So you’ve all probably done some virtual drinks carts or trolleys or quiz nights or wreath making to keep the social buzz going. You know, that falls into that bucket, right? There’s still a lot of work to do in these areas for many organizations, but the work has started. And lastly, the top of this, this diagram is an area where many organizations haven’t yet spent much time focusing on, and we call it thriving at Work.
00:08:35:07 – 00:09:12:00
And here’s where organizations have the opportunity to focus on those elements that will make their hybrid work environments fair and equitable for all. And that’s our focus for today. So as we click on the timeline, interestingly enough, we’ve watched and we’ve we’ve been with our clients over the last six months and with a pending return to the offices in some form, we’ve actually noticed that leaders are now refocusing back on those basic needs again, but just towards an office or a hybrid working model and perhaps getting distracted away from some of those higher order success factors into more of these action oriented fixes.
00:09:12:02 – 00:09:37:00
Well, we’ll talk about action bias a little later on. But the point is, many of the thriving Upwork elements seem to be put aside for now. Let’s build some more pressure into this. All right. The next slide suggests that managers need help. A good proportion of them have indicated challenges working, managing workers remotely. On top of that, we’re getting worse at growing or even maintaining our networks and relationships.
00:09:37:02 – 00:10:01:03
So there are a bunch of other studies as well as statistics that outline the challenges we’re facing in a remote, remote working model, which only becomes more challenging when managing or collaborating with colleagues, both in-person and remotely. So what are some of the challenges that we need to overcome as we shift into our hybrid working environments? And I’ve read a fair bit about this, Michel.
00:10:01:03 – 00:10:18:18
As we talked about across the business, there’s three challenges that we want to discuss today, and I got to witness them firsthand just a few weeks ago when I went into my office, just I just sort of I sort of knew what to look for and they all came true. And so we’ll show them today the first challenges around trust.
00:10:18:20 – 00:10:40:04
So how can we ensure that there is an environment of trust in a changing workplace? This could be managers, trusting teams, working remotely, peers trusting each other to collaborate and getting the job done. Or how do you develop meaningful relationships across the organization. So how do we create this culture of trust in this hybrid working environment? The second challenge is human connection.
00:10:40:06 – 00:11:02:05
So for many employees and teams that relied on the more personal aspects of work, they got used to seeing everybody every day, perhaps social, perhaps face to face. You know, recreating these connections requires efforts when people aren’t actually physically there. So how do we ensure we’re bringing that level of human connection into our day to day? You know, when we have people in both the office and remote?
00:11:02:07 – 00:11:25:08
And the third challenge is around fairness. While many of us are still working remotely, as Michel mentioned, this will change for many of most of us, and the advantage of being in-person could actually outweigh those being remote. There may be an unlevel playing field across the different employee situations, and some employees may navigate this better than others, giving them an unfair advantage.
00:11:25:09 – 00:11:52:02
So how do we create a fair workplace where all employees with differing work experiences have an equal opportunity for success? Over to you, Michel. All right. So let’s talk about the game plan, where we’re going to spend the remainder of our session and we’re going to really focus on on three areas here. Again, there’s so much more we could talk about, But, you know, think of the context that Malik just gave here on trust, human connection and fairness.
00:11:52:02 – 00:12:11:13
And then now let’s focus on what different constituents can do. We go to the next slide. The first thing is really about leaders needing to create a culture of trust, and we’re going to deep dive into each of these. This is not new. You know, this this is probably something you’ve been working on for a long time in your organization.
00:12:11:15 – 00:12:31:20
However, we think that there’s some things that you need to double down on in this new environment. The second is that managers needing to lead with empathy and the human connection element. And then the third that’s not often talked about is employers need support and understanding how they can proactively play a part. It’s not just about leaders and all on leaders and managers.
00:12:31:20 – 00:12:57:10
Employees have to own their own their thriving and their success as well. So let’s take a bit of a deeper dive into each of these. Over on the right on this slide, we have a we have a little model that has a number of things that contribute to why change often fails. And so as we talk about these things, we’re really trying to connect the dots here because this is a change that everyone’s going through.
00:12:57:12 – 00:13:23:14
And the one we’re going to focus on here is that leaders need to drive the change and they need to create that culture of trust. They always have needed to. But it’s important now more than ever. And just to double click a little bit more on why trust is important. There’s so much research now around organizations that have high trust levels and that it’s up to the senior leaders to really create that environment.
00:13:23:18 – 00:13:58:00
And then it has a tendency to permeate throughout the organization. But there’s financial returns for high trust organizations. I’ll show you some numbers in just a second. It has a big impact on employees, mental health development and their sense of belonging. I think we have seen that more than ever over the past year and a half. One thing that I think that’s heartening as we talk about trust is that for many of our clients and many organizations, they actually have reported a higher level of trust in their organizations, in some cases.
00:13:58:02 – 00:14:25:08
From that, based on, you know, talking with employees, employee service surveys, hiring, engagement. And that’s because leaders in those organizations really rushed in to meet the challenge and again, share some examples of that in a second. And, you know, clearly higher the higher trust, the more you’re going to retain people, which is very important, especially now that, as we mentioned, the talent work is at a higher level than I think it’s been in a couple of decades.
00:14:25:10 – 00:14:49:10
And just to add a little more color to this on the next slide, here’s some numbers behind it. You know, engagement, productivity by fewer sick days. But I think another one it’s especially important right now is this idea of there’s more energy at work, less stress and less burnout. Boy, we could do a whole nother seminar. And you’ve probably been to some on burnout.
00:14:49:12 – 00:15:12:13
It’s real. And this and the stresses of the past year and a half have really taken their toll. And there’s some thought that that’s also what’s driving people leaving their jobs, is that they’ve just hit the brick wall and they’re not going to do it anymore. So if you can create an environment of psychological safety and trust that is going to go a long way in addressing those issues.
00:15:12:15 – 00:15:41:24
So let’s talk about some strategies then that are especially important in a hybrid environment. There’s lots of things that contribute to trust. But again, we pulled out some that we think are especially that we’ve heard from our clients are especially important right now. So let’s look at the first one. Give trust first. It’s been kind of, you know, fascinating that, you know, you know, one of one of my big clients is a, you know, consumer packaged goods organization.
00:15:41:24 – 00:16:11:07
They’ve been successfully working remotely the last 15 months. You can imagine in that industry the kind of demand and pace around packaged food that that, you know, has has been present with them from the beginning. As a result, they’ve had one of their best years ever. It was I think it was a record year for this organization. The credit it not only though, to the to the covered demand, but because of the culture that they had and the agility and the way that people came together.
00:16:11:09 – 00:16:45:10
So that’s a great story. Now they’re going to be transitioning to a hybrid environment, and it is surprising to me in some cases that there’s still some resistance to that. There are very senior leaders that would like to go back to the, you know, back to their full time in office environment. And one of the things they say and I’ve heard this comment three or four times, I think, Malik, you have, too, is that well, you know, this is a good excuse for people to slack off if they’re if they’re at home.
00:16:45:12 – 00:17:07:21
This idea that if I can’t see them, I don’t know what they’re doing and this inherent kind of just lack of trust, you know, what what are they doing? Which is sort of amazing to me when you think of not only this company, but in general, worker levels of productivity have actually increased tremendously according to the data over the last year and a half.
00:17:07:23 – 00:17:30:11
So I encourage you to spend time with those leaders and really talk about that. The real data, the statistics and why this is important. I even see chatter about this on LinkedIn and it’s just amazing to me. So leaders need to actively give trust and know that their trust that their people are doing their jobs. I think it will become evident in other ways if they’re not.
00:17:30:13 – 00:17:50:20
So that’s the first one. And the second one is foster physical and psychological safety. I think the real concern that you know, has been emerging with folks for going back to the office right now is around, you know, is the office physically safe environment for me, even post-COVID, even with vaccinations, there’s still quite a bit of concern about that.
00:17:50:22 – 00:18:13:11
So one of the things that one of the organizations I’m working with right now is doing is spending a lot of time talking about how clean the offices are, the everyday protocols around the office to ensure the safety of of the people there with this, of course, becomes not only physical but psychological safety, which I talked I touched on a little bit before.
00:18:13:11 – 00:18:34:21
But if we go to the next one, I think this is really connected. It is more and we say this all the time and you know that this is important for trust. But more than ever, it is so important to listen to your people and meet them where they are and really address, you know, what are their concerns, how exhausted are they really?
00:18:34:23 – 00:18:58:15
Are they able to open early talk about their mental health? How are they feeling about issues around diversity, inclusion and equity, which is a big piece and I’ll get to in a moment and really hearing and having more challenging conversations than in the past around what this new environment is going to look like and surfacing concerns so that we can hear them.
00:18:58:17 – 00:19:27:21
We’ve been doing a series of roundtables with not the the what, a couple of levels below the executive team at the organization that I mentioned before. So we’ve been doing it like I think we’ve done like 12 roundtables. And many of the questions coming up are not the ones that we expected to be honest. There’s a huge theme, for example, about people being very uncomfortable and not wanting to to be hot desking as they come back in the hybrid environment.
00:19:28:01 – 00:19:51:08
There’s a lot of concerns being raised by managers. I don’t know how to create a culture in a hybrid environment, so that is helping us design the change strategy to be sure that we are meeting these people where they are. Otherwise you’re kind of just in the dark and there’s a lot you can throw at this, but you really want to make sure it sticks and show people that you’re listening on the next one, communicate more than ever.
00:19:51:08 – 00:20:09:16
And this is really we don’t have the answer for this in a hybrid environment. This is very challenging, especially as you have people meeting in the office and then, you know, people who may not be in, you know, in those watercooler conversations that are so important. So how do we make sure that people are getting the information that they need?
00:20:09:21 – 00:20:30:04
And what leaders are telling us works is working for them are these shorter bike sites and more communications, more often rather than the big productions. We have another client who used to do these highly, highly produced town halls once a quarter that took a quarter just to plan for them during the crisis they went to every two weeks.
00:20:30:06 – 00:20:51:12
And, you know, the CEO sitting in his house like everyone else and the dog barking in the background, the vacuum cleaners going on. But he needed he wanted to be there for the people. And it actually humanized him. And which brings me to the next point around being human and transparent. I think we’ve all seen what that can do from this past year as we’ve been invited to each other’s homes.
00:20:51:15 – 00:21:09:06
We’ve had kids on our laps and to be as transparent as possible in this one organization I’m looking we’re working with right now, one of the questions that people people have lots and lots of questions. Well, how is this going to work? How’s this going to work? How’s this thing work? And the CEO just keeps saying, we will adjust.
00:21:09:06 – 00:21:31:14
We will adjust when you know as that as the situation evolves. This is the right strategy for right now. And just being open about that, even when he doesn’t have all the answers for how every little piece is going to work. And then finally, diversity, equity and inclusion. We all know how important this is, especially in the context in the United States over the past 15 months.
00:21:31:16 – 00:21:54:16
It’s a huge driver of trust. We know that about a third of people in their organizations right now don’t trust that there’s equity in their organizations. And they know that about about 30% don’t both trust that their organizations are inclusive. If we’re not addressing these these issues in the context of all of that, the trust is not going to be as high as you need it to be.
00:21:54:18 – 00:22:28:06
All right. I’m going to pass it over to Malik X. Michelle, the second get part of the game plan is managers leaving with empathy and again addressing one of the factors about common biases not being surfaced or addressed. So what we’re saying here is that an empathetic manager will actually be able to to create a better human connections with their team, better understand the situations, etc., and identify behaviors or actions that actually might prevent a successful working experience in a hybrid model.
00:22:28:08 – 00:22:55:09
So as we as we move ahead, you know, as Michelle mentioned about trust, empathy also has a direct impact on the bottom line. You know, employees are more likely to stay with you. They would consider leaving if empathy is taken away or reduced. And not that we’re asking for this in today’s work environment where we’re overloaded, but employers are willing to, when employees are willing to work longer hours for an empathetic employer.
00:22:55:11 – 00:23:18:16
So what do we actually mean by that? So let’s think about some of the things that managers can watch out for to become more empathetic to individuals, employees, situations. I’ll touch on a couple of a common biases here. So take the following scenario, and this is our first turnaround action bias. A group of in-office workers are informally discussing a topic, and it requires a decision to be made.
00:23:18:18 – 00:23:38:17
And the most dominant person has this action bias. They want to get stuff done and remote. In this particular case, remote workers are likely be excluded from the decision making process. It takes time to set up a phone call. There’s a burden of including them and they just want to get the decision made. So being present actually means being part of a decision.
00:23:38:19 – 00:24:05:24
So in this situation, managers need to ensure all voices are heard and there’s actually a clear decision making process in place which considers all relevant parties no matter where they’re working from. I’ll touch on the second one as well. Proximity bias being favoring what’s close to us. Right? And in a hybrid working environment, managers may give preferential treatment to those who are in the office on a regular basis as their work is more visible.
00:24:06:01 – 00:24:35:00
They’re there when they when they need to see them at the coffee machine, etc. This can cause a preferential preferential allocation of things like promotions, stretch assignments, pay and contributing to an unfair working environment. To keep this moving along. There are a couple of other bandwagon effects where where employees are doing things that other people are doing, their friends or colleagues and the last one is about commitment bias, which is the tendency to do what you’ve done in the past.
00:24:35:01 – 00:24:53:15
Hey, we did this before. We’re going to continue to do it. Things have changed. People aren’t there physically. You’ve got to change the way of doing it. So if we move quickly to an example of a manager who is empathetic, we want to just share a bit of an example. And here are some characteristics up on the screen that you can look at.
00:24:53:17 – 00:25:15:09
But a manager could be based in the office three days a week and they’re using this time to catch up on face to face with the people there, but also giving equal time to those virtually who are remote. And this is helping the manager keep, you know, both the needs and emotions of his team that are there and remote and understand the different perspectives and reasons for their choices and where they work.
00:25:15:11 – 00:25:36:22
It’s also giving this manager the chance to talk to each of the team members and about things that aren’t really related to work and build those personal relationships. So the idea is by actively ensuring that everybody has equal face time, whether they’re there or physically there or remote and genuinely understanding the situation and watching out for these biases.
00:25:36:24 – 00:26:04:24
The managers considered trustworthy and an empathetic leader. And hopefully the team feels supported and has equal opportunities no matter where they’re working from. The last element of our game plan is about employees. And, you know, we want employees to be able to develop new skills and behavior. But what does that mean in a hybrid working form and maybe even been a little bit provocative here, but we actually think that employees need to proactively play a part.
00:26:05:01 – 00:26:28:21
You know, we’ve all been working remotely over the last 15 months, and I don’t think anybody’s given us a scorecard of how well we’ve actually done that. But not too many organizations have done it. But as we move as we move into hybrid work environment, any deficiencies are going to be exacerbated. Those that are good at navigating this remote working world are going to succeed better than those that aren’t.
00:26:28:23 – 00:26:52:15
So we’re suggesting that employees can do a self-assessment of how good they are to thrive in this new world. And we’ll share some of our thoughts on that here. So just let’s let’s let’s let’s take the challenges. You know, employees feel less connected working from home. They worry that out of sight means out of mind. And how about half of them feel that they need to communicate more to get more visibility and demonstrate impact.
00:26:52:17 – 00:27:14:09
Glass on top business. She mentioned burnout is worse than during the pandemic. People are working harder at all hours in a monotonous routine. So here are some areas in which employees can actually, you know, do a self-assessment and shift the needle to sort of better their chances of of succeeding in a challenging environment. The first is around motivation and energy.
00:27:14:11 – 00:27:42:04
And this is honestly the fuel for everything. So how can they ensure they’re creating healthy boundaries to maintain energy? Is their motivation for work different at home and in the office? Get distracted easily? It’s the dog distracting your children, etc.? Does a day stretch out? You know, you need people to motivate you so these things can help, you know, being that being assessing issues can help employees be mindful of where their energy is coming from and how to direct it in most effective ways.
00:27:42:06 – 00:28:03:19
The second one is about building connections. You know, how effectively can you do that in a hybrid environment? How strong are you? Are you at things that are often hard to find remote, like networking, collaborating, finding out intel, you know, the inside scoop, getting other perspectives on news, etc.. There are some people that are thriving very well doing this and others with room for improvement.
00:28:03:21 – 00:28:37:20
And the last one is about communication and visibility. How can you ensure you’re getting credit for the work you’re doing if you’re not there and is somebody who’s there, you’re colleagues and they get a disproportionate amount of the credit or face time with leaders and or peers, how is your work being perceived? And while I hope that organizations will develop this trusting environment with empathetic managers, there’s the opportunity for employees to self-assess their own skills, how they’re tracking on this and actually help to level the playing field.
00:28:37:22 – 00:29:08:16
Back to you, Michel. All right. Well, we just have a minute left, and I’m going to actually if you go to the next slide, let’s just summarize as you know, what the points that we’ve made and Lauren will send the slides out with and afterwards. So you’ll be able to look at those. If we go to the last slide, there’s one question that I guess we have time for one, there’s some good questions I tried to answer type answers to, but Malik, are there any best practices emerging to ensure those colleagues who do not return to an office are connected and included in a hybrid world?
00:29:08:18 – 00:29:35:05
Yeah, it’s a great question, Michel, and we actually talked a little bit about that. Some of it some of it lands on the employee standpoint of of developing those networks and being proactive in reaching out to people in between those one hour calendar blocks, you know, the Zoom meetings. The second is as I mentioned, on managers, to ensure that there’s equal face time, whether you are actually physically present or remote as well.
00:29:35:07 – 00:30:03:16
Those are probably the two best practices. The other thing that we’re starting to see is, is people are getting more purposeful in in scheduling what they’re in-office days might look like if they have those if they have those flexibilities, they want to start overlapping. They want to spend time in the office for purposeful reasons. So I know that’s not not exactly what the question is, but they’re using that time when they do connect for for good reasons as well.
00:30:03:18 – 00:30:20:07
Thanks a lot. And we are out of time. I wish we had a little more time. There’s some good questions there. If you’d like to reach out to Malik or I directly, please feel free. We’re happy to hop on a call for 10 minutes to brainstorm our answer or provide any help or guidance that we can and learn from you.
00:30:20:07 – 00:30:33:08
Because, hey, one thing we do know is we are all in this together and we’ll be learning a lot over the next several months. So thanks all so much for joining. Really appreciate your time and have a great rest of your week.