Leap into the hybrid workplace – Listening is your superpower

One size doesn’t fit all in the workplace. Every role is different, and for some, each day is different too. The traditional, rigid framework formerly known as “business-as-usual,” is simply no longer the most effective – or morale-boosting – use of time, space and resources.  

Workplace transformation may seem like a daunting task, but don’t sweat it. There are some basic steps you can take to get clear on the right path forward, something customized for your workforce.   

Be prepared to listen to your team, get curious and ask a whole lot of questions. Include your team members in the process as you build-out or change your collaboration systems and other key programs that impact them. Aim to increase flexibility in their lives. The result? Employees feel heard, considered, and ultimately valued. 

We want to make sure we aren’t just determining the new normal for teams, but rather designing a thoughtful, more intentional … better normal. 

Get started: 

  • Recreate the classic ‘watercooler moment’ with your team, digitally. Those personal, casual, and often sporadic moments and conversations that play a part in keeping us connected are priceless when it comes to maintaining an engaged workforce. At Ignite, we use our Team Spaces within Cisco’s Webex platform to create company-wide conversations, as well as specialized rooms for clubs and teams. (Don’t get these guys started on Fantasy Sports!) Ignite Collaboration Educator, Fauzia Moorani, is passionate about engagement, connection and how culture grows organically throughout organizations. She’s instrumental in our team’s own watercooler moments. Stay tuned for more on that story in our next article where we dive into Experience. 
  • Get curious, and ask good questions for clarity. Thomas J. Watson said that the ability to ask the right question is more than half the battle of finding the answer, and we couldn’t agree more. No matter your business size, you’ll want to dive deeper into your research if you’re serious about building the best workplace experience for your employees. This is going to help you take a proactive vs. reactive approach to the future of work for your company. Greg Masniuk, Ignite’s National Sales Director says that there’s a difference between hearing and listening. He says, “People who seek to understand, at least know they usually need to ask more questions. And, sometimes in order to get clarity, you need to hear what’s not being said, because in that, we usually find the true problem.” 
  • Design your roadmap forward, and always think inclusive. Whether you’re part of an enterprise with a full, in-house HR function, or a small business owner trying to fill many roles, our team at Ignite has expertise, and a range of services that can help you move forward, seamlessly and securely with everyone in mind – Remote workers, people in office or hybrid, and front line, team members out in the field. At Ignite, we want to understand how your business functions, how your employees work, and how you want to grow so we can help bridge your current needs with your goals. Sign up for our Future of Work webinar to hear our expert panel review the trends and their predictions on the topic, or connect with one of our experts. Reserve your seat today. Click here to sign up.
  • Gather feedback and give continuous listening a whirl. If you’ve got a large enough team to warrant it, you can ask employees to complete a survey that will allow you to anonymously capture valuable data, while protecting their privacy and keeping their answers confidential. In short: You find out what they need, build trust and take action. More on Trust & Technology later. 
  • Dream bigSpend some time reflecting on the art of the possible. What could your company look like a decade from now? Listen to what your employees are saying about your current workplace and what would serve them better.  At Ignite, we help you channel your vision and chart your course for the future. Whether it’s meeting compliance on your PCI as an online retailer, or automating processes that make your team of one look like a team of ten through the lens of your customer or user, we’re here to help. 

New tools and integrations have launched rapidly over the past two years that are allowing leaders to cultivate a new environment. One where everyone has equal opportunity, no matter where they are physically located. 

Jeetu Patel, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cisco Security and Collaboration, says “To be successful in the era of hybrid work, organizations need to make sure their solutions are flexible, inclusive, supportive, secure, and easily managed on the backend by IT.”  

When you invest time in planning for a hybrid work solution, or even personalizing a plan per individual or role, the impact on job satisfaction is clear. People are less stressed, more productive, and are far more resilient against adversity and change. Best of all, they tend to stick around – you retain your top talent. 

Be sure to read our next blog in our LEAP series shedding light on designing the New Employee Experience. 

Sarah Allen


~ Sarah Allen – Content Creator, Ignite Collaboration

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