With increasing COVID cases, it seems the remote working environment is here to stay for many.
Whilst some industries and departments must continue to go into the workplace due to the nature of their roles, this virtual management of overseeing both remote and office workers have been a struggle for some. So, how can we adapt to this hybrid workplace?
Adapting to the hybrid workplace
Although some organisations have struggled to adapt to the virtual environment, others have thrived. Counter to expectations, many found that their people were happier overall and more productive. The difference all came down to one thing – the leadership style of people and performance managers. Pre-COVID it was well known that there was a capability gap in the skills of line managers but the reality of being in an office could cover up the lack of people management skills. With a remote workforce, great quality managers are going to make all the difference to people and performance. So, how can we ensure good virtual management practices within a hybrid workplace?
Well, in our latest e-Book on virtual people and performance management, we explore the PERFORM model. This model outlines how managers can navigate the virtual world using standard good people management practices to ensure the wellbeing and productivity of their staff.
So, what is the PERFORM model?
Naturally, our aspiration is for everyone to perform at their best. However, in these strange socially distanced times we need to re-think the importance and style of people management. The PERFORM model can help us to do just that. Created by CEO of Actus Lucinda Carney, the model was inspired by survey results conducted with people professionals, which indicated where the biggest performance management skill gaps lay.
The PERFORM model stands for:
People First – We must start by being human-centric and build trust, know what makes people tick
Expectations – Having clarity of priorities, goals and milestones
Regular Reviews – Holding virtual reviews is fine but they must be consistent i.e. performance reviews
Feedback & Development – Providing regular feedback and coaching is vital for continued performance improvements
Ownership Culture – Coaching for both ownership and growth
Recognise – Celebrating and sharing achievements to encourage continued high performance
Manage Performance – Being tough on the facts but open-minded on the causes of performance
Ensuring Fairness and Equal Opportunities
It is important to consider the implications of having a divided workforce between virtual and natural workplace environments. With remote working staff, there may be a lack of talent visibility, therefore leading to people not receiving the development they need to progress within their career. In addition to this, we must work to ensure they don't become victim to the adage 'out of sight, out of mind'. All staff, remote or not, should have the same opportunities for promotion or new job opportunities. This can be facilitated using virtual career talks, as well as personalised career plans for all staff.
Certainly, there are many other additional challenges to consider with a hybrid workplace. These can include; lack of informal collaboration affecting information sharing or creativity, lack of team spirit, difficulty managing certain processes, disjointed availability, and loss of cohesive company culture affecting loyalty. Fortunately, there are also many ways to overcome these challenges. Whilst, the PERFORM model will help with some of these, we recommend outlining some new guidance or ground rules. For example, 'no emails at midnight', 'be available between 10 am - 2 pm' and 'first five minutes of all meetings will be informal chat check-ins'. Therefore, by setting these ground rules company-wide, you are promoting good behaviours.
We constantly strive to build a better workplace for people, whether that be by providing quality software, webinars, free resources, or through our HR Uprising Podcast. We recently conducted a webinar based on this topic, which you can access here. Why not also take a look at our latest upcoming webinars below?