19 April 2023

5 ways to Prioritise Employee Experience in Hybrid Working Environments

Author: Beverley Simpson - Ignite Culture Consulting

Hybrid work is here to stay.

According to PwC 74% of Australian employees want hybrid work as part of their ideal work environment. While this statistic paints a compelling picture, employers are becoming increasingly concerned about what hybrid work means for the experience of their people.

As an employer, it’s important to remember that even if your staff are working remotely, they still want to feel like they’re part of a team and benefit from connection with others.

To create the best hybrid work environment for your employees, it’s vital to remember these 5 tips to ensure you don’t sacrifice your employee experience when working in a hybrid environment.

Trust is everything

Without trust hybrid work will fail, it’s that simple.

Building trust in a hybrid environment can feel daunting. We’ve spent a long time learning how to build trust face-to-face, but trust can be achieved and maintained in hybrid work environments too.

Leaders should take time to understand their teams, prioritise asking for feedback, build meaningful avenues for connection and provide their teams with transparency and autonomy.

These actions send powerful messages that encourage trust as a two way street.

Test and learn

You won’t get it right every time, so be prepared to test and learn.

Testing means collecting data, asking the right questions and listening to the answers to make sure you’re really connected to the experience of your people. Be sure that you’re creating frequent opportunities to hear from your people about their experiences and take action on their feedback.

Don’t forget to let your people know how their feedback is being used to shape the experience at your organisation. If you ask for feedback and don’t work on the results, it can have a more negative effect than not asking for the feedback in the first place.


Be intentional

People experience takes intentional effort. It requires thought, feedback, planning and execution.

It means considering the key touch points your people have with the organisation (recruitment, onboarding, key moments like parental or bereavement leave, everyday moments, growth and development and leaving the organisation) and designing intentional experience for each of those moments.

For example – if we know that our candidate experience can be confusing, how can we intentionally design that experience to remove confusion? If we can’t change the processes, can we create more information to help guide people through their experience with us?

Allowing your people experience to be formed organically means risking key moments of connection and impact with your teams.

Provide opportunities for access and visibility

Intuition may tell us that people crave lost connections when moving to a hybrid work environment, when in fact it’s very likely they remain just as connected to those they would have been in face to face environments.

Most of us ate lunch with the same folks every day, when we used to go into offices. Rather than just broad social connection, people are really craving access to opportunities and visibility with senior leaders.

Consider how you can create that access and mitigate proximity bias (out of sight, out of mind) for those who you may see less of than others.

Create your own rituals

Rituals are a key component of culture – what we celebrate, what we reward, what we pause for, when we come together for all form a key part of the experience of our people.

In a hybrid work environment it’s important to consider the rituals that work for our teams and how we’ll bring them to life in the experience of our people.

If celebrating birthdays are important to your team, make that a reason to gather, but do it intentionally – once a quarter to celebrate everyone, rather than once a week when only 2 out of 10 people are in the office.

Hybrid success helps in the office too

Trust, testing, intentionality, visibility and rituals, will put you in the best possible position to create the experiences your team wants, needs and deserves whether you’re working from the office or in a hybrid environment.

Keeping people experience at the heart of your decision making, listening often and being ready to adapt to the needs of your teams is what makes for environments people want to join, stay and tell their mates about!

If you want to talk more about reimagining your people experience with a hybrid workforce in mind get in touch on beverley@igniteculture.com.au