Executives and Hybrid Workers: Both Sides Need Balance
“Hybrid is here to stay, as it’s common sense,” points out Lisa Anderson, president of Claremont, CA-based LMA Consulting Group, Inc and manufacturing expert known as the Strongest Link in Your Supply Chain®. “Manufacturers still struggle to find talent across the board. Whether a planner, buyer, or maintenance technician, qualified candidates are sparse.
“People want to contribute to success, yet have flexibility in their daily lives,” Anderson adds. “So hybrid is a commonsense solution. It’s likely to come in many forms, depending on the situation. In manufacturing, hybrid is feasible with the use of advanced technologies. But other solutions will be required. Four-day workweeks are more attractive, so that employees can achieve work-life balance. Leaders will have to step up to figure out how to position their companies for the future instead of dictating the past.”
Talent Scarcity is Pushing Employers Toward Flexibility
“Flexible working arrangements are a fact of life these days,” says Kathleen McEntee, president of Kathleen McEntee and Associates Ltd, who provides a full range of marketing services to privately held organizations. Their messages are straightforward, targeted and cut through the clutter to distinguish their clients from the competition.
“For the most part, they can be practical for both the worker and the employer. Put aside the customer-facing jobs—like in a store and some office jobs—and many employers are realizing the benefits of remote work. Life is complex and busy. A flexible employer retains and attracts the best of the best —especially when good talent is at a premium,” McEntee notes.
“Hybrid arrangements can provide a good balance with benefits to both sides,” she explains. “Yet, managing remote workers requires a different mindset and different skills. Set expectations and guidelines. Maintain accountability. And be flexible. The idea behind hybrid is flexibility and balance. The peace and quiet of working remotely can result in higher productivity, enabling employers to meet tight timelines while having happier employees.”
A Win-Win Situation
The move to hybrid work environments is an opportunity for organizations to explore more productive work models while building employee loyalty, which in turn builds greater customer satisfaction and loyalty, says Linda Popky, president of Redwood Shores, CA-based strategic firm marketing firmLeverage2Market Associates, and author of the bookMarketing Above the Noise: Achieve Strategic Advantage with Marketing That Matters.
“We know that it’s impossible to have happy customers when you have unhappy and frustrated employees. How employees are treated is reflected in their interactions with customers. Those employees who feel an organization values them and is flexible enough to consider their needs will pass that goodwill to customers,” she says.
“There’s no one solution to every work situation. However, the pandemic exposed us to productive ways of working that weren’t even considered possible before. The world is not going back to 2019. Organizations have the ability to build a new working environment that combines the best elements of technology and human interaction. It’s a win-win for everyone,” Popky adds.
The Math Behind Hybrid: 3 Needs over 1 Label
“We need to stop thinking ‘hybrid,’ which is an arbitrary label, and simply thinking about ‘people,’ ” notes SAC Founder Alan Weiss, PhD. “Where they work will be determined by company need, personal need, and customer interactions. That shouldn’t be complicated math. If you can’t manage that, you shouldn’t be running a business.”