Hybrid team KPIs include joy
As I leave a recent in-person event at the office, I reflect on how this feeling of energy and connection was much more common before the pandemic. I reflect on this fondly. I wonder: will we ever restore the same degree of joy in the workplace? In the same week, I log in from home on my first call at 7 a.m. in a series of back-to-back meetings, and I think, “I’m so thankful that I don’t have to go to the office. today. »
The ultimate challenge facing organizations that welcome employees back into the office is that the value of teamwork is difficult to measure, as productivity is no longer a clear differentiator. In fact, entering the office can be very taxing less productive than spending a working day in your home office. If someone is doing their job, why on earth would a manager (in a tough talent market) jeopardize their employees’ job satisfaction by asking them to go into an office?
But are are we all happy with our jobs right now? According to Gallup’s new State of the Global Workplace report, only 21% of employees are engaged at work. A measly 33% say their overall wellbeing is on the rise. Forty-four percent say they felt a lot of stress just in the day plast. Why is it? Haven’t we embraced a better working model throughout 2020 and 2021, leaning into remote and flexible working approaches? Hasn’t productivity been maintained, or even increased, at all levels? What is missing ?
Looking only at productivity (i.e. doing one’s job) is not the same as job satisfaction, and while it’s extremely tangible to measure as a business goal, looking only labor productivity is short-term and short-sighted. Doing your job does not create bonds, relationships, connectedness, loyalty, trust, or a deeply routed social network, essentially a work community or local ecosystem. I don’t think it’s a stretch to believe that companies that can strengthen all of these areas will become differentiators in their ability to navigate turbulent times, be resourceful, and maintain strong cultural values that drive performance.
When it comes to connection and community at work, we have to be careful we haven’t traded them in for the convenience of remote working too quickly. But how do we do that when remote living has become so coveted (and frankly, for many, now a necessity)? A social community needs nurturing and nurturing, grassroots buy-in and commitment. Organizations will need to focus on this in order to restore joy to work.
Culture starts with people managers
If social media is any indication, our physical disconnection from other humans at work can only lead to more discontent and isolation over time. The office had its upsides and downsides, but if we’re going to stem the flow of The Great Resignation employees — and reverse engagement-related trends — we need to be able to identify the upsides of what really were these offices. we. Surveys like this, which show Gen Z to be the least fulfilled and unhappy working generation, indicate that we shouldn’t just be looking ahead.
So what can managers do to reinforce the importance of connection and community? I think it starts with embracing the idea that the definition of “manager” has really evolved. Of course, a manager will always be responsible for his team’s business objectives and KPIs. But today, just as important, perhaps even more important, is the responsibility to foster greater belonging and greater purpose. There obviously won’t be a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to employee engagement and wellbeing (even try asking your team to decide whether they prefer Zoom or Teams), but there are some fundamental truths by which we can work.
In the aforementioned Gallup study, the authors mention that the biggest source of burnout is still some version of “unfair treatment at work.” Respondents cite unmanageable workloads, unclear communication, lack of support and unreasonable time constraints. All of these arrows point in one direction: uUp towards managers.
The point is, while it’s hard to predict what will work for employees in all areas when it comes to hybrid work environments, it’s important to remember that, above all else, people just want be treated fairly and understood. Gallup goes so far as to say that a manager’s effect is so great that they can predict 70% of the variance in team engagement just by getting to know the boss.
So when thinking about what employees want and how to set them up for a successful future, be sure to consider the key factors that can lead to burnout and dissatisfaction. Because unity starts with making sure everyone understands and accepts their role, and feels like a valued member of the team.
To be clear, remote work is a blessing we’ve all needed, and clearly it’s here to stay for a very good reason. Those of us who have worked in offices are well aware that sharing a physical space with someone five days a week doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll speak to them in a meaningful way, let alone form a close relationship. We need to drive intent and purpose when looking at when, where, and how employees connect with each other. The desktop alone doesn’t accomplish this – it just historically made it easier.
If leaders adhere to an overarching philosophy of empowerment and collaboration, which leaves room for understanding and individualization, they can work with employees to balance Needs next to wanna. They can lead with the perspective that they are not there to manage people, but rather to enable the success of the crew.
It’s about bringing together the best parts of in-person engagements (community-building activities) and the best parts of working remotely (supporting individual needs) – combining them into something that, overall, all the world can buy and derive value. It basically boils down to this: people need to understand Why they are told what to do and, if possible, they would like to be empowered to have a say inside.
This may sound confusing and vague, because what I’m saying is that there is no magic formula for what the future of work looks like. But that’s the good news. This means that leaders, in partnership with their teams, set their own rules based on what actually works for them. The core message of these conversations can be, “We don’t know all the answers, but let’s have fun trying to figure out what it means to us.” Trying and accepting some failures, false starts, returns and iterations is part of any innovation process.
At SAP, we have embraced our “Pledge to Flex”, a philosophy to enable employees to work in a way that meets their own needs in alignment with organizational goals. We support with guidelines, fundamentals and resources and from there, we empower team members to develop their own hybrid working arrangement plans.
Then I can see that going to work becomes a bit like going to training. You may not be motivated to do it at first, but it will make you feel good, and if you do it enough, you will start to see results.
What I hope is included in every team plan is the KPI of joy. Let’s not forget what it’s like to build a community around us to engage in the joy of work.
Megan Smith is Head of Human Resources for SAP North America.