Personalized customization essential
“Optimal hybrid working requires customization. Of course, we work from a central policy that is in full development, but by applying customization precisely at the job level, or even at the person level, you can get the most out of the employees. Our standard is that people should spend 60% of their working hours at the office, preferably in consultation with the team in which they work. For the time being, this only applies to full-time employees. Part-time employees have their appointments tailored to them. We think it is important to enter into a dialogue with the employees. We would like them to flourish optimally in the job they perform. The way in which and the location from which they work contribute enormously to this, of course.
The role of the HR manager has changed. Normally I was in daily contact with the employees in the office. Of course, with hybrid working, this has changed enormously. The human side of HR has become even more important. This human-centered way of leadership also flows into the way managers and team leaders manage their teams.
Like many organizations, we are making a transition from controlling to empathic and connecting leadership. There is room for autonomy, but you can call each other to account for their own responsibility. I fully believe in this. I notice that many managers have found their niche. Still, they sometimes look for ways to keep a grip on the employees. This is also different for the people in the operation (mostly in the car parks) than for the employees in the head office. Within the possibilities that are available, we advise managers to steer by responsibility and we ask them to listen carefully to what an employee says. After all, employees are the capital in this tight labor market.
Task force for promoting core values
Because we work hybrid in various positions and many colleagues speak less face to face, it is a challenge to safeguard the corporate culture. In order to achieve this, we have revitalized our core values on the basis of our long-term strategy.
Core values often say a lot about the organization, but we also want it to be felt internally. Everyone interprets values in their own way, which is why we want to give direction to this in our growing organization.
In order to achieve this, we have set up a Taskforce. This is a multidisciplinary team, with employees from different layers within the organization. By appointing role models from each layer within the organization, we expect to create more support. After all, they are also at the heart of the operation. With this team we want to ensure that, in a year’s time, everyone in middle management knows, recognizes and embraces the core values. Within a year, we want to bring recognition and some understanding of the core values to the employees in the car parks. We do this by working from strategic pillars that the Taskforce members, in consultation with each other, get to shape. They determine the ‘how’ within the pillars. The outlines have been determined by the management, but the Taskforce team is free to give it its own interpretation.
Extra attention for new colleagues
The human factor is extremely important if you want to safeguard the corporate culture. We also include new colleagues in this. A good induction program and clear guidance contribute to this. For Corona we regularly organized a Meet & Greet at the head office. Employees from as far away as Groningen and Limburg attended. In accordance with government guidelines, we will resume these Meet & Greets as soon as possible.
Trainen with E-learnings
In addition, we have recently developed our own e-learnings using Microsoft tooling, for example on privacy legislation. This allows us to train and test employees in a low-threshold, yet professional manner. We want to expand these e-learnings so that we can use them for all departments and give people insight into all the functions that exist within the organization, as well as highlighting other relevant topics such as service orientation.
An e-learning will also be linked to the core values program. With this we can inform employees and directly test where they stand. There are no consequences, but it does give us insight into how far we have got in the process.
Spontaneous meetings the biggest challenge
Encouraging spontaneous meetings is more difficult in a hybrid situation. Outside your own team, it is sometimes a matter of chance who you meet at the office. We are thinking carefully about how we can best facilitate this without making people feel forced. In the beginning we were still energized by online get-togethers, escaperooms, etc. But now employees crave social contact and we realize how valuable colleagues are. The social aspect of work is necessary for success. We are still looking for the right balance between working at home and at the office. Fortunately, we have already been able to organize a nice get-together and in the regions we are also encouraging the organization of a team outing as soon as this is allowed again.
Listening and co-creatie
When you need to work optimally hybrid as an organization, it asks a lot from an organization. It’s not just about having the right materials, but a policy that is comfortable for everyone. As HR, it is important that we continue to listen to the needs of our employees while remaining as close as possible to the organizational strategy. You often hear that the best ideas are thought up at management level but that these are totally unrelated to the operation itself. HR is often to blame for this. By entering into co-creation with the staff, you know what’s going on and you know what they need. Of course you have to keep thinking strategically, but it also has to connect with the target group. Getting to know the playing field, between management and employee, and making optimal use of it is the coolest thing about the HR profession in this hybrid age.”
Want to know how others do it
Also read our interview with Dory van Marwijk HR business partner at Remobis Refund Service.