Blend it like Beckham – 7 Super Secrets of Hybrid Working

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Well, it appears the New World of Work (WOW ) has got a lesson or two to learn from the great David Beckham, when it comes to adopting a rich and fully blended approach to business AND life.

He’s famous for wearing a whole host of interesting and diverse hats – as a model, trend-setter, brand guru, actor, presenter and human rights activist, not to mention his standing as one of the best English footballers of all time.

So it seems, we all need to ‘Blend it like Beckham’, because the world is ready for a hybrid approach to daily working life, as we emerge from the dark tunnel that was COVID-19, to ensure we rekindle our spice for life – both at work and home in 2021.

Apparently, 77% of UK employees say a mix of office-based and remote working is the optimal solution for working life this year, given what the pandemic has done to us these last 12 months – and employers seem to agree.

Employee Experience (EX) has actually done quite well out of this awful situation, because far more attention has been given to the needs of our frontline staff during this long period of juggling work and home life within the same location – and many organisations have enjoyed increased ENPS scores as a result, with employees reporting renewed commitment to the job; enhanced loyalty and greater motivation, because they’ve felt more valued and cared for.

Now, employers are looking ahead to what they can do for their staff, to ensure a smooth and seamless transition into this new flexible approach to work, in order to maintain this renewed vigour – where it’s going to become AS important that we measure employee satisfaction, as we measure customer satisfaction.

And I for one, am delighted to learn this. As I’ve always said, a good football manager would never put the health & wellbeing of their fans above that of their players – and it’s a good analogy in my opinion.

Happy staff = Happy Customers as we all know.

So, today I’m sharing my 7 SUPER SECRETS for ensuring our employees can enjoy the best of both worlds in this new hybrid approach to working life AND continue to enhance both their own experience and that of our customers (WIN-WIN ).

7 SUPER SECRETS TO SUCCESSFUL HYBRID WORKING

1. Make it a hard & fast RULE that there must be at least 30 mins between meetings (especially if they’re being held virtually) so that diaries are not overwhelmed with wall-to-wall appointments.

2. Agree ONE day per week when there’s to be NO internal emailing – if anyone needs to contact a colleague, they must pick up the phone, live chat them or where possible – go visit them in person.

3. When working from home, ensure at least ONE Team Meeting in the month is a WALKING one – encourage staff to don their trainers and plug in their ear-pods and carry out the team huddle while doing your group exercise class together (British weather permitting, obviously )

4. Arrange at least ONE social activity each week (virtually or actually), to maintain team spirit and synergy and allow the team to contribute ideas. Wherever & whenever possible, make these social activities fit within the normal working day or shift – so that staff feel more encouraged to join in and don’t feel pressurised to be involved in extra-curricula activities that might detract them from their home life (perhaps the last hour of the working day on a Friday?)

5. Set up ‘open-comm’ forums with senior managers (virtually or actually) whereby ONCE a month, someone from the SMT or ELT holds an ‘open-house’ forum or chat room where staff can dial in or log on or attend in person and ask questions on set topics each month.

Or even use this forum to encourage staff to come forward with ideas for improvement – deliver a presentation on a MAD (Make A Difference) project they’ve been working on and set up a Dragons Den style panel of stakeholders to appraise the idea, ensuring at least ONE member of the panel has the authority to approve / sign-off a viable MAD idea that’s been put forward.

6. Introduce a formal R&R scheme that relates directly to performance, whereby points or stars or virtual coupons can be accumulated for achieving target / KPIs / SOPs etc. and award monthly or quarterly prizes for STAR PERFORMER of the month or quarter.

Or set up a 100% Club, whereby membership is awarded (and maintained) when 100% QUALITY scores have been achieved consistently over a set period of time (1 week / 10 days / 1 month etc.) and include specific privileges / benefits for 100% club members. You can even have different levels of membership in the 100% club – from starter level to lifer level

NB. Prizes don’t have to be costly or even physical things – a month’s worth of a cup of costa coffee each morning or an early dart or late start for a week or even extra ‘down-time’ when homeworking for that month – all these low-cost-high-value rewards can help recognise star performers just as effectively as the more common rewards of vouchers or wine, pizza or cinema tickets.

And of course, these R&R schemes can be tailored to suit the business area – sales or service.

7. Set up formal wellbeing activities that enhance our Employee’s Experience (EX) and aid team-building & team-bonding e.g.

– Coffee & Catch-up sessions (15 mins before the day starts / via video-chat / provide free delivery coffee service e.g. Caffé Nero offer this via Uber Eats

– Organise Fun At Work (www.funatwork.co.uk) activity boxes to be sent to staff’s homes in preparation for a fun teambuilding activity to start or end the working day

– Arrange for a weekly HIIT or LBT or Yoga class to be delivered (virtually or onsite) and invite the team to join in for a free 30-45-min workout with their colleagues

– Agree a daily stretch routine to start the day / shift (virtually or actually) where every member of the team completes each stretch at the same time, in the same way and finish the 5 min routine with one BIG breath in and one BIG breath out and a round of applause, to set the intention for the day. You can find a host of great stretching routines, ideal for frontline teams here: www.callcentrehelper.com

– Set up a 10 min group meditation session (first thing in the morning or last thing in the day) using resources from YouTube or get the Headspace app or download Mindfulness activities from the Mind website (www.mind.org.uk)

– Have a LAUGH! Check out Celeste’s 20 min Zoom Laughter Yoga session on YouTube

or go to https://laughtertherapy.org.uk … and book a team Zoom session for just £49.

Laughter is DEFINITELY the best medicine in times of challenge and change.

– Once a month, arrange a Nosh & Natter get-together (virtually or actually) and get a pizza delivery or take a look at the new Uber Eats for Business site if everyone is homeworking on a given day and spend a lunchtime noshing and nattering together!

Working life may never be the same again (and that may well prove to be a really GOOD thing) and as leaders, we must ensure that this new hybrid approach to the World of Work (WOW!) enables our staff to feel confident and comfortable to continue to give of their best, as Brand Ambassadors of our organisation.

This way, we’ll ensure that both our customers’ experience AND that of our frontline staff, is continually being enhanced – WIN WIN

Until next time – keep ‘Blending it Like Beckham’ and stay FIT

Best regs

Marie X

Hello... I'm Marie Cross

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