LEAP into the Hybrid Workplace: Designing the New Employee Experience 

This feature is the second in a four-part blog series, LEAP into the Hybrid Workplace, where we’ll focus in on the topics that will help you get clear on how to move forward in the new era of work. Missed the first article on Listening and want to catch up? You can read it here. 

Designing significant moments for today’s talent looks a little different. 

Things have changed rapidly in the way of work experience and what teams need to get the job done, while remaining connected. Virtually overnight, we’ve transitioned into the next era of work, but some things are still fundamental and just need a bit of an update. 

Designing an employee experience in the hybrid or dynamic workplace, requires looking into how we can empower people to design their day for ultimate productivity, as well as their overall wellbeing. This includes mapping your employee experience for seamless access to the tools they’ll need along the way, but also thinking about new ways for your team to nurture their relationships. If you’re looking to increase employee satisfaction, whether in-person or digitally, having space for belonging and community is strongly advised. 

While your key moments along the employee journey are still the same in theory (memorable experiences or milestones, like onboarding for example), it’s important they become digitally accessible. This keeps you agile and ready to accommodate talent, no matter where they’re located. 

The reality is, hiring for fit is taking rank over a candidate’s physical location or market, and remote positions are becoming far more common (or at least are a popular selling point for many job seekers). The new Employee Experience needs to be flexible and easy-to-use, from anywhere, anytime.  

Work is not a place, it’s what we do.
Giving your team the autonomy to choose office, home, or elsewhere on a day-to-day basis is just one way to tell your team that you trust them to make good decisions about how and when they are most productive.  

Here’s the thing – the better employees feel about their work, the more motivated they tend to be. Creating spaces, whether they be digital or physical, that team members can experience belonging, feel safe, have open dialog with their leader, and access to important resources, all go a long way.   

Internal engagement and ‘watercooler moments’ are still really, really important. 

Fauzia Moorani, Ignite Collaboration Adoption Educator, plays a huge part in keeping our team engaged, despite our company’s geographic spread. When she joined the company in January, 2020, Ignite had a well-established fantasy sports program (there are some pretty epic trophies).  

And while Fauzia normally wouldn’t be a fan, the leagues were so popular with the staff that she signed up simply to build relationships and get to know her teammates on a more personal level. “I enjoyed it enough that I’m back for a second season!” she says.  

Ignite is a Cisco house, so we make good use of Webex Spaces for our internal engagement activities and initiatives. Our ‘General’ channel serves as our spot to share company-wide news, updates, notes from our leadership team, and as hubs for the team to socialize digitally (reimagining those watercooler moments).  

We like using clear topic titles for the Spaces, like: Cooking with Ignite (delish and hunger-inducing), Ignite ROCKS (shred-worthy memes and playlist shares), Laugh Out Loud or Vacation Inspiration. And of course, we have Spaces for each of our dedicated groups like Book Club, Chess Club and Toastmasters to keep participants informed on important topics and events.  

At Ignite, we have a diverse talent base with numerous skills. This is great news for engagement at our company, because we have team members who are passionate about a variety of things that they’re often willing to share with their peers.  

We have a chess master, at least two authors, a mountain-biker and professional speakers, as just some examples. Who does your team have? Find those people and see if they’d be interested in helping with an event or workshop on the topic you know they love. Those folks will be your golden ticket to internal engagement if you can give them the platform to do it from.  

Webex recently acquired Sli.do, an amazing integration for polling and other interactive elements that help foster an inclusive culture and make your meetings so much more engaging. You can see that in action on October 7 at 2 p.m. ET in our live panel discussion, LEAP into the Hybrid Workplace – space is limited, reserve your seat today. 

Recognition inspires loyalty, extends the employee lifecycle.  

Last but certainly not least, employee recognition is something that people remember, for better or worse. If you don’t acknowledge your team when they go above and beyond, you risk losing the best retention tool around. A sense of security in their contribution to the team, encouraging them and keeping them motivated to keep doing great work. 

You could start off by just creating a Space, or a group in your go-to communication channel, and kick things off by tagging a co-worker and thanking them for a recent contribution.  

No matter your industry, “the workplace” has changed for you and your team this year. Everyone’s circumstances are different, but no matter where or when your team needs to work, having a consistent, accessible workflow is absolutely fundamental, but please, don’t forget to give the company places to connect.   

Join us on Oct. 7 for our live panel discussion with experts across Tech and HR that will help uncover what hybrid work means for you and your team.  

Sarah Allen
~ Sarah Allen, Ignite Collaboration Content Coordinator