The uncertain times of the past two years have really changed the way leaders look at their company goals and processes. Some things that were once ignored are now a focus, while others have given way to independent thought.
While there isn’t a consensus on how things should be done differently, one thing is certain: hybrid work models and uncertain markets have propelled entire industries to look beyond the obvious.
Let’s take a look at the most important factors that can help businesses grow in 2022 (and beyond).
1. Traditional Working Schedules
We now have hybrid models, remote-only workers and even digital nomads, who actually work for companies. Less-traditional forms of working are on the rise so much that many are even renoucning their U.S. citizenship to work abroad on a permanent basis.
If your business hasn’t thought about hybrid work models, now is the time to reconsider your options.
There are 6 different hybrid work models:
- Almost entirely off premises – mostly remote work with no office space
- Almost entirely on premises – limited remote work, large office space the majority of managers and workers
- Partially remote work, large office space – the majority of managers and workers spend most, but not all, of their time at the office
- Partially remote work, multiple hubs – multiple offices with the workforce dispersed among them
- Multiple microhubs – management and employees are dispersed across small microhubs located in different cities and countries
- Partially remote work, with flexible office space – no permanent offices; rented flex space used for periodic collaboration (but not connectivity)
Evidently, there is a formula for every business here, since different processes call for different approaches and this is a big plus.
It is essential to understand that many employees are looking for a flexible working schedule and — since hybrid work models and remote work are on the rise — they can and will go elsewhere looking for better job prospects if you fail to accommodate this need.
That’s right. It’s not optional anymore; it has become necessary, for remote workers in particular.
2. Continued Learning
Another big change is that companies are not only encouraging continued learning but some are even paying for it. AR learning is even an option these days as it can help with multiple complex aspects of doing business, such as onboarding, safety training, language learning, etc.
Other traditional and less traditional models are still around, with eLearning and mLearning ruling supreme. People simply like taking things at their own pace, and it is imperative to allow them to learn on their own terms. Information overload is a huge no go these days, especially with all the various learning options available.
3. Bigger Focus on Frontline Teams
Being sure your frontline teams are happy is no longer an afterthought. If companies hope to retain these employees, they must engage them and offer them more support via training and helpful apps, such as GPS time clocks and field service management software.
During the pandemic, many frontline employees have simply left their companies, citing poor management, bad relations, and a lack of high-tech solutions to help them do their jobs properly.
Frontline employees are, just for the record, the first address customers go to when they need info or assistance, so it’s no rocket science that it is imperative to keep these people happy and engaged.
The problem is — common frontline management training consists of theoretical knowledge delivered in a classroom, which is far removed from the reality on the field.
Fortunately, this can be changed for the better. Management is, after all, a defined albeit complex process consisting of a number of steps that have to be properly followed through:
- Customer acquisition – Use marketing, advertising, and promotion
- Estimating & quoting – Estimate a cost and ask for customer feedback
- Task outlining – Divide the job into smaller tasks
- Scheduling – Allocate the necessary resources and staffing +
- Timesheeting – Record employees’ working hours
- Emailing & document exchange – Dispatch documents relevant to the job to stakeholders
- Cost management
- Work-in-progress management
- Reporting – Collect the data for further reference
4. Human Resources
Professional HR staff is of utmost importance for any business. Keeping in mind that there are many techniques to keep employees engaged (one of which is anonymous feedback), a stellar HR team can do a whole lot of things to achieve company goals seamlessly.
In a sense, HR employees keep everyone in sync and promote a positive change.
5. Onboarding Training Is a Must
Continual learning aside, it is important to make sure all employees are on the same page from day one. That’s where onboarding training steps in. Not just any short seminar will do, mind you. You’ll need to properly brainstorm ideas so that the program is easily understandable and yet profound enough to ensure learning is taking place.
New hires shouldn’t be overloaded with information, so providing smaller chunks of knowledge is a good idea.
Companies seem to be taking big strides towards the new era of hybrid work. However, some processes are still obsolete, while others are too forward to be adopted in a couple of days.
A proper balance of measured training, anonymous feedback, new tech, and flexible work schedules is definitely a winning formula, but don’t forget to train your managers to begin with!