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How To Prepare Your HR Department For Employee Feedback In A Hybrid Work Culture

17 January, 2022
5 mins

Are you wondering how can your organization fetch authentic, honest, and valuable feedback in a climate when some of your employees are at home, some are at the workplace sporadically and others onsite full time?  Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Feedback is the fuel that drives employees’ engagement and productivity forward, which in turn helps to compel the organization towards the desired results. Just like you, many leaders are burdened with the dilemma of how to prepare the HR department for employee feedback in a hybrid work culture? Continue reading further to find out!

There’s already a long-standing concern with how organizations approach employee feedback. The concern wasn’t just about how organizations take the feedback but also about how they value it. When it came to employee feedback, some organizations take it to be a suggestion box placed in an unattended corner of their workplace while some send out a survey form including tons of questions that are too general to surface any problem of the employee. Now, throw in the challenge of the employees working in hybrid or remote set up and this approach becomes even more disengaging and irrelevant, right? Organizations have to take the step of creating a whole new series of processes and approaches to tackle this hindrance.

Hybrid Work Culture

Source: Pexels

As organizations pivoted towards a completely remote working process at the initial levels of the pandemic, organizations started scheduling way too many zoom check-in meetings to take the feedback from their employees. Little did they know, having remote feedback meetings multiple times a week made the employees feel that they were being micromanaged and their leaders didn’t trust them. So, this approach went down the drain and you’d want to improve the engagement and convenience of your employees, and not the other way round. And don’t make the mistake of thinking that that hybrid culture is just a fag that is gradually diminishing. 

As per the Accenture Future of Work Study for the year 2021: 

a) 83% of employees interviewed favor the hybrid work model

b) 87% of the leaders are willing to provide their employees with more flexibility than pre-pandemic

c) Only 23% of the leaders expected their offices to be the primary venue for work

d) 63% of the highly-growing organizations have entitled productivity anywhere models to their employees

e) 16% of the organizations globally have already switched to a fully remote setup and the number is only expected to grow

Evidently, the momentum has shifted towards a hybrid work culture. As organizations have started to reopen gradually again, hybrid work culture will remain to be the new norm as employees want to enjoy the benefits of both working from home and in the office on weekly basis. 

Challenges & concerns of collecting feedback

The employee feedback approach isn’t valued as it should be. A study found that 36% of the employees reported that their organization either doesn’t have a program for feedback or they aren’t aware if they use it. Moreover, 37% of the employees reported that their organization doesn’t operate with an open-door policy or have a policy that they don’t uphold. 

Which is the department that oversees the efforts for employee feedback? Right, it’s the HR department that traditionally gets allotted a lower budget when compared to other departments as they are not deemed to be the revenue drivers for the organizations. This establishes a state of affairs where highly talented employees responsible for recruiting, hiring, and training for the organization are impoverished for funds and time. What does it lead to? The employee feedback approach falls down the priority list for the organization. 

If this wasn’t enough, the disruption due to the pandemic has added another variable for soliciting feedback from your employees. Organizations that were already finding it challenging to maintain and increase their employee engagement now must do so but when some or none of their employees are physically present in the same place together. 

Steps to prepare your hr department for employee feedback in a hybrid work culture

1. Understand the value and effort of employee feedback

There are heaps of value covered in soliciting employee feedback and surfacing their concerns. It doesn’t do any good when an employee or employer pretends that the need for feedback doesn’t exist or ignores it when it comes up. In today’s time, social media is serving as a public platform where employees have been exposing the personal issues they have seen go unresolved or ignored completely. This has made organizations more intrigued to know what’s going on in their work climate and address the issues to boost their employee experience and engagement. 

2. Go anonymous

Rather than fearing anonymous feedback or knowing what to acquire from it, you have to make your HR departments cognizant of the value the anonymous feedback brings. As per Forbes, 74% of the employees will be more willing to share their feedback if it was truly anonymous. This is because many employees are naturally reluctant to share feedbacks when their identity is attached to it, fearing the biggest workplace issue – retaliation. For the purpose of fostering a truly engaging and psychologically safe organizational culture, you need to provide channels for anonymous feedback. This has become even more significant as teams have shifted to hybrid work culture. 

3. Shift to digital

The shift towards digital is happening at a rapid pace. Just like your other teams, your HR department needs to be provisioned with digital tools to not just better streamline their workload, but also for serving your employees in a finer manner – especially the ones working remotely. Digitalization in HR can consist of digital onboarding and training, digital-e signed documents, virtual interviews, and hiring. Moreover, your HR departments can leverage the data to make more data-driven judgments. In the hybrid work culture, shiting your HR department to digital platforms has become more than necessary if you don’t want your employee engagement and productivity to be curbed.  

4. Make it engaging 

Feedback tops the list of employee engagement. Do your employees feel engaged in the organization and understand how meaningful their efforts are in making the organization achieve its mission? Do they feel physically and psychologically safe to give their all to their roles? Do they experience any kind of concerns or barricades that prevent them from giving their feedback or getting engaged with the organization? And do they feel comfortable enough to inform you about it? Unresolved problems in the workplace, even in a remote workplace too can result in the disengagement of employees. Do you know that disengaged employees cost the US more than $550 billion per year? Yes, so go on and make your employee feedback as engaging as possible! 

Everyone in your organization contributes to the process of employee feedback, especially the HR department. Even though it will take a few efforts to prepare your HR department for employee feedback in a hybrid culture, all the efforts will be worth it as they will ultimately enhance your work culture and employees’ well-being. So don’t keep waiting and reach out to us for all your organizational engagement and employee feedback requirements.