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Hybrid Teams – Part III – Value, Training, & Retention

Previously in this series, we discussed what hybrid teams are, how companies benefit from them, and some of the tools necessary to successfully implement a hybrid model. In this final article, we’ll explore retention, needed training, and cost vs. value to this business strategy.

Recruitment and Retention

In 2021, four million people in the U.S. quit their jobs.  About 20% of them said it was due to lack of flexibility in the work schedule.  Globally, 54% of workers said they would consider quitting if they weren’t permitted some flexibility, post-pandemic (Parallels). Considering those numbers, companies with a hybrid model might have an advantage in recruiting and retaining new employees.

Recruiting New Employees

Since more people are looking for hybrid work options, recruiting new employees can be as easy as posting the job.  As you look at recruiting, important factors to consider is whether workers need to be within commuting distance from a central work location.   Can they live in an entirely different time zone and a different country?  The more flexible in these factors, the larger the talent pool to draw from.

Retention

Retaining employees is critically important to any company.  With the flexibility of a hybrid model employee satisfaction increases significantly.  Employee engagement also goes up, so productivity and performance increases.  High employee satisfaction and employee engagement results in a high employee retention rate.  With the high cost of recruiting, retention is critical to keep a company moving forward.

Training

While the hybrid model has many benefits, training is a crucial part of the process. Cali Williams Yost, Flex+Strategy Group CEO, says, “Organizations that blame flexibility for their performance challenges risk missing out on the very business gains they’re trying to achieve.” Flexibility isn’t the problem—lack of training is to blame. While most remote or hybrid employees enjoy their flexibility, 57% report that they received no training. Workers need “meaningful training on how to strategically use flexibility, technology, and workspace options to work smarter,” says Yost (Facility Executive). 

Virtual training is a low cost and high impact tool for hybrid teams.  Using the right technology for training is as critical as having a training program.  Video conferencing/meeting technology is not designed for learning or engagement.  Using specific virtual learning tools, like Jigsaw Interactive, ensures trainers can produce a learning experience that each participant can personalize and easily engage.

Cost vs. Value

Understanding what a hybrid model looks like and seeing the interpersonal and productivity benefits is one thing, but cost is also a concern. Do hybrid teams realize real savings? Are they worth it?

The biggest and most obvious savings are in real estate costs. When more people work from home, less office space is necessary. However, businesses will also need to learn how to use the space they have more efficiently. Many companies have organized their spaces using shared workrooms and fewer desks. While studies show that full-time remote work can save companies an average of $10,000 per employee per year, employers can reap many of these same cost savings with a hybrid model (Office Space).

Companies that utilize the hybrid model have seen rapid growth, while companies that require all employees to physically show up to work have seen little, no, or even negative growth (Andy Sto).

There are many work structure models and the model you choose depends largely on the nature of your business.  Some version of a hybrid model might be the right fit for your company.   The first step is understanding what your employees want, and what your turnover rate is that’s attributable to employees wanting a more flexible work model.  Implementing a hybrid team model has numerous benefits that range from productivity and interpersonal connectivity to employee retention and major cost savings.  No matter which way you look at it, a hybrid work team is worth considering. 

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