BID® Daily Newsletter
Apr 21, 2022

BID® Daily Newsletter

Apr 21, 2022

Integrating Hybrid Work With Strong Company Culture

Summary: Hybrid working has fast become a reality, with nearly six out of 10 Americans who are able to work remotely already doing so. With the immediate technological and operational challenges largely met, community financial institutions now need to consider how to adapt recruitment, career development, and employee training to support hybrid working demands, while preserving solid company culture.

Salsola ryanii, a type of tumbleweed that can reach up to 6ft high, has rapidly spread across California, displacing two smaller species. The key factor behind this new type of tumbleweed’s success is that it’s a stronger and faster-growing hybrid of the other species.
Like the fast-spreading, hybrid tumbleweed, hybrid working has rapidly increased and is now firmly planted in many businesses. According to a report from Pew Research, roughly six out of 10 US workers whose tasks can be done at home are now doing them remotely all or most of the time. What’s more, 61% of employees are actively choosing to work remotely — even where they have the option to work from company premises.
While the initial response to this rapidly changing working landscape focused on technological and operational solutions to maintain productivity on a day-to-day basis, organizations now need to think long term. Integrating the right recruitment, development, and training practices can help ensure future success in this new, hybrid world.
Here are five strategies that can enable community financial institutions (CFIs) to enhance business performance and employee retention, while maintaining cohesive company culture.
1. Reassess jobs with fresh eyes. Review your institution’s job positions with fresh eyes to see where you could pull from a larger geographical area. Could a relationship manager cover a larger territory (and more customers) with a hybrid or remote work schedule? Which branches need more in-person personnel and which ones rely more on technological support? Asking these types of questions could open up your talent pool substantially, while still supporting the business and your culture.
CFIs recruiting from a wider geographical range can also significantly reduce staff costs, including real estate outlays, turnover costs, and absenteeism. Global Workplace Analytics calculates that companies can save $20K-$37K per employee annually for full-time remote employees. Of course, the cost-benefit analysis needs to be done to ensure that customer needs are still being served appropriately.
2. Focus on trait-based hiring. CFIs should seek candidates with values and behaviors that align with and enhance their institution’s culture, rather than being overly focused on experience and background. Skills can be taught, while certain prized traits would maintain the cohesiveness of your institution’s culture.
3. Provide career development plans. Unfortunately, hybrid or remote employees may sometimes feel “out of sight, out of mind.” However, if you have well-developed career development paths for these employees, they can take comfort in knowing they are valued employees. This means providing growth opportunities and upskilling or reskilling, where necessary, to successfully traverse through these career plans. Checking in with hybrid employees on their progress is important too to ensure they understand next steps and key milestones to hit as well.
4. Rethink the information flow for onboarding and training. These days, information flows through multiple channels and is often asynchronous. It is easy to continue with this efficient use of digital channels for training and onboarding. However, to build greater inclusion and preserve a cohesive culture, CFIs should try to balance digital onboarding and training with in-person meetings. While many employees appreciate the flexibility of digital, asynchronous information, direct face time builds a broader sense of culture.
5. Update customer service training. Finally, CFIs may need to adopt new training methods to get the best from remote or hybrid workers in customer-facing roles. This could include building empathy with customers in a virtual way and ensuring they are able to look after vulnerable, less digitally-able customers.
Looking to the future, CFIs need to adapt recruiting, career development, and training for a hybrid world. Yet, maintaining and fostering your institution’s culture strengthens your invaluable human resources. Finding the right balance will be necessary to stay competitive in today’s hybrid world.
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