It is a fact that COVID-related disruption to the workplace has given rise to a hybrid work model, a flexible arrangement whereby staff are allowed to work some of the time at home and some of the time at the office. But as markets adjust to the post-COVID era, many businesses are struggling to get employees back into the office – but there is a way which, if done correctly, is straightforward and effective, say human capital management experts at CRS Technologies.
The human capital management specialist company has undertaken extensive research and applied its own in-house expertise to compile a list of steps that can help businesses ensure staff return to the office.
One of the biggest obstacles to overcome has been uncertainty… uncertainty in the workplace, among employees, among employers and decision-makers.
Nicol Myburgh, Head: HCM Business Unit at CRS Technologies, says: “Of course, many industries were hit hard with having to initiate crisis management literally overnight and somehow enable remote or offsite work. The stop-start and haphazard frenzy in some industries only worsened uncertainty. That, coupled with the notion of the ‘great resignation’ and the impact of the pandemic on people and movement, meant that employees have been reluctant to return to the office full time.”
Myburgh echoes the sentiment of many labour law experts and human resource managers who believe that while the law allows employers to dismiss staff who defy company rules, there is more business sense in securing the buy-in and loyalty of human resources.
“Key to addressing uncertainty is to have a clear, well-communicated vision and mission – and of course, the strategy in place to achieve this. People need to feel a part of something; they need to understand that their role in the process, their tasks and deliverables are recognised. That is what secures buy-in.”
The situation calls for decisive action, a cool and calm approach to meet any challenges or resistance.
As Myburgh explains, while sense should always prevail, it is equally important that business leaders weed out any resisters or personnel who are obstinate in their flouting of the rules.
“In addition to a vision and strategy, there must be consistency in communication and a proactive approach to follow-ups – every effort must be made to do the ‘checks and balances’. Flexibility is also very important and a good business leader will recognise if and when change is required to the plan, how best to go about this and how to get the very best out of people.”