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Upskilling crucial for Hybrid working

Jonathan Mohadeb LysobyckiHead of International Projects at Cegos Group

As the pandemic subsides and relative normality returns to the business world, the way we work and how we meet other challenges – economic, climate, diversity and inclusion – will define our success.

One of the major shifts that has happened as a direct result of the health crisis is the move towards hybrid working. Many professionals saw the value of working from home and wish to continue enjoying the benefits, at least in part.

The challenges of hybrid

Few would argue, however, that we should do away with face-to-face working altogether. Whilst the flexibility of working from home has its advantages, some work is better done while in the same space as others, not to mention the fact that we can communicate more effectively face-to-face than we can digitally.

Hybrid working is certainly becoming more popular. Yet it brings with it a whole new set of challenges. For example, how do employees manage their work when they spend some days in the office and others at home? How do managers keep their people motivated? Do employees have the skills to manage their time to make hybrid working effective?

New white paper

All these challenges, and more, are addressed in our latest white paper – Upskilling for Hybrid Work: Empower your talent to succeed in the new world. In it, we explore how to meet the many demands of hybrid working and how to make it work for every organisation.

Upskilling plays a major part in making hybrid working a success. When both managers and employees understand how to navigate the hybrid world effectively, they will continue to be productive, perhaps more so.

Training benefits

So, how exactly can companies benefit by training their staff to work in the hybrid environment?

1) Talent Retention

The joint phenomenon of The Great Resignation and The Great Reshuffle have made employers focus more on the wellbeing and motivation of their staff. However, this can be a significant challenge in the hybrid environment.

Jobs have evolved in the hybrid context and people need to feel confident in the role they perform,” says Carolina Gracia Morena, Project Manager and Design Consultant at Cegos. “Being supported by their manager and the company to develop work-related skills is key to attract and retain talent. Developing careers plans based on employees’ motivations is not only beneficial for their engagement but also to meet the operational goals linked to the company strategy.”

It is worth noting, too, that simply offering the option of hybrid working is key to talent retention.

2) Work and Time Management

The flexibility that comes with working from home or in other remote locations is certainly attractive to many employees. But juggling the workload when you are not able to meet face-to-face with colleagues – or face other distractions such as small children, procrastination activities, etc. – risks affecting productivity.

Training your people to work effectively in the hybrid environment can actually increase productivity. A case study in the white paper showcases how a digital learning simulation – HYBRIDLAND – teaches people best practices while engaging them through gamification.

The hybrid world encourages professional mobility. It is no longer about working at the company near my house,” says Mario Stofenmacher, Development Director at Cegos Spain. “Now I can choose to work in companies much further away. That is why creating commitment and professional bonding can no longer be linked only to salary. It must go further. Training and professional development must become the lever that drives corporate commitment.”

3) Leading a Hybrid Team

The ‘top-down’ leadership style is fast becoming obsolete. However, leadership today is more challenging when mixing real and digitals worlds. It requires a set of skills such as being able to motivate people in the virtual world as well as manage people who may not always be accessible.

To overcome these challenges, leaders should learn to delegate to their teams effectively, so that they can be more autonomous and take the initiative. This requires a level of trust, along with other interpersonal skills – such as empathy and influence – that too many managers lack. Building trust and credibility is fundamental to successful management in the hybrid environment.

Both managers and other professionals have to change their mindset,” says Silvia Martinelli, Regional Manager & International Projects Manager at Cegos Italy. “First of all, trust should form the basis of relationships between managers and their teams. Remote meetings and collaborations are good, but schedule some time to meet together face-to-face, too.”

4) Multicultural Considerations

When managing or dealing with colleagues in an international setting, professionals must learn to communicate effectively. This means taking into account cultural sensitivities as well as organising messaging in a way that is accessible to everybody, depending on the audience.

For example, it may be better to communicate something visually rather than using too much text. Or perhaps the audience prefers messaging that is direct, while others like something more gentle and polite. Global companies should aim to upskill their people to ensure that have strong communication skills. It is also a good idea to make intercultural skills a criterion for hiring.

5) Role of L&D

As we have seen, upskilling is central to enabling productivity in the hybrid working environment. As such, Learning & Development managers have a big role to play in making sure current and future employees have the skills to make it work.

L&D need to build an organisational learning culture, supporting learning within a hybrid workforce and embedding learning into the flow of work. They should also focus on leadership development, along with mental health and wellbeing.

Equipping people with business training is essential to any business strategy,” says Carolina Gracia Morena. “Instead of letting employees learn from free online resources, business training allows organisations to promote key messages and align the training to their leadership models.”

No matter what happens in the future, hybrid working is here to stay. More and more people who can work remotely will demand the option to do so, as organisations and individuals get used to working in this way.

That is why it is beneficial to upskill or reskill people now, so they are equipped to manage their workflow effectively and take advantage of all the benefits that hybrid working brings – for themselves, and for the organisation.

If you are interested to learn more about how to upskill your workforce for the world of hybrid work, download a free copy of our whitepaper "Upskilling for Hybrid Work" here.

Written by

Jonathan Mohadeb Lysobycki

His mission consists in ensuring we provide our global clients the L&D solutions they need to boost their results. Jonathan works to create synergies across our teams, fostering international collaboration, harmonizing ways of working and sharing best practices. His job, with the Cegos' team is to effectively decode our clients’ stakes and challenges, define the best learning strategy and programmes and safely deploy them worldwide.In other words: identifying and deploying the learning solutions that will improve our clients’ business results, talent engagement and upskilling/reskilling.
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