ChapmanCG was pleased to partner with the Center for Creative Leadership at our recent HR Leader Roundtable in Singapore. Close to 20 HR leaders from various industries and organisations joined us in an interactive discussion on how to Re-imagine Leadership in a Hybrid World.
By now, most of us agree the future of work is hybrid. According to the Work 3.0 – Re-imagining Leadership in a Hybrid World study by the Center for Creative Leadership, over 85% of organisations have already adopted some form of hybrid or flexible work mode. However, only around 50% of these organisations thrive in this new way of working, while others struggle to adapt. While employees may enjoy benefits such as improved mental and financial well-being, there are also potential issues with social well-being due to a lack of in-person interactions. It can be challenging for organisations to maintain their culture and foster a sense of belonging with limited time spent face-to-face.
Is Hybrid Working the Ultimate Solution?
The short answer is no. Although hybrid working has gained popularity, it is not a one-size-fits-all. The success of this approach depends on various factors, including the organisational culture and setup. Establishing the right culture is crucial in determining how work is accomplished, both on a macro and micro scale. Openness, transparency, a collaborative mindset, accountability, and outcome orientation are key to enabling hybrid working. As our panellist Alan Agnew from HSBC pointed out, trust and honesty are essential for employee engagement and organisational fulfilment.
Leadership in the Hybrid World Must Evolve
The role of leaders needs to change to ensure that our people “burn bright” and not “burn out”. The Work 3.0 research referred to “Rockstar hybrid leaders” who often demonstrate a growth mindset and accountability. They are effective communicators who build trust and set the right expectations.
To effectively manage and engage teams, CCL has developed a 4C Model that focuses on:
- Collective Mindset – our belief about working together
- Core – our reason for coming together
- Cohesive Relationships – our approach to working together
- Connection – our work across the organisation and beyond
There is still much to do to improve managers’ skills and listen to employees’ voices, taking into account the workforce’s diversity and paying attention to equity. Some organisations are more advanced in leveraging data to understand more effective ways to drive productivity in the hybrid model. One of our panellists shared how they analysed data to identify they were having 25% to 30% more meetings in the hybrid model and subsequently took action to adjust their meeting culture. Key areas such as performance management also need to be adapted to measure what is achieved and how effectively it is done.
What is the End Game?
With hybrid working evolving rapidly, organisations must adjust and adapt quickly to meet the needs of employees and the business. Employee engagement, productivity, efficiency, impact, business demands, and even the DE&I agenda are essential drivers of this shift. Ultimately, employees must feel supported and trusted to perform at their best. Leaders who can balance productivity, empathy, and empowering decision-making for their employees are likelier to succeed in the post-pandemic world.
One of the day’s highlights was an experimental activity that simulated working in a hybrid team scenario. We divided the audience into two groups and asked them to complete a task while only communicating virtually. This activity was fun and engaging, triggering exciting observations and reflections on the hybrid model’s different leadership and teamwork styles.
We would like to thank Diana Khaitova and Chris Zintel from the Center for Creative Leadership for hosting the session with us. We would also like to thank our panellists, Goki Muthusamy, SVP Head of People Asia Pacific at Visa, and Alan Agnew, Global Head of Talent Acquisition and Talent Management, Commercial Banking, at HSBC, for sharing their valuable insights with us.
We look forward to hosting more opportunities to discuss current trends and best practices with our Singapore and Asia Pacific HR community in the coming months.