While the epidemic is still redefining the hybrid look, the Microsoft HR team is already using the lessons learned.

With more than 175,000 employees in 74 countries, Microsoft faced a huge human challenge when the epidemic began early last year, և the world of work has largely moved to a more remote environment. From creating a virtual environment to meeting the rapidly changing needs of employees, Microsoft HR professionals have been working since then to manage what is likely to be the “biggest change” in most employees’ careers, says Amy Coleman, vice president of corporate. HR և corporate functions at Microsoft.

Although the pace of change has challenged HR more than ever, it has already learned a number of lessons. In fact, while preparing for his presentation at the Next Practices Now conference of the Institute for Corporate Productivity, which will take place on November 3, this spring, with an individual component, Coleman came up with 25 insights that Microsoft has already learned from change. for remote և hybrid work.

Eventually, he reduced the list to 10.

1. Strong culture counteracts chaos. For the past six years, Microsoft has been on a journey to transform its culture, and that work has been vital to the epidemic. “Culture is being tested in times of crisis,” he said. “Ours helped us anchor.” Three aspects of Microsoft culture have become “guiding stars” over the past year and a half. At the bottom line, for example, when retail stores were to close early in the epidemic, Microsoft developed an emergency remote control model that enabled 80% of retailers to provide virtual training to customers while meeting customer needs while retaining employees. salary.

2. The welfare of employees has taken on a new meaning. HR leaders have always understood the value of being committed to employee well-being, but struggled for a long time to attract attention, and then came the epidemic when business leaders could no longer deny the priority of well-being. While many employers noticed increased productivity, employees were paid less, worked overtime, suffered from burnout, and suffered from stress. To address the problem, Microsoft began changing its messages, renaming its “sick days” as “illness և in mental health.” Leaders have also gained new appreciation for many areas of well-being – emotional, physical, financial, psychological. They offered discussion guides to teach leaders how to talk to their reports about the expanded benefits of these diverse areas, including creating a new epidemic leave for parents.

Amy Coleman, Microsoft

3. Managers are very important. Microsoft employs about 22,000 managers, who became even more critical during the epidemic. In particular, the organization relied on its managers to help adapt to the 25,000 new jobs it has brought in since the epidemic began, finding that new hires trust managers 20% more during this time. And those who have managers who have been actively involved in the process are three times more likely to be satisfied with their management. “When managers can create a supportive work environment where people love to work.” [have] “The feeling of work / life balance, the natural side effect, is that people feel more connected,” Coleman said.

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4. Use two ears և one mouth. COVID-19 has enabled leaders to listen “with attention, intensity, responsibility and accountability,” Coleman said. At Microsoft, executives noted that employees’ time spent in meetings more than doubled when the epidemic began, and the number of calls sent after normal business hours increased dramatically. Sensing the problem, leaders turned to technology to assess employee mood on work / life balance և other topics, giving all employees the opportunity to comment on the company’s municipalities, creating a company channel dedicated to answering questions about the employee epidemic. He said that it is possible that managers shared information and ideas about staff needs with managers.

5. Flexibility has many dimensions. Prior to COVID-19, Microsoft allowed occasional flexible hours of work from home, but flexibility was not yet part of its core culture. “The epidemic turned it upside down,” Coleman said. Leaders now understand that flexibility needs to be highly personalized based on the needs of each employee, which means that managers and managers need to have a deep understanding of the degree of flexibility that is possible for their employees. “Flexibility is multifaceted, individual, will continue to develop, now is an incredible opportunity to continue the momentum,” he said.

6. Building social capital requires creativity. Having a strong network in the workplace, among other things, affects productivity, innovation and inclusion, Coleman said. But relationships that used to develop in corridor conversations, water freezes, or business trips now have to be developed in far-flung, very hybrid environments, which can be more difficult. Employers need to be more purposeful in helping employees build those connections. For example, encourage leaders to spend a few minutes at the beginning of meetings having casual conversations ել checking their lives with employees, not just their work.

7. Inclusion is essential. The epidemic was an “alarm clock” for the problems of inclusion, which have long been faced by remote workers. Challenges of finding a job, broadband disruption, care complications, prompting many employers to finally address these barriers. Coleman is also an opportunity for teams to become more inclusive, especially when employees need to see each other at home, pets, co-workers, and so on. In a recent survey of employees, nearly 40% of Microsoft employees said they would be more likely to have their true selves in the workplace when an epidemic started, and nearly a third said they were less likely to be embarrassed when they were at home. life appears h. work. “We saw each other’s philanthropy in a way we had not seen before. It really pushed for inclusion by leaps and bounds,” Coleman said.

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8. Technology is the connection that connects. Employee digital experience has become as important as personal experience. However, it is often fragmented as employers use too many digital solutions, Coleman said, noting that Microsoft has only recently begun to build on its new employee experience platform, Viva. As hybrids become the norm, employers need to think more about the many aspects of employees’ digital experiences: communication, collaboration, inclusion, training, purpose, and culture, including:

9. Talent determines its conditions. As the Big Resign continues, employers are struggling with new expectations from their employees, a trend Coleman predicts will continue. Coleman cites a study that found that more than 40 percent of employees surveyed plan to leave their employer next year due to exhaustion and lack of flexibility. Employers should pay special attention to who is leaving. Millennials, for example, have seen more than 275% increase in job changes over the past two years. “You have to look at the same page to see what might work for your employees,” he said.

10. Growth mindset paves the way for progress. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has been a strong proponent of instilling a “growth mindset” in the company, ուլ Coleman strongly attributed the change to helping the company grow through COVID-19. “I do not know where we would be today without it,” he said. Such a mindset allows employees to be open to learning, to collaborate, to allow flexibility and connection to the goal to flourish. “In a world where unpredictability and change are becoming the norm, growth thinking will continue to be a very good friend,” Coleman said.

As the epidemic continues, new ways of working become stronger, and employers need to continue to “listen, learn, and adapt,” Coleman advised, all to help employees feel “visible and valued.”

Jen Colletta is the Editor-in-Chief HRE:. He received a bachelor’s degree in writing from La Sally University in Philadelphia, and spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter and editor before taking up the profession. HRE:. You can contact him at hreletters@lrp.com.