Small biz going hybrid to battle burnout

As small businesses in America continue to evolve into a new model, many have begun to adopt the hybrid model in an effort to integrate better business practices with their ongoing battle with the new elephant in the room: employee burnout. Stress and burnout have always been there but they have taken on gigantic proportions in the last year and a half to the point where many small businesses may not survive if they fail to adapt.

In some recent research published by McKinsey, it seems that a new hybrid business model, a fluid combination of both remote and on site work,  just may be the answer to future growth and productivity as well as to successfully address the huge problem of employee burnout and turnover. The following is taken directly from those published findings:

  • In the postpandemic future of work, nine out of ten organizations will be combining remote and on-site working, according to a new McKinsey survey of 100 executives across industries and geographies. The survey confirms that productivity and customer satisfaction have increased during the pandemic.
  • Despite the embrace of a hybrid model, though, most organizations have only begun to think through and articulate the specifics of how to carry out a more permanent mix of remote and on-site working for all roles that aren’t essential to perform on-site. Many of their employees are feeling anxious as a result. The sustainability of pandemic-style productivity gains might well depend on how organizational leaders address the anxiety their employees feel—and the associated levels of burnout.
  • A notable finding is that organizations with the biggest productivity increases during the pandemic have supported and encouraged “small moments of engagement” among their employees, moments in which coaching, mentorship, idea sharing, and coworking take place. These organizations are preparing for hybrid working by training managers for remote leadership, by reimagining processes, and by rethinking how to help employees thrive in their roles.

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  • Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, the majority of organizations required employees to spend most of their time on-site. But as the pandemic eases, executives say that the hybrid model—in which employees work both remotely and in the office—will become far more common. The majority of executives expect that (for all roles that aren’t essential to perform on-site) employees will be on-site between 21 and 80 percent of the time, or one to four days per week.
  • Why have some companies enjoyed higher productivity during the pandemic? According to our survey, they’re the ones supporting small connections between colleagues—opportunities to discuss projects, share ideas, network, mentor, and coach, for example. Two-thirds of productivity leaders report that these kinds of “microtransactions” have increased, compared with just 9 percent of productivity laggards. As executives look to sustain pandemic-style productivity gains with a hybrid model, they will need to design and develop the right spaces for these small interactions to take place.
  • Supporting small moments of connection requires subtle shifts in how managers work. Nearly all executives surveyed recognize that managing remotely differs from when all employees are on-site, but other subtleties may not be as apparent. Nuances can be seen in the more than half of productivity leaders that have trained their managers on how to lead teams more effectively. Only a third of productivity laggards have done the same. The emphasis on small connections suggests that organizations could better support managers by, among other things, educating them about the positive and negative impact they have on the people who report to them, and by training managers on soft skills, such as providing and receiving feedback.

-Written by Kevin Sawyer