Best practices to drive engagement in a hybrid culture

'Make sure that you're doing it as authentically as possible,' says Corus Entertainment's HR head

Best practices to drive engagement in a hybrid culture

There are a number of different considerations for HR when it comes to ensuring engagement remains high within the organization.

But one of the first questions that should be asked before coming up with a proper strategy is “Why?”

“I think it’s really important to be clear on the why: what it is you’re trying to achieve, and also understanding how are you going to measure it? How are you going to track if it’s working or not, so that you can figure out if you need to evolve it?” says Cheryl Fullerton, EVP people and communications at Corus Entertainment in Toronto.

Fullerton will be part of a panel entitled, “Optimizing flexible workplaces to increase engagement,” during the upcoming HR Leaders Summit Canada, that will be happening at the International Centre Mississauga.

Be real when talking about culture

She shared some early thoughts about the panel discussion and some strategies for HR to embrace when thinking about keeping engagement levels high.

“’Make sure that you’re doing it as authentically as possible to your business and your culture’ is my personal headline. A culture shift or a material shift like this only works if it’s embedded and reinforced by all of the little things that you do, so make sure that as you’re talking about your values, what you’re saying is what you’re living,” says Fullerton.

“For anything to do with culture, I would always recommend that HR people start there: make sure that the language you use on one side fits the language you use on the other side because people are smart adults, and they’re going to notice if it doesn’t.”

A university professor was surprised to hear that many organizations hadn’t had any conversations with the workforce about whether or not hybrid is the right approach.

Use survey data to drive strategy

The only way that HR leaders know this approach is actually working is by employing a liberal dose of metrics, according to Fullerton.

“Look for your engagement scores, your inclusion scores — we measure both. We measure an engagement and inclusion index every quarter with the comments that go with it so we have a tap-in all of your time. We look for purposeful links to how the DEI strategy is working; how our sustainability strategy is working, so that it doesn’t sit outside of any of those things. It integrates into those things,” she says.

After sorting through those engagement scores, the next step is making some changes.

“As you evolve it, it will be because you learned something; that you had made an assumption that something would be a certain way, and it turned out to be different. And then you have open conversations and you figure out another way, and you’re clear about what you’re evolving,” says Fullerton.

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