Hybrid Car, Hybrid Plants…Hybrid Intranet?

Everyone Social Employee Advocacy Week webinar recap

For many corporate employees, work and life have blurred over the last 18 months. In this hybrid work environment, employers and employees are demanding more of one another than ever before. With this also comes technology implications and intranet infrastructure changes.

Integral CEO, Ethan McCarty, led a session on “Hybrid Car, Hybrid Plants…Hybrid Intranet?” to kick off Everyone Social’s Employee Advocacy Week. This virtual event brought together top leaders to discuss building company culture in a digital world as organizations look to increase employee engagement and solve the challenges of a hybrid work model.

In this session, panelists, Jennifer O’Neill, Head of Communications for Johnson & Johnson Global Services, Alison Russell, who oversees Internal Communications for NYU Langone Health, and Melissa Sader, who leads Internal Communications for Fitch Group joined Ethan to discuss the future of digital experiences for hybrid employee populations.

While their hour-long conversation truly is worth the watch, we’ve also summarized some of our favorite key takeaways from the panelists.

How can leaders realistically and respectfully communicate changes when many corporate stances aren’t yet official, or many teammates never left the office?
  • For many corporate offices, an official Return to Office strategy needed recent revising due to changing safety protocols resulting from the Delta variant. 
  • Design digital-first employee experiences as a baseline, when possible. However, it is equally important to create a safe, respectful environment for frontline workers and others, who have to work in an in-person environment.  
  • Remind teammates to be courteous of those commuting when scheduling meetings.
  • Create a baseline for backend technology so there is consistency across video calls, messaging and intranet access.
  • Before initiating A/B in-office models or hot desks, ensure that an influx of new hires over the pandemic will not put in-office populations over capacity per recommended safety guidelines.
How do you show employees you’re listening to them? Leaders now rarely have the opportunity to tour worksites and meet employee populations face-to-face. 
  • Create trust through a feedback loop—employees can share what’s on their mind through pulse surveys, interactive polls, or live Ask Me Anything sessions—and comms teams can then incorporate input into future enablement and comms campaigns.
  • Develop a cadence of listening sessions with a leader willing to spend digital face-to-face time. A personal touch goes a long way in making employees feel like they have a space to be heard from someone they usually don’t have exposure to. 
  • Open forums can uncover negative feedback. Emphasizing “why” the company has a particular stance will help promote mutual understanding and prevent future negativity due to lack of transparency.
How do you keep employee morale high?
  • Integral’s Employee Activation Index study with The Harris Poll revealed that employees ranked employee good health and well-being as the most important for employers to make a positive difference on.
  • Use the company intranet to spotlight conversational prompts, employee testimonials, and shared experiences.
  • Encourage leaders to share their own personal challenges and bouts with mental health to lower stigmas and flatten the corporate hierarchy.
  • Put your money where your mouth is. Make mental health benefits a baseline requirement of employee benefits, then equip managers with the right training to address signs of burnout and talk with their teams about solutions like wellness apps.

Mary Grace Scully
Associate Client Manager
Mary Grace is a communications and content enthusiast who thrives off of developing authentic relationships with teammates and clients.
Back to Insights