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4 Metrics Critical to Measuring Success of a Hybrid Work Environment

By Brian Cole, Ph.D.

As we start thinking about a sustainable hybrid workforce model, it’s important to also consider how we’ll know that hybrid models get the benefits we need in terms of employee engagement and business results. That means leaders can’t forget to measure progress and impact.

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Before you start designing a new set of complex metrics, look at those your organization already uses. Determine which you should keep, which to modify, and the ones to pay special attention to in meeting new hybrid workforce measurement needs. There is no reason to entirely abandon tried-and-true metrics. When those metrics are defined, focus on the critical few rather than creating a scorecard that may be too cumbersome to be tracked or unlikely to be used.

But first: how do you even know what those critical few metrics are? You should have enough leading indicators in the mix to know how things are going, giving you the ability to course-correct quickly if necessary. Since the move to a hybrid workforce should be a leader-led transformation approach, make sure to include leadership behavior indicators to measure progress.

What are the groups of metrics to look at? We recommend looking at four major categories:

1. Leadership effectiveness indicators

  • Communication effectiveness—Are your messages having the desired impact?
  • Leadership direction/Support of hybrid teams— Pay attention to differences across those working in office/remote/hybrid, assess yourself with 5 critical leadership behaviors, and perhaps measure through upward feedback pulse surveys with questions like:
             🗨️How are you feeling about the company?
             🗨️ How interested are you in switching roles? Job?
             🗨️ How do you feel about your manager? Leadership?
             🗨️ How often to you receive meaningful performance feedback?
             🗨️ Do you have what you need to be successful?

2. Employee behavior indicators, especially those linked to engagement

  • Meeting participation—Do those in the office do most of the talking versus those on the phone/camera? Are employees turning their cameras on during meetings? (Note: employees may need an occasional “camera-free” meeting to reduce video fatigue.)
  • Hybrid team collaboration effectiveness—Measure this through progress on cross-functional projects and the meeting of specific milestones.
  • Engagement in wellbeing offers—if employees are not leveraging wellbeing offers, ask probing questions to better understand why they are not being used. Are the offers viewed as being meaningful? Are they easy to access? Etc.

3. Early outcome metrics

  • Usage data for productivity tools
  • Participation in development opportunities
  • Issue resolution—number of escalated challenges compared with self-directed solutions found.
  • Distribution of promotions across in-office/remote employees—Is there a different distribution than before? Is there Proximity Bias?
  • Wellbeing—This one might be difficult to gauge, but results can be gleaned from engagement surveys. Note however, that these may need to be more frequent pulse surveys mentioned above, rather than the typical annual engagement surveys.

4. Lagging results impact metrics

  • Continue to track and monitor your typical organizational performance measures—productivity, revenue, profitability, absenteeism, employee retention—to identify any trends or patterns in how they are impacted by your behavior measures and leading outcome metrics.

Additional Questions for Leaders to Consider

Even after you’ve examined these metrics, are you getting the results you want? If not, are you measuring the right behaviors? Implement a fast-cycle feedback loop. You need to know that it’s working sooner, rather than later.

In the end, your metrics are simply one piece of the puzzle to making a hybrid environment work. None of these will matter unless you know how to talk about them in a meaningful way. Use metrics to make decisions and celebrate success, but they cannot function as a hard-and-fast, all-encompassing solution. Communication and trust are key to making these metrics work for you.

Topics: Return To Office (RTO), Hybrid Work Environment

Brian Cole, Ph.D.

Written by Brian Cole, Ph.D.