A hybrid workspace setup can be quite a shock to people who aren’t used to it. In any new change whether it is as big as converting a regular office space to a hybrid one, or just making little changes around the office, for many it might be difficult to adapt. A great way to work around this and to get people to become more accustomed to it is to have a set of employee ambassadors to lead the way and encourage others.
What are employee ambassadors?
Employee ambassadors or champions are a team of employees who are brought together, usually motivated by a single goal or purpose, to help rally their teams around an issue.
In terms of the hybrid workplace, employee champions are a set of employees of your choice that you can assign the tasks of embracing change adoption to encourage the other employees in your company to welcome the change and adapt to it well.
A great reason to have employee ambassadors is that spoken communication and persuasion are very powerful in marketing, thus making it much easier to influence your other employees if one of them speaks out. Word-of-mouth is a very strong tool that can be used by anyone to try to sell something or convince others to do something. People will always look to others to make sure that what they’re getting themselves into is good. For example, if your employee champion speaks out about how great the new hybrid office system is, it can make other employees feel more sure of it.
In the hybrid workspace, employee champions can be vital to your change management operation. Not only will they ease your other employees in a lot easier but it also gives them a guideline to follow in terms of behaviour and understanding of new office benchmarks.
Tip: It is a good idea that your employee ambassadors are highly established, employees preferably at the executive level so that your other employees will have a visible person to follow and to model their behaviour after.
What can employee ambassadors do for your hybrid workplace?
There are primarily three things that employee champions can help you with your hybrid workplace. They include the encouragement for embracing the hybrid workspace, motivating employee feedback, and setting an example for what a hybrid workspace should be to employees. Assigning this role to someone can create a great way to steadily introduce your hybrid workplace to your whole team or even simply motivate your staff further.
- Embracing hybrid workspace: A hybrid workspace can be a major change for some people, while others have an easier time. To ensure that everyone is on the same page, and handles it properly, your employee champions can help navigate their transition, as well as handle any reservations they make. With an employee champion showcasing how they tackle tasks, interact, and collaborate your other employees will have an easier time managing their time and experience in the new environment.
- Employee feedback: When implementing a new change, or even just on a regular basis, you’re going to want to take surveys of your employees and see how they are feeling about certain things. Employee ambassadors can help bridge the gap between the lack of enthusiasm when it comes to surveys, and push employees to fill out surveys and express how they feel about changes, the workplace, and anything else that is important.
- Setting an example: Employee ambassadors are a great way to set an example for the rest of your team. People will usually follow the leader, so if the employee champion is in office and does what they’re supposed to do, the others will follow suit. If the employee champion showcases the right behaviour for a hybrid workspace, then the others will also learn and have an easier time understanding their roles and what they are supposed to do.
What should you look for in an employee champion?
This brings us to our last question and point. If your employee ambassador has so much responsibility, you want to make sure that you pick the best person for the job, that you trust to model the right behaviour to the rest of your staff. If you choose the wrong person, and the rest of the employees follow their poor behaviour, it can cause a lot of problems in the workspace.
Key skills your employee ambassador should possess:
- Good communication: You want to make sure that your employee champion(s) has good communication skills that translate to yourself and your team so that you are kept in the loop and know where your team is at. You also want to make sure that your champion is communicating properly with the rest of the employees and that they know what is expected of them.
- Empathy: Your employee ambassador must be able to understand and emphasize with the other employees who may be having a more difficult time adapting. If they’re not understanding, that can ruin employee morale so you want to make sure you choose someone who can be there for others while encouraging them to embrace the new system.
- Teaching: An employee champion should be good at instructing people and making them understand what they need to do in a new space. The champion needs to coach others who may have a harder time understanding what is expected of them.
- Encouragement: You want to get someone who can be encouraging to others, and help them step out of their comfort zones. Encouragement goes a long way and can help tremendously with people who may feel discouraged by the change.
- Openness: Transparency is a really great skill to have as an employee champion. Being honest about struggles and problems they have faced can help the other employees feel more at ease about their struggles. Openness can also help you understand where some issues may be and how to fix them.
Employee champions or ambassadors can help you tremendously to encourage and understand your staff’s needs better during big changes such as switching to a hybrid workplace. Employee champions can be the middle ground that allows your employees to get used to the new changes and feel comfortable and heard.