Bridging the Gaps of Communication in a Hybrid Workplace with Melissa Terry

June 29th, 2023
/
5 mins to read
Bridging the Gaps of Communication in a Hybrid Workplace with Melissa Terry

Human Resources professional Melissa Terry shares knowledge on what makes a hybrid work model successful and how to bridge the gaps of communication.

Melissa Terry is a Human Resources professional at VEM Tooling, one of the fastest-growing mold manufacturers in the world. The company currently operates in over 5 countries with an aim to grow across borders. VEM Tooling has served multiple businesses including giants from Automobile, Steel, and other production houses.

In recent years, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have seen tremendous possibilities and creative opportunities in the way we work. The option for remote and hybrid work has called for increased flexibility, job satisfaction, and employee well-being. In this blog, Litespace interviewed Terry to dive deeper into implementing a successful hybrid work model from the perspective of an HR professional. 

Interview Questions

Could you walk us through the work model that VEM Tooling has adopted, and why?

VEM Tooling is currently under a hybrid work model which I have actively implemented and managed as an HR professional. We wanted to combine both remote and in-person work, and our policy has allowed employees to work from the office a set number of days per week while offering flexibility to work remotely for the remaining days. This arrangement aims to balance the benefits of in-person collaboration and the flexibility of remote work.

“We want our employees to have a greater sense of autonomy and work-life balance while still fostering collaboration and teamwork.”

In your opinion, what are some crucial considerations when it comes to implementing an effective hybrid work model, and how do you ensure that?

An effective hybrid work model definitely stems from team cohesion and communication. It is important to foster open and transparent communication channels which can be done through encouraging open dialogue, active listening, and mutual respect. AT VEM Tooling, we strive to create an inclusive and equitable culture where remote and in-person employees feel connected and engaged, in order to ensure team cohesion.

This can all be achieved by having regular team meetings, one-on-one check-ins, virtual social activities, integrating virtual collaboration tools, and more. We also value equal opportunity in the workplace, thus we constantly look at opportunities for growth, career development, and recognition that are fairly distributed among all employees. 

“Transparency and ensuring equal access to resources and training opportunities help create a level playing field.”

One of the biggest issues when it comes to hybrid work is creating a healthy work-life balance and avoiding burnout. Could you share with us your experience on that?

Creating a healthy work-life balance is definitely not an easy task and takes time to perfect. Some ways that we encourage this is by promoting self-care, setting boundaries, and encouraging employees to take breaks. Encouraging employees to disconnect after work hours, offering mental health resources, and promoting healthy work-life integration is essential. 

Balancing work flexibility and structure requires clear guidelines and expectations. As a company, we establish core working hours, set communication norms, and define deliverables to maintain a structured framework while allowing flexibility in how and where work gets done.

What have been the biggest benefits of working in a hybrid work environment, and what advice would you give to managers who are looking to maximize these benefits?

The hybrid work model has really allowed employees to have a greater sense of autonomy and work-life balance while still fostering collaboration and teamwork. Some of the biggest benefits include increased flexibility, improved work-life balance, reduced commute time, and enhanced employee satisfaction. 

Managers can maximize these benefits by fostering a culture of trust and clear communication, as well as providing the necessary resources and support for remote work. 

Do you have any intentions to explore or transition to a different work model in the future, or do you believe that the hybrid approach will continue to align effectively with your company culture and employee needs?

We are not currently considering transitioning to another model as the hybrid approach aligns with our organizational culture and the preferences of our employees. It has been working well for us, and I believe it will only evolve as technology advances. 

Litespace had the pleasure of interviewing Melissa Terry to share her expertise and knowledge in the hybrid work model as an HR professional. This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Erica Lim
Erica Lim

Erica is a Marketing Content Analyst at Litespace with a passion to help companies foster stronger corporate culture and better employee engagement in the hybrid work environment. Specializing in marketing and communications, Erica is eager to share her knowledge and research on hybrid work. 

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