Defining new working models with Grohe's HR department

Hybrid Stories
February 15, 2023
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The world of work has undergone a major transformation in recent years. The pandemic has accelerated the implementation of new work models, such as hybrid work, which has become the norm in many companies. Human Resources departments are adapting to organize this profound change and meet the new challenges.

remote work has an impact on offices, as employees spend less time there. They can therefore benefit from greater flexibility. However, it can also lead to a fragmentation of cohesion and a drop in engagement. So how can we combine hybrid working, social ties and productivity to deliver an optimal, sustainable employee experience?

The answer in this article with Grohe's HR Director for France, Céline Begassat Piquet (Ex-Air France).

From the future of water to the future of work (hybrid)

Defining your hybrid work policy, or how to organize flexibility

Grohe is a strong German brand that manufactures and markets water-related products for the kitchen and bathroom environment. Its teams went from 0% to 100% overnight at remote work. The company was quick to bet on the benefits of this new way of organizing work, and sought to improve the way it was managed in order to make it sustainable.

By asking itself the right questions, Grohe has negotiated a flexible and open remote work agreement with its CSE. This means a minimum of 2 days face-to-face and a maximum of 3 days remote working per week. Céline points out that many employees are able to achieve a better balance between their personal and professional lives:

"Parents tell me that before, they were the ghost parents of their children's school. We now feel that we have put the cursor in the right place with this 2/3 day split. To have efficient and committed employees, you need to have a life on the side, it is essential. The balance is necessary for the duration and for each of us."

As Céline explains, it is important to ensure that the practices in place meet the expectations of employees to ensure that hybrid work works effectively.

Regularly question your work model

In order to get together, Grohe wanted the days of attendance at the office to be the same for each team. They are not fixed, the members determine them among themselves.

At the company level, a monthly forum has been set up during which all the employees meet in the office on the same day. This allows those who do not necessarily interact with each other, due to the nature of their job, to meet.

"We manage to ensure a mix that we think is quite successful, but we want to go further. New employees are looking for more social ties. So we're looking at how to meet that demand, without going back on what is considered a benefit and works well for the majority of employees."

With the hybrid, some people miss the bond of the work group. (Re)questioning one's practices is a good reflex. Grohe has more than one trick up its sleeve and can rely on its premises, which will be renovated in 2021, to make its employees want to come back to the office: services, equipment, culture, etc.

➡️ To go further: find out how BIC, a company that is over 75 years old, maintains its culture with its new offices!

How to support the social link in hybrid mode

Encourage the action of local management

The local manager plays a crucial role in maintaining links within the company. They are the first contacts for employees on a daily basis and are therefore able to create a climate of trust and goodwill within the team.

"With hybrid work, we don't run into each other in the hallways as much. It's the proximity management that has allowed us to maintain the link between teams."

Regular face-to-face or video-conference meetings, training sessions, mentoring, events, virtual or non-virtual team building, etc. Many levers are available to managers.

Grohe makes it a point of honor to develop the collective: "my colleague's problem is also my problem". This state of mind is conducive to maintaining the link and ensures better service to the customer in the end. To go further, the concept of living my life has been made safe. Each person indicates his or her availability to welcome a colleague, and positions him or herself on the availability of others:

The "vis ma vie" sessions are invaluable for better understanding the problems, processes and reality of each person. These moments fluidify communication, create a link and bring about dialogue. That's also what corporate life is all about, this connection is worth its weight in gold!"

The role of local management is also to encourage these practices and to create a collaborative and benevolent work environment, which contributes to strengthening the cohesion and motivation of employees.

Leveraging culture through CSR

CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) plays an important role in corporate culture and cohesion. It promotes employee involvement and participation in responsible initiatives and projects. It takes into account the economic, social and environmental impacts of the organization in its activities.

Based on the group's work values, Grohe strengthens team spirit and motivation, while contributing to a fairer and more sustainable world through 3 pillars:

  1. Do the right thing: employees make decisions as if it were their own business. These decisions are driven by ethics, not business success.
  2. Work with respect: how you express yourself is as important as what is said.
  3. Experiment and learn: individual and collective actions are encouraged through dedicated budgets:
"Almost 100% of our employees are involved in projects that are not in their core expertise. It's a way to open up to other departments, get their heads out of the sand and grow. These actions are valued, celebrated and highlighted."

CSR offers healthy and sustainable working environments. It promotes diversity and inclusion, and ensures respect for each other and ethical standards. It is an important lever for corporate culture, social ties and responsible behavior.

Is it possible to maintain productivity despite distance?

Productivity is important to any business. Maintaining it in a hybrid work environment can be a challenge. For Grohe the balance is positive:

"With remote work, Grohe hasn't lost productivity at all. For certain professions, data allows us to easily realize this thanks to content creation. It's less obvious for support functions. Intuitively, we know who's involved and who's not. It's a matter of feeling, which, spread out over time, gives us a vision."

To ensure that the productivity of the teams, and therefore the company, is maintained, measures can be put in place:

  • Set clear and measurable goals to help employees focus on what is important and keep them motivated
  • Foster regular and transparent communication to maintain commitment and avoid isolation
  • Implement training and professional development programs to acquire new skills and enable personal growth
  • Providing the right technology tools for effective hybrid work that strengthens social connections
  • Encourage a culture of trust and flexibility to help employees find a balance between their professional and personal lives

Ultimately, articulating hybrid work, social connection and productivity is key to delivering a sustainable employee experience that meets new expectations. HR professionals have an essential role to play. It is important to opt for policies that are consistent with your culture. The challenge lies in the ability to create a positive and productive work environment that suits employees, whether they work remotely or in person.

For more stories about the Future of Work, visit our dedicated Hybrid Stories page.

And to organize hybrid work, get help from a tool integrated with those you already use: contact us!