Heather Polglase, people and culture director at Spark, to speak at HRD's National HR Summit
When the world of work was turned upside down in March 2020 and organisations were forced to go virtual effectively overnight, the workforce proved that working virtually was entirely possible.
So, as people returned to offices when the country was placed into Alert level 1 10 weeks later, hybrid discussions began all over the country, if not all over the developed world.
For some, there was less discussion, but for more progressive companies this was a “once-in-generational opportunity to balance ways of working with flexibility and really consider it carefully,” says Heather Polglase, people and culture director at Spark, who will be speaking at the HRD National HR Summit at the Hilton Auckland on the 27 April, 2023.
We’ve all seen the plethora of data available backing up that flexibility and autonomy are among the key deciding factors for employees in today’s competitive talent market so it’s becoming increasingly important for organisations to get their hybrid work strategies right.
Spark made the decision to move to a full hybrid working model consciously and early, employing a three days in the office and two days remote structure. They administered several experimental initiatives during or just after the pandemic — but when Auckland kept going in and out of lockdown, the system was disrupted and needed clarifying.
“At that point, we co-created with our people,” said Polglase. “We asked what’s it going to take for the 3/2 model to be successful from a property point of view and how do we manage complexities across our teams?”
Polglase will join Gavin Morse, senior people scientist at Culture Amp, and Sneha Bhula, global VP of people at Whip Around, in a panel discussion about refining your hybrid work strategy to attract talent at the HRD National HR Summit.
The panellists will discuss:
- creating purposeful time in the office to balance connectivity and flexibility
- determining optimal hybrid work models through employee feedback
- overcoming challenges in attracting talent for a casual and onsite workforce.
Attendees will also gain insightful tips on how to create and sustain a positive corporate culture in a hybrid setting.
The summit returns as an in-person event for the first time since COVID, something that Polglase is excited about: “I’m a big advocate of bringing professionals and people grappling with the same problems back together.”
“I’m definitely excited to be able to be in person with… industry or professional sector colleagues because you can have a different kind of conversation, particularly when it’s an interactive panel as opposed to a keynote speaker,” she continued.
“I think it's good for us all because it means that we're starting to share learnings more in the moment than we were able to do over the couple of years of COVID where you might discuss things in your own network, but you didn't get any of the expansive thinking.”
If you’d like to hear more about how New Zealand’s top employers redesigned their hybrid work arrangements to create flexible, supportive and productive workplaces, register for the HRD National HR Summit now.