Strategies for Managing Hybrid Teams in Today’s Digital Workplace
August 25, 2023
Hybrid work has become the new norm, propelled forward by technological advances and the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Forbes, 74% of companies now offer some type of hybrid work option, and only 8% of employees are interested in returning to the office full-time. That number may fluctuate but one fact has become clear: hybrid work is here to stay.
Managers must stretch their skills in this new era of hybrid careers, fostering transparent communication, developing a culture of openness and transparency, and creating standards for measurable, achievable metrics.
The Hybrid Revolution: Navigating New Horizons
Managing hybrid employees demands a strategic approach that fosters productivity, connectivity, and trust across diverse work settings. Working with team members in various environments requires experimentation and continual adjustments to develop models that work for your firm.
1. Cultivating Trust and Relationships
At the heart of effective hybrid team management lies the development of trust and meaningful relationships with team members. Regular interactions, both one-on-one and in team settings, establish strong connections irrespective of physical location. By scheduling regular in-person and virtual meetings, leaders establish an environment for hybrid employees to forge bonds that transcend distance.
2. Encouraging Openness and Visibility
An emphasis on transparency aligns perfectly with fostering openness and visibility in hybrid teams. Providing context is key, as remote work can sometimes create a disconnect from the broader organizational purpose. Set clear communication expectations and leverage technology platforms for easy interactions.
While chat works well for quick company-wide or informal messages, video meetings enable a deeper exchange of information and offer more connection for virtual events and celebrations. Platforms like Zoom or Slack facilitate global cooperation, seamlessly connecting employees regardless of their physical locations. Employees must feel comfortable and confident in providing feedback through technology. Technology-assisted input has been shown to increase employee engagement and productivity, contributing to long-term company success.
3. Driving Results-Centric Focus
Managing hybrid employees requires a results-oriented mindset. Leaders must set clear performance goals and work together to monitor progress, fostering a culture that values outcomes over mere presence. Project completion and quality should supersede hours worked. Many projects require a significant amount of mental work — there is minimal reason to expect employees to remain at their desks when it is unproductive.
4. Establishing and Upholding Expectations
When it comes to remote work, clearly defined expectations are paramount. Leadership should support managers in setting clear performance goals and conducting regular assessments. By embracing well-defined guidelines and utilizing shared platforms, every team member, whether on-site or remote, can be set up for success.
5. Promoting Equity and Inclusivity
As hybrid careers become commonplace, fostering an environment where everyone feels included has become even more critical. An important aspect is to conduct regular check-ins with employees about the company and determine where support is needed. This practice ensures that each team member is heard, valued, and aligned with the organization’s goals.
Facing the Future
The future of the workforce is not solely based on location. AI has a profound impact on career management, revolutionizing various aspects of the services. AI platforms can provide personalized career guidance based on algorithms, including suitable learning opportunities and career paths. It may be able to assess performance objectively and predict career shifts, helping leaders stay ahead of trends, and match candidates to job opportunities.