Hybrid models are becoming a popular choice with many organizations.
Although this model brings with it a lot of positives, it also presents a familiar challenge for leaders –
How to lead teams effectively and demonstrate expertise in both remote and in-person management skills
And, an unfamiliar challenge –
Ensure that those with more “face time” do not receive more opportunities or attention than those who are remote
Both challenges offer extraordinary opportunities to expand your leadership capacity and level up your skills!
To effectively lead hybrid teams, follow these 3 tips:
Receive proper training
In the excitement to move forward with a hybrid model, few employers are taking the time to prepare their leaders for what this type of management will actually demand. But – I cannot emphasize this enough – proper training is essential for leaders and their teams to be successful.
How will you communicate effectively in-person and virtually simultaneously? How will you manage performance consistently? How will you offer opportunities evenly amongst virtual and in-person employees? The proper training will help you build strategies to lead all your people best.
Re-envision Your Connection Strategy
Leaders will need to understand how easy it will be for virtual employees to feel left out – even if they’re just working virtually that day or they are not working in the office at all. The connection strategy that you’ve been using virtually will again need to be re-envisioned to match your hybrid model.
For example, after every in-person meeting or casual discussion integrate this question – “Who else needs to know about this?” Next, make sure to assign someone to notify and gather input from those employees identified BEFORE any further work is done on what was discussed. Then, once those employees are looped in, allow time for them to process and respond with their input. This is going to require patience on everyone’s part. No implementation can be done until all input from both in-person and virtual employees has been gathered and integrated.
Repeatedly Express Value
A top priority for leaders will continue to be this – make sure all your employees feel valued. This will look differently in a hybrid model.
Your virtual employees need to know that their absence in the office does not equate to their absence in importance. Your in-person employees will likely experience a range of feelings associated with being in the office again. Take time to communicate how much you value each member of your team, individually and often.
It all comes down to communication. Communicate the need for training, communicate with all your people consistently, communicate value often and your transition will be a successful one!