Managing in a Hybrid Environment
The year 2020 forever changed the way people think about work as the world learned how productivity can be maintained and even enhanced when the workforce is remote. Remote work allows employers and employees alike greater flexibility, from opening up the talent pool, to gaining more time in the week with the absence of a commute. The popularity of remote work is here to stay, leading to an increase of managers overseeing hybrid teams; a mix of people in an office and working remotely. As some employees return to the office, the idea of managing a hybrid team can feel like a daunting task. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be.
Successfully leading a team in a new situation requires the proper awareness and insight before taking meaningful action. Similar work styles can appear differently if someone is in person with their colleagues compared to virtual interactions. Communication, decision-making, and conflict-resolution can easily go awry when coworkers are in different locations. Understanding each other’s natural work styles helps build appreciation for what each individual needs to be successful. Through self-awareness and empathy, your team members’ ability to embrace their differing work styles can set the stage for top-notch team dynamics regardless of where each individual is located.
BUILD AWARENESS: Use a science-backed, reputable behavioral assessment to collect people data on your team. This helps you become aware of how each team member prefers to communicate, make decisions, and resolve conflict.
GAIN INSIGHT: How are your team members’ natural work styles similar? How are they different? What degree of empathy needs to be in place to meet in the middle and satisfy each person’s needs?
TAKE ACTION: Have a conversation with your team. Invite their feedback. Together, decide how you will communicate, make decisions, resolve conflict, and support each others’ natural work styles.
FOLLOW THROUGH: Action isn’t a checklist. Hold yourself and your team accountable for supporting this way of working so you as a hybrid team can be just as, if not more effective, as a team working in the same physical location.
Different team members have different work styles. Some focus on innovation, others on process. Some employees are people-focused and others focus on results. Each of these work styles plays out differently depending on whether you are managing an employee in the office or a remote employee. The following pages provide insights on how your employees may show up at work differently given their work location, and offer tips to effectively manage your hybrid team.
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