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Top Tips for Getting the Best out of Your Hybrid Team

Entire workforces rapidly transitioned to remote work at the outbreak of COVID-19. Almost overnight, workers proved their ability to remain productive and engaged despite not being in the office. This challenged long-held misconceptions by more conservative leaders about remote work. Employee and job seeker expectations also shifted, seeking greater flexibility. As a result, hybrid teams are fast becoming the norm. What is less clear is how best to manage them.

In case you’re wondering, “hybrid” refers to teams with a mix of staff who predominantly work either remotely and/or in the office, and those who do a bit of both.

1. Reward outcomes rather than presenteeism

Establish, track, and clearly communicate key measures of success. When everyone was forced to work remotely, the playing field was level. Now that true hybrid models are emerging, remote workers are concerned their career progression will be negatively impacted by being less “present”.

Why this is important

  • It helps all employees understand the output and behaviours that lead to reward, recognition, and promotions.
  • Focusing on outcomes ensures transparency and supports a culture of accountability.
  • A lack of clarity can lead to an ‘us’ and ‘them’ culture between those who are in the office and those who are not.
  • This approach also supports diversity goals. A transparent path to recognition, reward and promotion will enhance your employer brand among minority groups containing highly capable workers.
  • Feeling that you have been treated unfairly is the quickest way to drive your talented staff out the door.

2. Manage meetings to enhance collaboration

For many workers, meetings remain a key forum to connect and collaborate. However, it’s easy for team members who are working from home to feel excluded, particularly if they make up the minority of participants. To set everyone up for success, the meeting should have a clear agenda, with the manager ensuring all attendees have an opportunity to seek clarity and provide input.

Encourage team members to catch up with their colleagues. Quick, regular catchups between those who work in the office and remotely will enhance working relationships, helping to replace the ‘water cooler’ conversations. Automating the process with tools such as Coffee Roulette may benefit larger teams.

3. Invest in technology to enhance the employee experience and increase productivity

You want employees to have a seamless time when they log on, regardless of location – not untangling cables each time they hot-desk. Your people should be able to do their jobs without being slowed by sub-optimal technology infrastructure. Having modern systems and applications is also an easy way to increase employee engagement and satisfaction.

There are so many collaboration tools to support hybrid teams these days. Without touching on the obvious Teams and Zoom, task boards such as Trello and Asana provide a single dashboard for teams to assign, track and manage work. These tools provide visibility and maintain a focus on outcomes, while reducing email and meeting volumes. Whiteboarding tools such as Miro and Mural are helpful for brainstorming and strategy work.

4. Communicate clearly, frequently, openly and across a range of channels

Feeling out of the loop is one of the quickest ways to create frustration and mistrust amongst employees. This can push those considering the Great Resignation to take the final step. You can embed good communication practices by:

  • Setting up a regular time to catch up with allstaff, and sticking to it.
  • Ensuring you have easy-to-understand corporate policies stored in a location all staff are familiar with.
  • Being conscious of appropriate meeting structures to support remote and onsite team members.
  • Ensuring company news or information from the executive team is cascaded appropriately. This can be done through team meetings, intranet posts, or one-on-one catch ups in addition to emails. Staff want to know if they will be impacted in any way. Many may lack the courage to put up their hand in large sessions.

5. Set appropriate “little things” perks

Free food is a winner is for most people. But consider whether the fruit box or the wine and beer delivered to the office can be appreciated by everyone. Offer choice where you can, being sensitive to faith and health-related dietary preferences. Offering work perks that are valued by your team is a much better return on investment. In our experience, just asking your team is the best way. Clicks introduced food delivery vouchers to celebrate certain milestones in this way – our people love having the choice and can have items delivered to their home or office.

6. Ask for feedback

You’ve taken the time to provide your remote and onsite team members with what you believe is the right support, processes, tools, and technology. Are they now happy, motivated, and empowered?  The best way to find out is to ask. Make the most of your engagement surveys and ask your staff directly:

  • What’s working?
  • What’s not working?
  • What would they change or do differently?

Regardless of where your team works, seeking feedback is a great way to make them feel valued. The key is to respond appropriately, share the results transparently, and act if necessary. A happy hybrid team will be motivated to deliver and help your organisation thrive, especially if they can see that the executive is listening and willing to make changes.

Clicks specialises in IT recruitment. Our recruiters average 12 years of industry experience, and we’re on over 80 Preferred Supplier Agreements. As Australia’s favourite IT recruiters, we can help you find top talent, fast! For any hiring needs please reach out to your Clicks Account Manager or 1300 CLICKS for a confidential discussion.

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