Managing Teams

7 Simple, Effective, and Practical Tactics for Successful Hybrid Team Management

Moving from a corporate office to a home office might be a difficult transition we are unprepared for.

People realized that they could be productive regardless of where they worked because of the pandemic.

Some employees are hesitant to return to work now that firms have reopened their doors, while some others are increasingly seeking flexibility, with some wanting to work entirely remotely. In contrast, others prefer to spend a few days in the office and the rest of their time working remotely.

This means that managers now have the responsibility of leading a hybrid team, with some members working remotely and some on-site. Of course, this has its own set of issues.

To effectively manage your team as an employer or manager, you must apply various effective tactics.

 Here are seven helpful suggestions:

1. Set boundaries with remote workers

Moving from a corporate office to a home office might be a difficult transition we are unprepared for. Yet, for those who get organized and prioritize, flexibility may pay off handsomely: greater time for personal and family matters, easier access to refueling breaks, increased concentration, and, most essential, the satisfaction of one of our essential psychological needs. We all want to feel in control and be able to choose our paths. 

Remote work allows us to take on additional responsibilities. When we do, our brain neurons appreciate it and reward us with job and life pleasure if we stay away from the digital, self-interruptive, and caloric temptations. It’s the same work, just in a new location. Make a regular plan for yourself and your family to follow in your unstructured home office. 

Working from home allows you to take time off to attend to personal or family matters. Just make sure you don’t become distracted for too long and return to your original location. Leave at the same time you would if you were at work, even if it involves wandering a few feet to your living room.

Avoid sliding into a habit of reacting haphazardly to everything that comes your way throughout the day. Plan of time and prioritize your tasks. Spend 10 minutes at the start of the day identifying your top priorities. Prioritize tasks based on their urgency. Is it necessary to complete it today? If that’s the case, go ahead and do it. Determine a time when you will get to it if it can wait. Make a physical action for each item on your to-do list.

2. Encourage and embrace diversity

Being receptive to individuals who bring unique skills and experience can only benefit your company. After all, supporting — and hiring for — varied thought can be the difference between projects caught in group-think ruts and teams with inventive solutions to long-standing issues. You may not be aware of problems that require immediate attention.

Employee engagement, productivity, and new views benefit from a diverse team. Companies should not assume that their executive teams understand the benefits of a diverse workforce or how to engage and promote diversity. A long-term commitment requires providing data-backed education. Building their capacity to sympathize with colleagues is the best method to support and appreciate diversity in the workplace.

As a result, leaders can properly perceive the world from their perspective, breaking down barriers and laying the groundwork for a truly inclusive workplace culture.

When leaders are receptive to fresh ideas and methods proposed by any employee, diversity is realized. Higher performance can be achieved by surrounding yourself with or seeking out people of various genders, religions, races, work experience, and political leanings and asking them for their ideas and input.

3. Set expectations early and clearly

Setting expectations keeps you and your remote staff on the same page, no matter how many miles or hours separate you. They provide direction and a structure to assist you and your remote support workers in achieving your goals. Setting expectations isn’t a restriction; it’s a liberator. 

They provide a consistent workflow, maximum productivity, decreased stress, and a happier, more confident remote workforce that meets and exceeds deadlines. It’s a win-win situation for everyone! Setting explicit expectations from the start lets you know relatively quickly if someone isn’t keeping their end of the bargain. Expectations aren’t only good for productivity; they may also serve as an early warning system for the company and the remote worker.

Setting objectives for your remote employees is just as important as setting goals for yourself. Setting clear and attainable milestones, such as deadlines or objectives, provides remote workers with the knowledge they want to manage their time properly. You may as well blindfold your remote worker and force them to fire at moving, unseen targets without these milestones!

When milestones are achieved, they help to motivate and create confidence. Setting such goals also makes it simple to analyze and evaluate their productivity and growth.

4. Brush up on your online communication skills

Agree on how and how often to communicate. First and foremost, aim to maintain all communication on the same platform. Email, iMessage, Hangouts, Slack, Trello, and WhatsApp, are just a handful of the various options to connect these days.

Choose one mode of communication and stick to it. This way, you’ll know where to look for new messages and won’t be distracted by the ‘pings’ of alerts. Second, decide on a response timeline. 

Remote communication has the potential to go in one of two directions. It’s either on high alert and bombarding your email or under the radar, and you’re wondering whether they’re still available for your project. None is fruitful!

Setting a communication schedule might help you maintain balance and calm. For example, I’ve requested that emails be answered within 24 hours for my remote team and myself. This provides you a reasonable amount of time to respond when it’s most convenient for you, but not so much time that either side is left twiddling their thumbs waiting for essential responses.

5. Give them help when they need it

Outside of the house, social distancing has restricted the opportunities for people’s interactions. Months will have gone by when all limitations are relaxed, and we still don’t know how post-COVID socialization will look. Create options for virtual contacts in the meanwhile.

The key to repeating workplace connections and establishing a solid support system that wards off loneliness is to punctuate the workday with social conversations. During the lockdown, work contacts may be the primary communication element for employees who live alone.

Corporate culture is the cornerstone of your firm’s base is its employees. Now is the time to put your company’s and leader’s ideas to the ultimate test.

Employees will seek their leaders for answers, which, if managed well, will result in long-term loyalty. A positive business culture may foster employee loyalty and job satisfaction. Employee appreciation should go hand in hand with values-based cultures. Small but important activities, such as sending a gift in the mail, may raise moods and indicate to your colleagues that what they do matters and are constantly appreciated.

6. Invest in the right management software

Having a remote workforce necessitates investing even more effort, not less, in establishing your company’s culture. For your employees to feel committed to what they’re working on, a common objective and feeling of purpose related directly to your organization are striving toward is essential. Spending time and money on developing a strong business culture can help you retain top people and set you up for future hiring success.

It’s vital to create opportunities for your staff to engage socially if there aren’t any natural opportunities to speak at the water cooler or over lunch at the workplace. Helping your workers feel linked to the company’s goal, vision, and each other can help alleviate the sense of isolation that remote work can bring. 

This may be accomplished by holding bi-monthly company-wide meetings for your staff to report their current projects and accomplishments. Encourage one-on-one meetings between supervisors, direct reports, virtual stand-up meetings, and new hire get-to-know-you sessions. Most importantly, don’t forget to celebrate!

Finally, effective communication is essential for laying a solid basis for a successful remote work experience. Keep in touch with your employees throughout the year and promote open and honest 360 feedback, not just at yearly performance assessments. Check in regularly to see what issues people and departments encounter and assess what modifications to your remote work policy should be made to enhance efficiency, productivity, and general well-being.

7. Know your people

Leaders are encouraged to spend time with employees at all levels, including interns. They should cultivate new views on the most complicated challenges and business problems by seeking different, fresh, and contrasting ideas. 

Keeping in touch with people working remotely is just as important as keeping in touch with those working full-time. Working remotely makes it more difficult; thus, it is strongly advised that you hold regular virtual meetings or communication sessions to help you bridge the gap of uncertainty.

It also improves and deepens the professional connection between the employee and the company, ensuring its durability. Addressing employee issues and responding with appropriate solutions enhances your company’s reputation and fosters a healthy remote work environment. This is the first phase in every company shift that must be completed effectively.

Final thought: 

As the market becomes more global, so should your workforce. When managing your remote workforce, know remote workers’ pulses. You should be able to develop an active business with your remote workers if you use the strategies and methods I’ve provided. 

If you are willing to invest additional effort and drive your staff to success, hybrid working may do wonders for your organization.

 

About the Author

Evan Tzivanakis is an Accredited Executive Coach (www.ExecutiveCoachAsia.com), a Management Consultant, and an Online Visting Lecturer at the EU Business School, Geneva, Switzerland. Throughout his career, he has managed more than 500 employees across 8 countries and led companies to expand across the Asia Pacific region by successfully crafting the right company culture and leading people from the front. With his practical international experience alongside his academic qualifications, he helps executive leaders and organizations to enhance their leadership presence, have more engaged teams, increase profits, and live happier. He does that by offering some of the most educational, impactful, and transformational coaching & training solutions. You can follow him on LinkedIn for more.