Many organisations are now faced with the challenge of managing a hybrid workforce. This means that employees are split between working remotely and working in the office. In order to lead effectively in this new way of working, it is important to understand the needs of the hybrid team.
Maggie Matthews and Stephen Yates from The Oxford Group recently shared their insights on how leaders must adapt to the current reality in a live webinar titled Leading in a hybrid world – Part 3: Answering the needs of the hybrid team. In this article, we will explore some of the key takeaways from the webinar and provide tips for leaders to effectively manage their hybrid teams. Leading in a hybrid world – Part 3: Answering the needs of the hybrid team:
Creating a Sense of Team Identity
One of the biggest challenges of managing a hybrid team is maintaining a sense of team identity. When team members are working in different locations, it can be difficult to foster a sense of camaraderie and teamwork. However, there are several strategies that leaders can use to create a sense of team identity.
The first strategy is to establish clear team goals and expectations. This helps team members understand their role in achieving the team’s objectives and fosters a sense of accountability. Another strategy is to encourage regular communication among team members. This can be done through regular team meetings, virtual coffee breaks, or other informal channels.
Finally, leaders can create opportunities for team members to collaborate on projects or initiatives. This not only helps to build team identity but also fosters innovation and creativity.
Flexibility and Accommodation
Another important consideration when managing a hybrid team is flexibility and accommodation. One of the benefits of a hybrid workforce is that it allows for increased flexibility in terms of work schedules and location. However, it is important for leaders to be accommodating to the needs of their team members.
For example, some team members may prefer to work remotely full-time while others may prefer to work in the office. Leaders should be willing to accommodate these preferences as much as possible while maintaining productivity and team cohesiveness.
Leaders should also be willing to accommodate for personal circumstances such as family obligations or health concerns. By being understanding and flexible, leaders can build trust and loyalty among their team members.
Finally, clear communication is essential when managing a hybrid team. With team members working in different locations, it is important to establish clear lines of communication and to ensure that everyone feels connected and informed.
Leaders should take advantage of technology to communicate with their team members, including video conferencing and instant messaging. They should also establish regular check-ins to ensure that everyone is on the same page and to address any concerns or challenges that arise.
Managing a hybrid team presents unique challenges for leaders, but with the right strategies, it is possible to create an effective and cohesive team. By fostering a sense of team identity, being flexible and accommodating, and establishing clear communication, leaders can successfully manage their hybrid teams in the new normal.
As we continue to navigate the post-pandemic world, it is likely that hybrid teams will become increasingly common. By taking the time to understand the needs of the hybrid team and implementing effective management strategies, leaders can ensure the success of their teams and their organisations.