As we look forward to the new era of work post-COVID-19, our places of work will be more fluid and flexible than before. Our traditional workplaces may have fewer people in them, as employers encourage their team members the flexibility to come into the office some days or work the rest of the week at home. This may cause the dynamics of teams to change from one day to the next, so careful and thoughtful management will be the key to success. Get on the front foot now and make plans for how you will effectively lead your new hybrid team.
Are you going to need to recruit additional leadership support?
Do you need to appoint mentors?
What is working in other businesses and where can you tweak or make changes to ensure the smooth transition?
Inclusive behaviour and fairness are going to play a huge part in leadership as we head into what will soon be the post pandemic era. Business leaders will need to continue to be aware of the changing internal dynamics and keep flexible plans for how to approach the new era.
Here are a few things to think about as you plan for hybrid team leadership:
- Be sure to set your stall out – communicate your expectations at the earliest opportunity. Being very clear on working hours is important, encourage usage of online diaries and share work calendars for visibility across the team.
- Be firm on there not being a divide or change in culture between office workers and working from home staff.
- Manage your time to offer support and leadership to both office and WFH groups. Diarise these meetings to ensure everyone feels part of the same team. Those working from home will miss out on face to face interaction so consider options to make sure they are included as often as possible using technology.
- Plan in time to get the team together face to face, in person once it’s safe to do so. Build morale, gel the team and give opportunities for your team to mix and bond.
- Communicate well and often. Keep everyone informed about decisions, successes & challenges to bring the team together. Keep home workers and office workers in the loop with what’s happening.
- Take time to understand the benefits and pitfalls of each person’s chosen work situation. Working from home comes with challenges and working in an office may not allow for a good work life balance. Consider both potential issues to build in further flexibility.
- Do you need to make amendments to how you measure performance? Are you set up to manage outputs based on set plans or objectives? Being able to see the increase in work quality no matter where someone works will drive good behaviours as we get used to a hybrid working model.
- When you are recruiting, consider the coaching and training of your new starters. Do you have the right people in place to deliver training remotely if needed? It may be worth checking on the skillsets you have in your teams for supporting successful onboarding and training before hiring into your team.
- Be fair with benefits – if the office workers are having an office breakfast, make sure you include the home workers with something that works for them. The simple things will really matter!