Hybrid Work | Leading teams in a hybrid workplace

Leading teams in a hybrid workplace
Leading teams in a hybrid workplace

Experiences over the last 18-months have had a dramatic impact on us all. As we figure out returning to the workplace, and energising our teams, as leaders we will be faced with challenges.

It is important to recognise that we are all unique and some will need more time to adjust than others. We need to consider culture, diversity, how each team member responds to change, plus individual and team motivation.

Working across cultures

Global teams work across cultures and languages, being mindful of different ways of working is crucial. During a recent coaching session for a team representing several different countries, it became clear that everyone had different ways of expressing themselves. The leader set the tone by publicly acknowledging the situation, demonstrating empathy towards those that may need it. By doing this, others followed, and the team supported one another through the transition.

TIP: Consider each team member’s situation– how can you enable the team to talk openly about how they are feeling?

How do we respond to change?

As things continue to change over the next few months, each person will have a different response. For some, working face to face again will be a welcome return, for others it may bring a sense of dread. In William Bridges book “Transitions”, he describes three key phases when moving through change: Endings, Neutral Zone and New Beginnings. Exploring how people feel about ending the current phase and entering the next can be useful, as it encourages honesty and transparency. It also helps you as the leader know what people need. The neutral zone can feel strange as it is the point at which we don’t quite know how the new normal will be.

Involving the team in creating the future together is a great way to harness the neutral zone. New Beginnings is when we start the new phase. This is the time to notice if people are still “mourning” the ending of the previous phase. For example, if people mention they miss their morning walk, or they preferred the work/ life balance they had before, these could be signs that they haven’t fully adapted yet to the new phase. Encouraging ongoing dialogue about how people are doing, helps you as the leader, bring your team together.

TIP: Be alert to each team member’s stage of transition and encourage ongoing communication to support everyone to transition through change effectively.

What motivates us?

Re-motivating our teams is crucial. Before we can consider how to achieve this, we must first understand our own motivations. Consider a time when you last felt truly motivated and understand: What was happening? What caused it?

TIP: Post pandemic our teams’ drivers and motivations may have changed; ensure you reconnect with each team member to understand their perspective.

Goal Setting

September has that back-to-school vibe and is the perfect time to re-calibrate and reflect on the way forward. As the leader, your team will be looking to you for clarity on how they are expected to work moving forward. Establishing new boundaries is useful, for example, is your organisation flexible about when people come into the office? Or does the team need to be in the office on certain days?

It is key to reset the direction and redefine your goals. For some goal setting is a creative process and for others a logical one. Before you set your SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound) objectives make sure you adapt your approach to everyone in the team so that the discussions are tailored.

TIP: Provide ongoing clarity to the team and check for understanding.

Over the coming months there is a real opportunity for leaders to harness the key skills that individuals have developed over the last year, which may include: resilience, creativity and problem solving. A fundamental element for success as a leader will be to maintain ongoing communication and clarity as people move into the next phase.

If you would like to take some time to create your post pandemic leadership style, coaching can provide that much needed space to reflect and do just that. Please get in touch to arrange a no obligation discovery call.

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