Four New Rules for Leading Hybrid Teams

In the transition to remote work, experienced leadership teams may struggle to maintain a culture of excellence. When senior staff members are only available remotely, some junior employees miss out on mentorship. When office professionals work from home, retail workers believe they are being treated unjustly. The principles of what creates a great team haven’t altered nearly as much as we may imagine. These four guidelines will help you manage your hybrid team. 

Make your work more purposeful

Working with a higher purpose is important. People who do not believe their employment contributes to the company’s goal are 630 percent more likely to quit. Assist employees in rediscovering the meaning of their work. Managers must connect each employee’s task to the larger picture of why what they do is important. When selecting tasks, supervisors should outline answers to: Why is this task important? How does it match the company’s mission? How will it influence others? 

Provide clarity. Be more decisive than feels comfortable.

Don’t shy from being firm while offering your workers autonomy. When it comes to company values, direction, and being clear is the most compassionate thing you can do — even if your decision is unpopular. When people know what’s happening, they can make the best choices for themselves. It’s the ambiguity that is more punishing.

Trust your team more than it seems comfortable

As a manager, you should provide guidance rather than command. Outline the goals you want your workers to achieve. Then leave it up to them to figure out how to get there. This may be unsettling. However, by allowing your team to decide on their own approach and work product, you will end up with a superior final product. Teams with the highest levels of psychological safety and trust are 40% more productive.

Include everyone. Take a long hard look in the mirror.

One of the reasons employees don’t want to return to the office is that the culture was poor. That culture likely wasn’t great for members of marginalized groups or introverts. So, take advantage of this transformation to establish new standards and build a better, stronger culture. Encourage managers to identify who dominates the discussion in meetings or gets the most attention for a successful project. Make the criteria for projects as clear as possible: The more explicit the rubric, the less room for bias.

Leaders now must deal with tremendous uncertainty and teams that have been caged up at home for over two years. Leaders must change. They can help their workforces develop world-class cultures by following the four suggestions outlined above, regardless of where their people work.

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