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5 Tips To Manage Hybrid Remote Teams

If you are an HR manager who is struggling to manage Hybrid team, this is for you.

Hybrid remote

The pandemic has made companies look for new and innovative ways to work and stay connected. Hybrid remote teams are emerging as an innovative approach to the workforce. 

With part of the team working remote and others in a co-working space, hybrid working is the new trend- connecting the best of both worlds. 

The Financial Times recently called hybrid work the “new norm”.  In a recent FlexJobs survey, 31% of respondents report wanting a hybrid remote work environment post-pandemic.

This is an entirely new challenge for most leaders. Managing teams has never been a piece of cake. More so if you are in charge of managing a hybrid remote team as it has it’s own unique set of challenges.

Do you feel overwhelmed when it comes to managing your hybrid teams effectively? Do you want to know how to maintain a healthy work culture among your hybrid team members? Do you find it difficult to keep your remote and in-office employees in a loop?

Here are 5 tips for you to help you manage your hybrid remote teams effectively-

1 Set expectations and make accountability clear

Remote teams

Be abundantly clear about expectations and key routines to keep the team performing at its best. Trust your employees and offer flexibility.

How can you do it?

  • Formalize collaboration policies. It will help you avoid any confusion or miscommunication when your team is distributed. Problems will inevitably occur, so collaboration policies with set practices and protocols will make sure everyone understands how to respond.
  • Provide a goal, make success criteria clear and let your employees do the job when and where they want to. As a part of this, you might organize weekly meetings with your hybrid remote teams to get off to a flying start. It will give your employees direction and help them focus on works most important.
  • Increase visibility, make all information, and decision-making process transparent.
  • A small course of action such as a shared calendar with everyone sharing who is working on what and when can also boost visibility and accountability in your hybrid team.

For example, Xerox has introduced a Team Availability App that supports flexible workplace needs to understand employee availability and location. 

2Increase Communication

Hybrid Remote

Be mindful of communication while managing a hybrid remote team. It’s easier to get an all-remote team or an in-office team in a loop. But it’s much difficult for a hybrid remote team. The only solution is building a culture of over-communication.

How can you do it?

  • Make communication asynchronous wherever possible.
    You can take inspiration from companies like Buffer, Zapier, GitLab, etc., and how they go about their asynchronous communication.
  • Encourage documentation and transparency. Emphasize on written communication. Educate people on how to do it effectively.
    For example, at InVision they share an InVision Freehand document before each meeting session to structure their conversation.
  • Create personality assessments where do’s and don’ts of everyone’s communication style is defined.
    Since everyone has a different communication style, Employees can adapt to other’s patterns to avoid any misunderstanding while communicating with their colleagues.

3Discourage creating the ‘other’

How To Master Hybrid Remote Teams

One of the major challenges you might face while managing a hybrid remote team is the ‘them and us’ culture. Your in-office employees for example may have the prejudice that the remote employees don’t work hard enough. And your remote employees might feel dissociated. So as the leader, you need to take hold of such situations and take initiatives to ensure all your employees feel part of a larger team.

How can you do it?

  • Build a culture of support where employees value and respect each other irrespective of their location.
  • Promote inclusion. Don’t let your remote employees feel as if living on an island. Take steps like organizing virtual water cooler moments for the whole team. Let everyone speak during meetings and important discussions.
  • Team building is crucial. Find creative ways to connect everyone. For example, you can organize the “Get To Know You” sessions.
  • Develop mechanisms for spontaneity across your remote and in-office workers. 

4Be impartial

Be impartial

Building a fair environment is often difficult with part of your team working in front of your eyes and the rest working from their home. And in most cases, remote employees are the worst hit. Thus it’s important to give equal importance and chance to all the members of your hybrid remote team.  

How can you do it?

  • Judge your employees based on their performance and not hours. Let productivity be your guide. Keep everything transparent. Create a fact-based evaluation. Evaluate everyone based on the same standards.
  • Provide a fair amount of opportunities for professional development and progress — independent of where your team members are located.
  • Ensure fair rewards and benefits for both remote and in-office employees. Identify the imbalances. Make sure every employee is equally supported and engaged, and each person can enjoy the inherent benefits of his or her preferred work location and style. Ensure there is no information disparity.

5Inculcate employee satisfaction and happiness

Employee satisfaction

Make employee satisfaction a priority. Because happy employees mean increased employee engagement and retention.

 How can you do it?

  • Facilitate employee health. Focus on employee wellbeing programs.
  • Look out for signs of burnout and mental health issues. Encourage a positive attitude towards work-life balance among your employees. Check-in from time to time to see how your employees are coping and adjusting.
  • Working closely with employees and understanding their preferences. Don’t forget your remote employees as well. Have video one-on-ones with your remote team members to develop deep relationships.
  • Although the pandemic has ended some people may still feel anxious to adjust with the changing circumstances. So reach out and offer support to your employees. It will not only let your employees know that you care but also infuse trust in them.

Conclusion

Be intentional about adapting management practices to drive a successful hybrid team. Understand the unique dynamics of a hybrid team and manage in a way to make them work.

You may also like to read:

Role Of HR In Employee Engagement For Remote Teams

Remote Onboarding During Covid-19 Crisis

How to choose the best employee engagement software?

Best Employee Engagement Survey Software: How to choose for remote teams?

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