Offices are reopening after the global pandemic brought the world to an unprecedented halt. However, not everyone is resuming in-office work and leaders have to manage hybrid teams comprising people working locally and remotely.
Hybrid working is the new normal and impacts talent in multiple ways. To stay competitive, companies must ensure high-performing and inclusive environments that support employees irrespective of their work locations. Therefore, organizations must invest in training their leaders to develop the skills required to effectively adapt, coach, and manage the new work environment.
What is a hybrid team?
Hybrid teams have different ways of working. Some people work in an office full time while others are permanently working from their homes or other remote locations. Some people split their working days between office and remote locations.
When done correctly, hybrid working can be beneficial to maximize productivity and access talent from outside local areas. Although there are several advantages, hybrid working isn’t without challenges. This type of work environment is new for most leaders and they often face struggles to create a connected, efficient, effective, and inclusive environment for all local and remote team members, which encourages them to deliver their best efforts.
Managing the new normal
Managing local and remote teams requires the same skills and leaders must provide actionable and timely feedback, clarify expectations, and social inclusion. Management must help their people define priorities, protect their time, and use one-on-one interactions to enhance employee engagement and progress.
A major challenge faced by hybrid team leaders is to ensure every individual is provided equal opportunity for engagement, growth, and professional development irrespective of their work location. An effective corporate team coaching program enables participants to:
- Explore the effect of hybrid working on the mental health and well-being of their team members
- Use strategies like stay interviews to retain talent
- Learn various techniques to coach people on working in hybrid environments
- Create and enhance a corporate culture of collaboration and inclusion
- Personalize work experiences by taking care of their teams
Strategies to coach hybrid teams
Managing hybrid teams means being aware that people working locally and remotely have different experiences. In this environment, leaders must create a level playing field to maintain strong team dynamics. When done correctly and regularly, leadership team coaching offers participants an improved understanding of individual needs, impact, and performances. An effective training program also helps in building interpersonal skills to make participants better leaders.
Here are three strategies for hybrid team coaching programs:
Build an inclusive and trusted organizational culture
Leaders must remain focused and be attentive listeners and work with an open mind with a belief in the potential and capabilities of their team members. Improving communication skills will help to create an appreciative, strong, and trusting organizational culture, which in turn is beneficial in retaining talented people and increasing employee engagement by delivering positive experiences.
Bring accountability for efficiency and equality
Team coaching training is designed to enable participants to move towards their goals, whether big or small. Learning how, when, and where to facilitate conversations is an important skill for managers. Building an actionable plan and providing real-time feedback will help to develop an efficient hybrid team in a diversified yet inclusive and equitable organizational culture.
Internal factors like autonomy, competency, progress, and purpose influence motivation. It also depends on extrinsic factors like money, power, and status. An effective coaching program will consider how the team members are motivated by these different factors. It also helps them to gain improved self-awareness and align their goals, strengths, and values for growth in their personal and professional lives.
Leading teams is difficult and the new hybrid work environment is more complicated and dynamic which makes it more challenging and stressful. However, it also provides an opportunity to add a new dimension of leadership competency. Being proactive with communication and controlling tasks while creating and maintaining healthy boundaries will ensure a smooth transition to the new normal. And an effective training program can help leaders develop the skills needed to deliver the best results in a hybrid work environment.