In the new post-pandemic normal, hybrid teams are the new standard. In fact, 53% of job searchers now expect to have a hybrid arrangement. For those in the health industry, finding ways to create hybrid job opportunities — and manage them — can be incredibly difficult. This is especially true for healthcare organizations as the majority of roles require in-person delivery, especially in clinical and research-oriented roles. However, for those roles that can be managed remotely, offering a flexible work schedule is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s a necessity. It’s time to start building and offering hybrid work to remain competitive in recruiting and retaining top talent.
Adopting a hybrid work style is imperative to maintaining top talent, but it can be difficult to navigate how to manage a team of employees that’s partially in the office and partially in their homes. Along with communication struggles, it’s challenging to gauge workload and current progress, making managing a team of hybrid employees that much harder. So, how can you keep your hybrid team on task and working collaboratively across multiple locations?
1. Develop Effective and Equitable Communication Methods
When your hybrid team members are scattered between their own homes and the office, constant communication ensures that you know they’re on task and clear on what they need to be doing. This is especially important when a large portion of your team can’t work remotely and needs to collaborate with those working from other locations. It is important to develop clear methods of communication to ensure all team members stay on track throughout the day, whether working alongside one another or communicating virtually. The question is, how can you ensure communication is effective throughout a hybrid team?
First, start with writing everything down. From meeting notes to action plans, having one centralized place for all employees to reference is key to keeping everyone on the same page. Also, be sure to communicate with equity in mind. Hybrid workforces often lead to challenges when it comes to fostering inclusive employee experiences. Often, those working remotely feel left out of the in-office conversation or environment. To overcome this, it is best to use methods of communication that include all employees, whether in-office or remote and match the experience of those in the workplace. For instance, video conferencing is a great way to level the playing field and ensure all employee voices are heard, even across distances.
Not only does effective communication keep everyone on the same page, but it directly impacts the team’s engagement. Effective communication results in 4.5 times higher talent retention. Thus, developing effective hybrid communication skills is necessary for maintaining your team’s productivity between the office and their homes. Communicating with team members on days they are not in the office and adapting to new information as needed is imperative for staying productive with a hybrid team.
2. Keep Your Hybrid Team Aligned with Clear Goals
With hybrid teams, it can be difficult to maintain alignment on goals. While some days you can walk down the hall to check in on a coworker, other days you only communicate virtually, which makes it difficult to remain aligned on goals and progress.
Along with consistent, quality communication, setting and clearly defining goals for the entire hybrid team helps them to understand team priorities both in and out of the office. Setting clear goals and expectations helps keep your team motivated, even on days they’re working from home. In fact, your team is 76% more likely to achieve goals if they’re written down and defined. Written goals that can be easily accessed and referred back to ensure that employees are able to see precisely what they should be prioritizing, even on days when they are not in the office.
Additionally, through goal setting, you can also evaluate team performance. Employees are more easily able to self-manage when all expectations are clear for every team member. This way, the entire team is better prepared to track the progress of a project over time. It’s important to develop interdependent shared goals to ensure the team feels connected even though they might not be physically together.
3. Emphasize Employee Well-Being to Retain Top Talent
Maintaining productivity across a hybrid team is a method for retaining top talent. The last thing you want is to lose one of your top-performing team members because they were disengaged at work — which is why emphasizing and investing in employee well-being needs to become a priority. Investing in well-being programs doesn’t just keep talent at your organization, either — 79% of employees believe their company’s well-being programs have helped them become as productive as possible.
A quality workplace wellness program can help maintain job satisfaction. Employees feel valued in and out of the office when their well-being is prioritized. Taking the time to have authentic supportive discussions with all team members, working collaboratively to identify areas within your team’s work that carry unnecessary administrative burdens, and empowering team members to speak up and make process improvements to the way work gets done helps ensure smooth workflow across a hybrid work environment and prevents pent up frustration from creating disengagement and burnout among team members.
Hybrid work isn’t going away any time soon. It is important to adapt to the new normal to stay competitive. Managing a hybrid team that works both remotely and at home can be tough, but by improving your leadership skills to communicate well, you can create the productive work environment you need to thrive.
Start your leadership journey to better lead your hybrid team with the help of our experts at TLD Group — get in touch to get started!