Empowering Teams In The Era Of a Hybrid Workforce
Last Updated on August 17, 2023 by Owen McGab Enaohwo
Since the Covid-19 pandemic reshaped the employment landscape, the phrase “hybrid working” has undeniably become a significant part of our lives. Businesses worldwide embrace this concept, with 63% of high-growth companies implementing hybrid working in their operating models. As such, in-person, in-office team interactions slowly shift, resulting in a mixed culture built on enhanced productivity. However, successfully navigating leadership in a hybrid era involves empowering teams, improving engagement, and redesigning policies that no longer suit. But in the face of uncertainty, how do you ensure your team stays productive and creative? Let’s explore ways you can motivate your hybrid team even during the most challenging times.
Lead with empathy, compassion, and care
As society slowly emerges from Covid-19 and adapts to a new normal, business leaders need to focus on employee well-being more than ever before to lead their hybrid teams effectively. A paradigm shift toward more humanistic management was observed not long before the pandemic. The appearance of hybrid working has only accelerated this focus on empathy and compassion as employees’ mental health has taken a significant hit since the pandemic’s beginning. Figures show that well-being rates dropped during the first lockdown and continued with each one that followed.
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Employees were continuously exposed to chronic stress, and remote working has permanently stopped accessing mental health facilities. It has brought on social isolation and fear of uncertainty, which has only emphasized the importance of employee mental health in the workplace, with the need to lead with empathy never being more important.
One of the most overlooked features of a hybrid workforce is the power to chat with people and build a network with colleagues. Compared to working from home, an office provides a safe space for casual chats and companionship, but for some reason, people who work from home are often excluded from these conversations.
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And while organizing a networking event can be challenging with a mixed workforce and interaction via technology, there is still hope. People long to interact with each other, and you can certainly work towards functioning online networking as part of the company culture.
Implement these tips to promote networking:
- Host regular virtual events and team bonding hangouts
- Make sure that every team member is visible and heard during these events
- Try to use a bit of time from every video call to catch up
- Create a warm atmosphere for juniors to meet and connect with their seniors
- Use short online training through videos and apps
One of the most significant challenges of working from home is maintaining a strong company culture where collaboration is a positive experience and employees get rewarded for their work. SurveyMonkey discovered that 82% of employees state that it makes them happier when recognized at work. But how can you make sure your employees feel acknowledged, even the ones working remotely?
Recognition is a powerful tool. Always make sure to:
- Create and support a professional development plan for your team
- Ask your employee’s preferred way of recognition
- Have a team activity day / take them out for drinks/dinner or even a mini getaway
- Promote their anniversaries/milestones on social media
- Create a peer recognition initiative
One effective way to ensure employees feel acknowledged, even when working remotely, is by creating a peer recognition initiative with tailor-made awards that cater to their individual achievements and strengths.
Regulations and policies are made for humans and are not designed to work the other way around as we continuously evolve. This requires company policies and specific rules to adapt to these changes and suit the people needed to adhere to them. If you have remote employees who are not traveling, does it make sense to offer a travel allowance as a practical benefit, just like finding a job through Lensa, or would a new home-office equipment allowance be better?
When examining current policies, always remember their original intent of why they were designed in the first place while ensuring they meet the requirements of the hybrid era. Consider your employee feedback always to offer what meets their needs the best.
The success of a business hugely depends on its biggest asset – its employees. Their empowerment is vital in keeping the wheels turned and accelerating growth. But team empowerment requires effective leadership, and effective leadership requires an awareness of your team’s needs and behaviors. Hopefully, the ideas outlined in this article will help you choose the right direction and set your business to prosperity.
I have one mission: to revolutionize job search for companies and professionals.
A founder by nature, I first tasted entrepreneurship as a child selling fruit from my grandfather’s orchard.
My journey through founding, funding, and exiting successful startups has taught me a valuable lesson: the hiring process is broken. And so is the way we look for jobs and develop our careers.
That’s why I created Lensa, a start-up that offers a technological solution to the crisis of the career marketplace.
In 2001, I funded and launched Profession.hu, Hungary’s leading recruitment platform. In just 4 years, we reached an extraordinary market share of 75%. When SanomaMedia purchased the company in 2005, the transaction was the largest of its kind in Hungary up to that time.
My passion for startups led me on to found and head e-Ventures, and later, in 2008, to the launch and sale of AffilateMedia, Network.hu, and Replise.
These ventures opened my eyes to the need for recruiting and human resources technology that puts people first.
At Lensa, we are working every day to share the transformative potential of this vision with the world.
Starting with you!