Secrets of High-Performing Hybrid Teams

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BONUS FREEBIE: Want even more ways to stay organized, productive and less stressed? Click here to get access to my List-Making Starter Kit. It will boost your efficiency and get you back to doing more of the things you love.

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At the beginning of the pandemic, we went from mostly working in-office to working remotely overnight. Now that we’ve settled into our remote or hybrid work environments, it’s time to assess.

Is your virtual or hybrid team thriving? Or just surviving? Is the team you’re leading happy? Or will you be the next company to experience a wave of “The Great Resignation”?

So I asked speaker, best-selling author and founding president of Clear Concept Inc., Ann Gomez, to join me on my live-streaming show Inside Scoop, to spill the secrets of high-performing and happy hybrid teams.

Here are four ways to cultivate a great hybrid work environment.

1) Conscious Communication.

When everyone was in the office it was easy to pass someone in the hall and check-in. “But we don’t need to romanticize a building,” Ann said.

Instead of asking how a meeting went when you run into someone, consciously and deliberately check with them. Ann suggested emailing or chatting to see how a project is going. Or schedule a virtual coffee or office happy hour.

Since you can’t rely on running into each other (or overhearing how things are going), consciously checking in is key.

But don’t check in too much. It’s important to…

2) Trust Your Team.

A hybrid or virtual work environment means you can’t know what all your team members are doing at every minute of the day. Which is good: nobody likes a micromanager!

But studies have shown, working virtually can be more productive than in-person work because there are fewer interruptions that get in the way.

“What employees really want is flexibility,” Ann said.

An effective leader trusts their team to get everything done correctly and on time, when and how it fits into their schedule. (Not having flexibility is also a major factor contributing to the great resignation.)

Trusting your team says volumes about your leadership. To be able to say, “Hey, I trust you. I don’t care when you work, where you are, what you’re doing, as long as the results are here,” shows your team you trust them. And motivates them to work harder.

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3) Value Your Team. And Your Work.

Another contributing factor to employee satisfaction (and retention) is meaningful work. “We all want to feel valued, and we want to know that our work has value. And that’s been a core human need since the beginning of time,” Ann said. And that feeling has intensified from the pandemic.

“The key to keeping people, the key is to keep people engaged,” Ann added. Understanding how the work connects to the company’s larger mission will help inspire people to work harder. “Every time you delegate work, take on a project, or dive into something, you want to honor and highlight how this ties into your team’s values and overall vision,” she said.

You can give people as much free coffee or other free perks as you’d like, but that doesn’t really do much for company culture anymore. That’s not what people really want. Free breakfast works for a short while, but that’s not what will keep them coming back.

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4) Keep Hybrid Calls Equal.

Nowadays on a Zoom call, not everyone is remote. And it’s easier to jump into the conversation if you’re one of the in-person employees. “Make sure to call on the virtual teammates first. By name,” Ann said. This helps ensure an equal playing field.

It is easiest to do that when all cameras are on. But video fatigue is real.

But Ann has a way to combat that. “Have everyone turn their videos on for the first 10 minutes when we connect. Productivity goes up in a meeting when we spend those minutes connecting on a human level. So keep the video on for that. If it’s the 19th meeting of the day, and then everyone turns their video off,” she explained.

For more, check out my LinkedIn Learning course “Be An Effective Hybrid or Virtual Employee”, check out Ann’s guide to “Hybrid Team Checklist” and watch our entire conversation here.

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BONUS FREEBIE: Want even more ways to stay organized, productive and less stressed? Click here to get access to my List-Making Starter Kit. It will boost your efficiency and get you back to doing more of the things you love.

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