(Part 2 of 3)
In Part 1 of this series, we discussed some solutions to the challenges of communicating well in the hybrid work environment. The full article can be found here.
Everyone agrees that how we communicate, connect, and support each other in this new-normal hybrid environment has a major impact on teams, but the statistics related to that impact vary widely, generally dependent on the resource you reference.
- 69% of employers globally are struggling to find workers with the right blend of technical skills and human strengths
46% of the workforce are planning a residential relocation because they can now work remotely.
Employees want to define “best”: over 70 percent of workers want to retain flexible remote work options; at the same time, over 65 percent are craving more in-person time with their teams.
- Last year's move to remote work boostedfeelings of inclusion for workers because everyone was in the same virtual room.
Many business leaders are faring better than their employees. 61% of leaders say they are “thriving” right now, while 37% of the global workforce says their companies are asking too much of them at a time like this.
Other findings include:
- 86% of surveyed executives believe that workers will gain greater independence and influence relative to employers in the future
- 63% of workers think their relationship with their employers will either become stronger or stay the same.
No matter how encouraging statistics may be (and these ARE!), the hoped-for results won’t manifest on their own. There are a few things that must occur for these projections to come to fruition.
Those must-haves (what we need to move from projection to reality) start, and end, with the skills of the leaders; how they communicate, connect, and support their teams.
All indications are that the hybrid work environment is here to stay. It is up to us to learn to function at our best in it, rather than rigidly hoping “the good old days” come back. Below are a few ideas on how to better connect with your team (including questions for deeper consideration) to move forward together.
According to a Harvard Business Review poll of more than 1,000 workers, almost half of the responders said the most successful managers check-in frequently and regularly with remote workers.
Meeting schedules should be consistent and predictable, and the meetings themselves are best structured in a way in which team members know they can consult with you and that their concerns and questions will be heard.
- Do you appropriately schedule meetings, whether individual or team-oriented?
- Do you have appropriate agendas identified and communicated in advance, so all participants are aware of deliverables?
- Have you identified the “type” of meeting to be held, and thus the requirements for what will make it successful?
- Information only? Consider video- or voice-recording the message and providing it on a shared service that can be accessed when the employee chooses.
- Discuss a new project and assign team member’s roles? Consider the appropriate length of time for this meeting including any pre-meeting and post-meeting documentation and follow-up to help ensure success.
- Project review? Who needs to be there, and why? Can teammates attend for “their” section of the project and leave when it’s complete? I’ve often sat through hour-long meetings when I was needed for roughly 15 minutes; the remaining 45-minutes was of no significance.
- Quick update from attendees on their projects, progress, challenges, and requests? Having an outline of what is required to ensure appropriate time allotment and content can decrease a full-scale meeting to less than 20-minutes for a team of eight.
- Team building? Accommodating your team both virtually and in-person to engage all team members is best done by an outsourced professional who has the skills and team-related exercises to engage all.
- Social event? Have fun with this! Consider a virtual wine or whiskey tasting; a virtual cooking class; or online games that encourage interaction, laughter, and togetherness.
Keep in mind: Employees, organizations, vendors, and clients continue to need stability, so a hybrid work plan does not mean a free-for-all approach. Connecting frequently, encouraging deeper conversations, being empathetic to individual needs, and understanding the why behind the requirement makes this process easier and less stressful for everyone.
Although we may have become less anxious about the realities of working remotely or the concept of working in a new office environment and designing the “new normal”, it may still feel a bit overwhelming, especially for the organizational leaders.
Leaders – you don’t have to go through this alone. I’m a strategic business consultant; I have tools and resources to help you through this planning, communication strategy, and implementation, and I’m here to help.
Let’s move forward. Together.
P.S. Book a Complimentary Strategy Session so we can get you moving in the right direction; click on my Complimentary Strategy Session calendar link here and let’s book a time together so you can get started today!
P.P.S. With over three decades of professional experience in corporate operations and executive human resources, I am a proven results-driven leader. My expertise includes strategy, change management, talent management and organizational development, employee relations, and executive and leadership coaching. I am a highly effective communicator and team leader with proven ability to build long-term relationships across internal and external customer environments built with integrity, confidence, authenticity, and trust.
 Global Talent Shortages Reach 15-Year-High As Workforce Transformation Reshapes In-Demand Skills (manpowergroup.com) 9/8/2021
 2021 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends