How can leaders help employees feel a sense of belongingness in this new reality? How can we guarantee autonomy and flexibility by promoting union? Can we balance social interaction with efficiency? Still, as we've experienced over the past couple of years, more emails and Zoom's happy hours won't work. So what will it be?
The growing importance of one-to-one interactions
The employee experience can think of as a combination of an "air game" (one-to-many interactions) and a "field game" (one-to-one and one-to-one interactions). -some). Leadership teams set strategy and provide overhead coverage with the company brand, culture, values , and policies, such as compensation philosophy, maternity leave, and return-to-work mandates. These are now also viewed as Good Workplace Habits.
The ground game is what employees experience daily with their superiors, colleagues, and direct reports. The core game involves managers going out in the field, following the word, meeting people, and dealing with real issues in the area.
Contrast that with aerial game tactics like company-wide email blasts. Even if you're lucky enough not to be distracted or disciplined enough not to multitask, the online experience isn't nearly as good. In a remote work environment, the core game becomes more important than ever to drive employee experience and engagement and promote Good Workplace Habits and loyalty.
Managers can solve this problem - and they need support.
Managers are best positioned to initiate Good Workplace Habits and support these tactics because of their relationships with each team member. But the managers themselves need more support.
Over the past two years, many newly promoted managers have found themselves overwhelmed by the sudden need to manage remote workers who have had to deal with health and child care issues, relocation, and a host of other personal challenges. To succeed in the base game, business leaders and HR teams need to support managers with specialized onboarding, training, metrics, FAQs, and out-of-the-box manuals such as
What if an employee stops attending team meetings or if a family member becomes ill? In these busy times, business leaders also need to empower managers, promote Good Workplace Habits to reduce some of the bureaucracy, and make the right decisions in real-time to support their employees. With ever-changing Covid office mandates and policies, many situations are unprecedented and urgent, requiring managers to be confident and know where to turn if further support is needed.
How can managers engage hybrid teams?
When managers get the right support, they encourage emotional connection, team cohesion, and fun to compensate for the loss of closeness in the office. Here are a few:
Often a person can belong to multiple teams: a team of peers (their manager plus the manager's direct subordinates), their team of direct assistants (if they are managers), and perhaps a Scrum team. A work agreement must be created for each, which can be different: for example, a team must meet more often than a team of managers who each carry out separate projects. This can be promoted with the power of habit to encourage time management and enough time to relax.
The life news and body language we gather from physical proximity have disappeared or drastically reduced. Hence, managers must be more careful about creating space for team members to share, perhaps dedicating part of staff meetings to check-on life updates or a Slack message inviting everyone to share a photo of their summer.
Because so many meanings can be lost or easily misinterpreted in text messages or emails, Get the team together to decide what types of updates, requests, and shares should happen via email rather than in real-time via phone or video.
Meet in person regularly
Always plan the next face-to-face meeting, so the team has something to look forward to. Save controversial debates and collaborative work for those meetings. Spend more time off-site planning, which has a higher ROI than ever, as they now need to generate enough social capital to allow the team to move between face-to-face meetings.
Show appreciation regularly in ways big and small.
Without the smiles, nods, and other non-verbal cues we gave our colleagues in the office daily, we now need to be more careful to praise. This can be done by small gestures and efforts to help people feel more comfortable.