Data-Driven Tips for Successful Hybrid Team Leadership in 2022


According to Microsoft’s 2022 Annual Work Trends Index Report53% of employees are considering moving to a hybrid work setup next year, with hybrid work up 7 points from 2021.

So, what does it take to lead a hybrid team? Here are some tips.

1. Set up participation rules.

Many rules and behaviors are not mentioned when everyone is in the office. After all, everyone is in the same room, so it’s easier to pick up the signal. But when everyone is scattered, the approach is different.

According to a report from Microsoft, after the shift to a hybrid or remote model after the pandemic, only 28% of companies met and met with teams to define new standards.

This can lead to confusion, unmet expectations, and high churn rates. Setting a structure around communication and collaboration promotes cohesion among all members despite physical distance, allowing teams to work more efficiently.

2. Take advantage of asynchronous communication.

Speaking of distance, depending on the location of your team, it can be nearly impossible to call everyone at the same time.

For example, let’s say you have a team member in California, a team member in New York, and a team member overseas in Kenya. There are 3 time zones, which means 3 different work schedules.

One way to keep your team connected is through asynchronous tools.

For example, you can invite teams to share updates, check-ins, and more by leveraging bots within your messaging system, whether it’s Slack, Teams, or another platform.

geekbot asynchronous communication tool

with geek botSoftware can be programmed to ask teams specific questions and share answers.

So, if your team can’t sync your daily meetings, you can still get progress updates from everyone on the channel you choose.

3. Have a strong onboarding process.

Having a robust onboarding process in place is more important than ever.

Data from Microsoft reports show that employees who have been onboarded over the past two years have a greater risk of leaving, are less likely to feel part of a team, and tend to have weaker relationships with their immediate team.

After the pandemic, new hires are relying more on managers for onboarding, which is good for the company.

The study found that new hires with managers who took an active role in the onboarding process were 3.5 times more likely to be satisfied with the experience.

Here are some tips for optimizing your onboarding process.

  • Prepare training materials and create onboarding guides.
  • Start an internal mentoring program to guide new hires within the first few months.
  • Have a welcome chat to introduce new employees to your team.
  • Send new hires a survey of their onboarding experience to assess gaps in the process.

4. Trust your team.

Trust is the most important element of a successful hybrid or remote team. Without it, neither party can successfully address their responsibilities.

You can always keep an eye on your team in the office. Walk to the side of the desk, check out the projects, and peek at what they’re actively working on. If your team is hybrid, you lose that level of visibility.

So you have to trust the team. How do you build trust? Well, it’s a two-way street and it starts with you.

First, it is transparent. This includes everything from sharing feedback on performance to sharing resources to sharing updates across teams and across the enterprise.

Second, create a space where your team feels psychologically safe. This means it’s safe to share ideas, be yourself, learn, and challenge the status quo.

Finally, find out what is important to each person on your team. What do they value? What are their goals? How do they like to be celebrated? How do they learn best?

Trust also applies to work. According to a Microsoft report, 80% of employees say their productivity has improved since hybrid or remote switching, but most leaders (54%) are afraid that productivity will negatively affect or will affect their teams.

Avoid the temptation to fine-tune your team. Instead, set parameters for tasks, track progress, provide resources when needed, and provide feedback. This allows the team to do their best knowing that they have the full support and trust of their manager.

5. Prioritize team culture.

According to a 2022 Microsoft report, the most important aspect that employees value other than money is a positive culture.

Even if your team is a hybrid, you still have to work hard to build that culture. This is even more important because there is no physical environment to rely on.

If you have a hybrid team, you have to be intentional about everything. Specifically, you need to connect at the non-business level.

In a Microsoft report, 43% of surveyed leaders said building relationships is their top challenge for remote and hybrid work.

After all, you can’t invite your team to a local restaurant’s happy hour or grab an impromptu group lunch.

What you want to avoid is an imbalance in which some members feel disconnected from the team due to distance. This is very common. In fact, 44% of hybrid employees surveyed said they did not feel they were in a meeting.

Here are some ways your team can feel connected:

  • Host Virtual EventsEscape room, magic show, cooking class, etc. can be enjoyed by the team.
  • Have regular “water-cooled” meetings. Allow the team to get together and talk about everything that is not work-related.
  • Create non-business-related messaging channels Based on your team’s interests, such as cooking, TV shows, home improvement projects, pets, and more.
  • Annual or quarterly meeting planning With the team if the budget allows.

This is an opportunity to make it something that fosters inclusion, collaboration and trust.

6. Invest in team equipment.

When your team works in the office, there are certain items that you don’t need to consider, such as Wi-Fi, computers, headsets, desks, and more.

However, if some of your team members work from home, they will need access to the same equipment to be successful in their roles.

Also, there are items that are not required to complete tasks, but are nice to have if they can make your team happier and more productive. Think of headphones and ergonomics.

Instead of looking at it as an extra expense, think of it as an investment in a team that can deliver 10x performance.

Whether your team is a new hybrid organization or has always been, there is always room for improvement. These tips will help your team work as seamlessly as face-to-face.

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