The relationships we have with the people we work closest with determine our day-to-day experiences at work. When those relationships are positive and productive, they help us form a sense of community, with shared goals and a shared purpose. More recently, organizations have been moving from a remote workspace into a hybrid work environment. However, the challenge is empowering your hybrid team in order to maintain communication and collaborative spaces.
This blog will show you five ways to empower your team, wherever they are located in the world. Read more to integrate these tips into your workspace!
In this blog you will find:
5 Ways to Empower Hybrid Teams
With some employees working remotely and some-in person, there are many concerns over unequal visibility and access to information, lack of trust, and less opportunities to build personal and team relationships. In order to meet the challenges of new hybrid environments, managers will need to reinvent new working habits to ensure effective and enjoyable work modes for everyone.
There are five things your team should consider as a framework for hybrid team success:
- Effective Communication. 💬
Ensure everyone has access to the information they need to get their job done, regardless of where they’re working from.
- Inclusive Collaboration. 🧩
New working habits that allow everyone to meaningfully participate and do their best work from anywhere.
- Intentional Team Building. 🏼🏾
Without equal access to in-person relationship building, teams need to be more intentional about social time to foster stronger connections.
- Balance & Trust. ⚖️
Help your team develop healthy boundaries and cultivate a culture that hinges on trust and results rather than physical presence.
- Recognition & Digital Presence. 🌟
Show appreciation often and amplify the work your team is doing to increase their visibility in your organization.
Below, we will dive deeper into each one.
✋ 5 Steps and how your organization can empower hybrid teamwork.
#1: Effective Communication
When it comes to managing both in-person and remote employees, it can be difficult to keep everyone engaged and updated on information and decision-making opportunities. To give equal access, organizations must develop new communication habits that are inclusive and accessible, regardless of where people are working from. Through Workplace from Meta, this can happen in a few ways:
Team Communication 🗣
In Workplace, you can create a dedicated team group for sharing information like team goals, files, and updates. Your team group can also be used to get feedback and promote dialogue across the team. For example:
- Set time aside to create new working agreements with your team. Your working agreements can act as a set of guidelines for how the team should work together in order to implement a safe and productive environment.
- Have team members share weekly “Top of Mind” posts to keep the team informed on what everyone is working on. These posts can be organized into different categories where team members can track progress, priorities, or list problems to get help from anyone they need.
- Set up office hours that team members can attend to get feedback or share updates outside of regular team and one-on-one calls.
One-on-one Communication 💬
Managers need to ensure they are giving similar levels of attention and support to all employees, regardless of where they’re working from. This includes setting up clear goals, providing consistent feedback, and sharing opportunities equally across team members. To do so, you can:
- Make your regular one-on-one meetings a priority. Try to avoid cancelling or repeatedly rescheduling them.
- Make it easy for team members to get support. Set clear expectations for how long it will take for you to respond and the best way to reach you.
Access to Resources 📓
Make sure you’re documenting processes, working guidelines, and onboarding materials, and storing them somewhere that both your remote and in-person employees can access easily. In Workplace, you can do this by building a team wiki in your Knowledge Library and inviting only your team to view it.
#2: Inclusive Collaboration
With Workplace from Meta, your organization can implement tools and features that help you foster both synchronous and asynchronous collaboration. With proper training, your organization can help team members on how to use Workplace features effectively so no employee is left out or left behind. To help you, this chart shows you tips with key tools and how to use them.
Meeting Practices 👍🏼
With fewer opportunities for informal communication, many hybrid teams are scheduling more meetings than ever. But these meetings can be a drain on your team’s energy and time, especially when they aren’t conducted in a way that’s inclusive of all participants. Here are ways to enhance thoughtful meeting practices to build team communication:
- Set a clearly defined purpose and an agenda for each meeting and share these with attendees beforehand. You can also use polls to get everyone’s input on the agenda, making sure everyone has an equal voice in prioritizing topics for discussion.
- Share files and pre-reads in advance so everyone can come prepared and follow along.
- Schedule watch parties so the team can watch the recording of global meetings and town halls that are conducted in other time zones together.
- For large meetings, consider assigning a facilitator to ensure that discussions are inclusive of all participants.
- Get input from your team regularly on how meetings are working and what you can do to improve.
#3: Intentional Team Building
With unequal access to face-to-face interactions, hybrid teams, and especially those who work remotely, have fewer opportunities to build deeper relationships and bond as a team. Close working relationships are central to employee experience and team effectiveness. Over time, the lack of social and informal interactions can put team cohesion at risk.
Team Bonding 😎
Managers should set aside time for their team to connect socially through video calls or in-person events, when possible. Coffee chats and happy hours can be held virtually on a regular basis, but over time they have the potential to become mundane. Try leveraging online platforms to incorporate more creative and engaging formats such as trivia, virtual escape rooms, online cooking classes and more.
You can also leverage Workplace Chat for informal conversations. Use Chat to greet employees at the beginning of each day, and leverage GIFs to communicate with humor. For example, on Mondays, ask employees to describe their weekend using only a GIF.
#4: Balance & Trust
Employees working remotely often struggle to establish a balance between their work and home lives. While many regain hours previously spent on commuting, those hours are now often taken up by household and caretaking responsibilities. As a result, many employees report working longer and less clearly defined workdays, especially those working across multiple timezones.
Trust your Team 👥
Not having visibility into people’s working hours and daily tasks could lead you to micromanage, but employee flexibility and autonomy is linked to higher productivity. Work with individuals to set clear expectations and agree on deliverables and timings. Then, use asynchronous methods like “Top of Mind” posts and communication in your one-on-one group to check in and stay on top of what team members are working on. For impromptu meetings and communication, work with your team to standardize a set of hours when everyone should be available.
Show them you care 🫂
Hybrid and remote work can take a toll on employee wellbeing, as people feel more pressure to prove that they’re being productive. Make sure employees are feeling supported by taking time in one-on-one calls to talk about any personal and professional challenges. These conversations will also help you monitor signs of burnout and help people prioritize their work.
#5: Recognition & Digital Presence
Make sure you’re consistent with praise and appreciation. Recognize the achievements of all team members, regardless of where they’re working from. And keep in mind that employees on hybrid teams, especially remote employees, tend to have less visibility in your organization. There are many ways you can celebrate achievements using Workplace:
- Create an open announcement group for your team (such as “Marketing FYI” or “Sales Wins”) to help everyone in the organization keep up with what you’re working on and invite stakeholders and collaborators. Encourage your team to share project updates and wins in the group and use it to openly recognize members.
- Use the “Send Thanks” feature to post appreciation messages to people’s profiles. Encourage other team members to also send thanks to their collaborators and to toggle on to notify their manager
- Reshare your team’s posts to other relevant Workplace groups to increase their visibility
Create a Hybrid Environment with Workplace from Meta
Effective hybrid team performance requires a cultural and behavioral shift. Many people are stumbling into hybrid work without thinking about how ways of working need to evolve. There is an urgent need for organizations to reprioritize the skill sets and behaviors they nurture, to think about what new processes and etiquette to implement, and to decide who should take accountability for maintaining team engagement. With Workplace from Meta, your organization can use different toolkits to optimize your approach to hybrid work.
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From this brainstorming session, we’ll help you to see a visual blueprint that will show you how your existing technologies and Workplace from Facebook can integrate to help close the gaps between your business goals and objectives and your technology capabilities.