hybrid work headingIn our last blog, we discussed how, from a big picture point of view, organisations can ensure their hybrid working environment is equitable both across genders and for those who choose to work from home more frequently.

In this blog, we look at some of the more practical habits and behaviours leaders can practice to ensure the hybrid model of the future leads to high performance.

By being transparent and inclusive, leaders enhance engagement levels, wherever their teams are located. By being specific with expectations and timelines; sharing the goal or purpose of the work being undertaken; and seeking input and perspective from team members, leaders will see motivated teams with a commitment to success whether they are working from home or are back in the office.

Schedules don’t always align, and decisions still need to be made. By empowering employees to make choices and creating a working environment that allows them to feel safe to do so means work is not held up and deadlines are met.

Organisations should be prepared to invest in digital tools and the training required to optimise their use. Despite the current lockdown, hybrid work environments are unlikely to go away anytime soon, so short-term fixes are inadequate and short-sighted.

The interactions between leaders and their teams will guide culture and cohesion. Leaders must intentionally show up differently and practice empathy, active listening and create opportunities for open conversation within their teams. Fostering an environment where people can openly and constructively share concerns builds a team with trust.

However an organisation manages its performance management conversations, productivity must be measured differently in a hybrid environment. We have previously spoken about the concept of evaluating individual performance by outcomes as opposed to output or hours logged and in a hybrid (or work from home) setup, this makes a lot of sense. Requiring timesheets or tracking time online does nothing to improve productivity and dispels any attempt at trust.

Leaders must model the behaviours they want to see, so working remotely and attending meetings online from outside the office shows teams there is a level playing field between on- and off-site staff. By emulating those that are working remotely every now and then, leaders demonstrate that not coming into the office every day is not a career-breaker.

There are no sure-fire ways to create a successful hybrid working environment. The leaders who recognise that strong relationships with their team members and a safe, trusting team culture is just as important as the work that is being performed will ensure a high performing team, wherever the location.