Keys to leading teams with a hybrid work model
Currently, flexibility has become a priority for workers, many do not want to return to the 100% face-to-face way of working, because according to a survey we conducted in Evaluar, 7 out of 10 Mexican employees prefer a mixed work model, where they can combine the home office with a few days at the office. Along the same lines, we can see that many companies are willing to benefit from this way of working, in terms of the economic and resource efficiencies that have been consolidated throughout these months; That is why about 80% of companies plan to let their collaborators divide their time between the office and remote work , as indicated by a study carried out by We Work. However, just as the advantages of this model can be evidenced, there are challenges for leaders and of course for entrepreneurs; These leadership challenges invite us to ask ourselves, are we prepared to guide employees in the office and at a distance at the same time?
One of the main challenges we face when managing work teams in a combined model between face-to-face and home office is oriented towards ensuring that people are integrated; An investigation carried out by the consulting firm Pew indicated that 65% of employees who are remotely feel less connected with their co-workers. As we know, this union can only be achieved through coexistence; For this reason, communication and interaction through digital media is important, but with a sense of companionship not only for work, for which we must define the tools and channels that will allow our collaborators to interact with each other, independently. where they are working.
It is also important to recognize that for an entrepreneur, leading from a distance requires more effort, because in the structure of an enterprise, the person who directs it normally has deep knowledge of the business, vision, needs and has not yet transferred all that knowledge to your direct work team, for which communicating with a focus on results is essential to achieve the established goals; Even this could create a bit of difficulty at the beginning, but as the months go by, the culture of management by objectives will make sense for everyone and it will become a more efficient way of working.
Also, in this process we must always remain receptive to the needs of the people under our charge, showing empathy and care for each one of them; For example, if we see that a member of the team in the home office has the perception that their opinion is not being valued for working remotely, leaders must intervene as soon as possible to release tension and discomfort.
65% of employees who are remotely feel less connected with their co-workers / Image: Depositphotos.com
On some occasions, it may be that this kind of conflict has to do with generation gaps, that is, Baby Boomers prefer to work with more systematic processes and resolve their issues in person; Millennials tend to be more receptive to technology which makes them prefer to work mostly remotely, and as for Centennials they can be the most flexible and not have a problem moving between one workspace and another. This context serves as a reference to consider what to expect when leading hybrid teams with members of several generations.
Another key aspect is giving teams greater autonomy through trust, and being aware of something that is key for an entrepreneur. Errors are part of growth and learning, if we are not wrong it means that we are not innovating or evolving and this in an enterprise is the day-to-day of daily work management. When we have people working here and there, we can feel as leaders that we lose control of the team; however, we must trust the capabilities of our people and promote a culture based on results. This requires placing more emphasis on what employees are achieving in the face of the responsibilities we give them and less focus on how they are doing it; of course leaving the rules clear so that everyone works on the same line.
Therefore, it will be important to give feedback to collaborators; It can even be done through regular meetings, at least once a month, where they talk about their strengths and areas for improvement, as well as leaving a space to express concerns or needs. This dynamic provides the opportunity to gather feedback on what is working and not working in a hybrid work environment.
Finally, it is important to clarify the skills that leaders need to develop to achieve good management in this work scheme , because to lead the change, the transformation must start at the head of the team. Competences such as emotional intelligence, results orientation, transformational leadership, effective communication, among others, are essential to achieve an adequate work process; So, it will be important to do an analysis to diagnose our strengths and identify where we need to improve.
Let us remember that for now we are in a learning process about these new ways of working, the only certainty that we can visualize is that the hybrid work model is the most comfortable for many industries and without a doubt we need to adapt to this new challenge that clearly brings great benefits to our ventures, without forgetting that like everything in the life of an entrepreneur implies evolving, changing, developing skills and improving as leaders.