How Leaders Can Handle Hybrid Workforce - Strategic Practices
How leaders can handle a Hybrid Workforce from the perspective of strategy.
Functional and product silos have been giving way to more networked and digitally integrated activities over the last year. Many CEOs stated that their firms have been moving towards a flatter structure in a hybrid context. During Covid-19, most companies have been attempting to increase employee empowerment by building more and faster connections across regions and business units. According to executives, the collaboration between corporate groups has aided innovation, and best practice exchange among industry competitors has expanded.
All of this appears to be positive and democratic. However, businesses must now ensure that this change results in increased performance rather than chaos.
More local responsiveness and initiatives can only be enabled if the organization has a shared goal, robust performance evaluation mechanisms, and regular follow-up. Over the next year, leadership teams should devote significant time to fine-tuning — and strengthening — these integrative mechanisms for their new hybrid model so that local flexibility transitions from a crisis-driven necessity to a long-term competitive advantage. 1
In a B2B context, research demonstrates that building trust positively impacts outcomes and fosters customer commitment. Although trust is the foundation of customer relationships, gaining it in a remote and hybrid context can be difficult. Discussing project scope, milestones, and expectations from the start and setting communication plans are just a few of the components that aid in the formation of a working partnership. Success in distant initiatives becomes increasingly specific if a healthy working connection has been established.
Assisting customers and partners in staying connected can also provide unique learning opportunities. Close-knit gatherings, such as our industry advisory councils, could prove to be a significant success element as firms embark on digital transformation projects at a faster pace in the post-pandemic environment. While most of these encounters were previously held in person, future programs will increasingly include concentrated and frequent virtual sessions directed at specific and significant client outcomes. Customers may communicate with like-minded businesses, discuss best practices, collaborate, and innovate together in a secure environment. Transparent platforms with a plethora of specialists create confidence while also increasing interaction. 2
Rely on Available Technology
Most of us have been forced down a path of digital transformation that can take months, if not years, to implement in most firms. Simple platforms such as Zoom and Google Hangouts, to name a few, can be used for daily check-ins and thorough communication. Many other platforms have been developed since then to enhance the experience of a hybrid workforce. Part of your role as a leader is to keep searching and updating your technology library for employee engagement, performance effectiveness, and customer satisfaction. It could be settling initially, but then, it eases up, and we start to think about how we ever lived without it. 3
Life after the pandemic will never be the same again. There's a new normal, and it's there to stay. As a result, determining your organization's strategy and aligning your teams to it utilizing some of the tactics outlined above will help you stay on track with your teams and be as productive as ever. Yet, as much as hybrid working might be new to us yet, building the concept on inclusion and trust is not new. The new hybrid culture needs hard work and a new mindset built on a new business paradigm, thus leading to a healthy culture and an optimal performance ecosystem that strives for new business standards.
John, Andrew, Nick, and Robin gathered on a sunny Monday morning in John's office. It was managers' office day. After lots of discussion among top management, and employees the decision was taken for a hybrid office system. Among the strategy, management had to be present altogether every Monday. John remarked that Andrew's dark eye circles have almost disappeared, to which Nick chimed in, singing merrily to Andrew at the top of his lungs. Robin laughed hysterically. Andrew confessed that it took him some time to adapt to the new system. It took him a while to change his mindset and look at the workplace from a different angle. The rest of the three gentlemen acknowledged his feelings, saying that they'd been there as well. It is not an easy situation, John assured. "It took all of us time," Nick jumped in. "However, none of us gave up our sleep the way you did, Andrew," to which they all laughed hysterically.
1Harvard Business Review, 28 June 2021, Kalle Heikkinen,William Kerr, Mika Malin, and Panu Routila, 4 Imperatives for Managing in a Hybrid world, Accessed 30 Septeber 2021, https://hbr.org/2021/06/4-imperatives-for-managing-in-a-hybrid-world
2Forbes, 28 September 2021, Matt Laukaitis, From Remote to Hybrid Working: The Role of Leadership, Accessed 30 September 2021, https://www.forbes.com/sites/sap/2021/09/28/from-remote-to-hybrid-working-the-role-of-leadership/?sh=7ac85fd842d2
3Forbes, 26 August 202, Brent Gleeson, 13 tips for managing and leading remote teams, Accessed 30 September 2021, https://www.forbes.com/sites/brentgleeson/2020/08/26/13-tips-for-leading-and-managing-remote-teams/?sh=276e0eb6577b
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