How leaders can effectively manage teams in a hybrid workplace
When it comes to management, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution and each company’s approach (even each individual’s approach) to management should be tailored to what meets their team’s needs and a method that gets the best out of everyone. This calls for a unique, personalised approach as to how you manage your hybrid team.
Personalise your approach
To put that into context, some teams (especially larger ones) might need to catch up every morning, because of the sheer pace that they operate. Whereas smaller teams might feel that catching up once per week is more than enough to stay focussed and on-task. More junior staff or new starters will benefit from extra one on one time so that they feel supported, and so managers can ensure they have manageable workloads.
If you’re unsure about how to best organise meetings or check-ins with your team, speak to your direct reports and see what would work best for them/feel most comfortable with.
It’s better to be clear, than brief
In our efforts to keep meetings to a minimum, and to be as efficient as possible, it can often be a battle to provide clear tasks and actions but also keep meetings short and sweet. If you find this is a dilemma, then always opt for clarity over briefness. Yes, you might find that your meeting goes on longer than expected, but it’s necessary if you want your team to feel confident with what’s required from them.
Lack of clarity at any stage can result in mistakes that could’ve been avoided. It also breaks down the working relationship between a manager and their direct report. Don’t be afraid to triple check in with team members to see if they’re okay with what’s being asked with them. It’s better for employees to feel that they can come to you if they feel they’ve misunderstood, than avoid asking questions because you haven’t created the space for them to.
Organise capacity meetings
Whether you do this on a one-to-one basis or as a group, you should regularly check in with your team regarding capacity. This ensures your direct reports don't feel over or under capacity. Feeling overcapacity can often mean that deadlines might be missed or projects are rushed and aren’t completed to their usual standard; feeling under capacity can leave employees feeling unchallenged, so getting this balancing act right is crucial.
In group meetings, encouraging an honest approach is the best way of identifying this. At the end of the call ask everyone what their workload is like, as this will help divide the tasks amongst everyone fairly. If people don’t feel comfortable with sharing this, check in with them directly.
Don’t bombard your team with multi-channel messages
Avoid bombarding your team when it comes to messaging. Not only is it stressful but it’s also confusing. If you’re chasing something up over an instant messaging service, it doesn’t need a text message and an email as well. That person might be on a call or in the middle of meeting a deadline, and this type of communication can stall productivity and overcomplicate things for your team.