Hybrid and Remote Team Management: Tips & Techniques

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The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many changes to the workplace. Hybrid and remote working environments are the new normal for many businesses, thus calling for new practices for management. Let’s discover the top tips and techniques for hybrid and remote team management strategies.

Provide Social Interaction Opportunities

Jordan Dwayne,  Founder and Designer 6 Ice

When it comes to working in a hybrid or remote team environment, it is often up to management to create opportunities for social interaction amongst employees. Employee relationships and collaboration have a massive impact on work performance and employee retention, which is why it’s important to keep strengthening these employee bonds. Whether this is creating virtual events and movie nights, or having a monthly family gathering, giving your employees opportunities to interact will leave them feeling happier and more connected as a team.

Take Advantage of Apps and Technology to Help Your Team Grow

Tim Mitchum, President WINPRO Pet

If your team is transitioning to a hybrid or remote work environment, as a manager, it’s important to help your team with the learning curve of working with new technology tools. Be sure to take advantage of apps and technology to help your team continue to grow. It’s up to you to figure out how your team works best, and to help them with their productivity and focus.

Focus on Inclusion

Melanie Bedwell, E-commerce Manager OLIPOP

Sustaining and strengthening inclusion in a new remote work environment matters now more than ever. As a leader, it is critical to be understanding, passionate, and respond to challenges in a way that promotes inclusion. Try to really get to know the employees on their team and try to genuinely help them with any challenges that they may be facing. Form personal connections with your team, and encourage greater participation amongst them. By understanding your employees and making time for remote team building and networking, your employees will feel valued, empowered, and part of the team.

Be Flexible

Sheila Chaiban, CEO One Ocean Beauty

COVID-19 has brought enormous changes to not only work environments, but to everyone’s daily lives as well. This is why it’s important to be flexible with your employees and have empathy. Your team members should feel comfortable approaching management, and it’s your job to be their advocate and support system. By building up your individual employees, you are helping the team overall as well. People may be trying to balance working from home with their family life or working out scheduling and technology issues, and it may be difficult for some in the beginning. Remember to be flexible, and to help coach your team to be on the path to success.

Group Training on Using Technology

Isaiah Henry, CEO Seabreeze Management

By now, it can be said with much assurance that both the hybrid model and remote working are not passing phases. We learned during the pandemic that many people work even more productively from home, and it can save companies thousands in monthly expenditures. However, to keep everyone on the same page, it’s imperative to not only have an arsenal of tools and apps at your disposal, but to ensure that your entire team is trained to use them. If not, you may fall into the situation where a team member avoids using a very helpful tool, for fear of not understanding its features, or using it incorrectly. Instead, offer group training, and then keep an eye on your team, and offer additional assistance where needed.

Designate Meeting-Free Times and Set Healthy Boundaries

Chris Hetherington, Founder and CEO Peels

When your employees leave the office, this means that they are off the clock and are for the most part, off duty. However, when your team is working remotely, their home becomes the office, thus making it harder to separate the office from home. Management can help with this by setting healthy boundaries for when employees are off the clock and off duty. Designating a meeting-free period throughout the week can also help your team to have better focus, and have time for independent work as well.

Listen To Your Employees and Focus on Communication

Rob Chang, CEO & Director Gryphon Digital Mining

The best way to manage a hybrid and remote team is to communicate early and often. Stay on top of how your employees are doing by communicating with them through Slack channels, via email and via Zoom, Microsoft Teams or another tool. This is important to make them feel connected and to ensure everyone is on the same page at all times, so that your employees are well equipped to meet your expectations. Providing them with surveys from time to time can also be helpful when it comes to securing valuable feedback and letting you know how they feel about their work environment. It can also help boost morale by showing them you are willing to listen to their concerns.

Monitor Stress-Levels

Vincent Bradley, Co-founder and CEO Proper Wild

Monitoring stress-levels is key when working in a hybrid or remote work environment. Oftentimes, supervisors and managers may lose track of individual projects and can over-assign work to employees, causing them high stress-levels, and feeling stuck. Be sure to utilize techno;ogies to help monitor employees’ work and progress. As a leader, you’ll want to establish expectations that match reality. At the end of the day, make sure that your employees have a balance of space, social interactions, and time to work as a team.

Encourage a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Jason Sherman, Founder TapRm

When you work from home, it can be difficult to fully disconnect from work. This is why setting a healthy work-life balance as a manager of a team is critical to preventing employee burnout, and will maximize success. As a leader, you can tell your team that you don’t expect responses after working hours. This can help employees feel like they don’t need to be “always-on” so that they can relax, decompress, and enjoy their downtime as well.

Establish Core Hours

Katie Lyon, Co-founder Allegiance Flag Supply

Setting core hours for employees to work is important in setting productivity goals. When working remotely, oftentimes employees are spread across different time zones, so implementing synchronous and asynchronous work times are very helpful. For asynchronous work specifically, it’s best to address the degree of flexibility for these hours in particular so that employees know the best ways to manage their time.

Offer Mentoring Sessions

Kelli Lane, Chief Marketing Officer Genexa

Leaders have an important task of helping their team members to achieve individual success. You can do this by getting to know your employees on a one-on-one basis. Set aside some time to offer regular check-ins with employees to see how they are doing. Learn about their goals, interests, and explore their personal development interests. Offering mentoring sessions can help your employees to reach their goals, and can help you to be a better listener and leader. Be sure to keep a running list of those that you spoke with and offer these mentoring opportunities to everyone on your team.

Be Confident

Matt Seaburn, Partner and President Rent A Wheel

As a manager of a team, it’s your job to set an example and to be a role-model leader. If your team is transitioning to a hybrid or remote work environment, you must find ways how you can best support your team. Having clear communication and transparency with your team can help you to lead with confidence and will set the standard that everyone is to be actively engaged while at work.

Get Creative and Encourage Conversation

Scott Taylor, CEO Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux

Creativity isn’t just reserved for artists or culinary geniuses, it can and should be used by management and leadership teams to help strengthen culture, develop new campaigns, or help communities in need… Once our team settled into the new norm of weekly Zoom calls, social-distanced meetings, and bouncing marketing ideas off of our families and neighbors, productivity and creative levels shot through the roof.

Building Trust With Your Employees

Phil Montero, Director, Events and Field Marketing Model N

Remote management is not radically different from managing people on-site. The biggest difference is a shift in management style from “eyeball management” (assuming workers are being productive because you physically see them at their desks working) to managing by results. Managers still think they need to micromanage. There are so many old school managers in the world that think that because they can’t see you, how do they know you’re working? And it’s ridiculous because it should all be based on deliverables and clear objectives, and doing what you say you’re going to do. That’s how you build trust. Managers need to overcome that fear and learn that in today’s world, you can trust people remotely. People are generally not looking to scam the system. Most people just want to be able to have a life and work. And if they want to take an hour off in the middle of the day and go have lunch with a friend or run some errands… who cares? As long as the work gets done and the client is happy.

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