Out of sight, out of mind no longer applies.
In today’s hybrid work environments with employees working in the office or remotely, and technologies widely available to keep us connected, it’s imperative to treat colleagues the same no matter their location.
As we pilot our own hybrid schedule in certain sites at Lear, we know that the success of a hybrid team depends on driving engagement and inclusion, encouraging valuable social connections, promoting well-being and ensuring remote workers are given the identical opportunities for rewards, special assignments and more.
Timely communications and encouraging participation from all employees are critical. Managers need to set clear, consistent expectations, and leverage technology for interaction such as audio or video calls, texting, instant messaging, emails or other options.
Provide frequent feedback to ensure everyone on the team stays in sync, despite distance and daily change. Encouraging hybrid employees to communicate and connect on their own, when they are not present onsite, will help replace the spontaneous interactions they miss at the office.
Small efforts can also strengthen social connections. For example, including a conference call link for every meeting and involving everyone equally no matter where they work makes sure no one feels left out.
Consistent rituals – such as 15-minute morning check-ins or opening meetings with short personal stories from each team member about family, home life or hobbies – can create a sense of connection, safety and fun. Of course, virtual meetings can never fully replace face-to-face discussions. Managers should schedule regular in-person events with the entire team, and not necessarily always at the office. Make it a fun destination.
As we’ve all learned, working from home can blur the lines between work and life. To ensure hybrid employees don’t feel under appreciated or get burned out, managers should set boundaries about their availability and give others permission to do the same.
Remember, a hybrid environment empowers employees with greater autonomy, allowing managers to manage for results, not for when, how or where work is done.
Here are my recommended tips to managing a hybrid team: