This article is part 1 of a four-part excerpt from our latest ebook, Lead Anyone From Anywhere.
Leadership Guidance For Finding and Retaining the Right Team Members
Your people are your most valuable asset. They are your lifeblood. Your boots-on-the-ground.
The wind beneath your wings. We could go on but … you get the point.
And that’s not just hyperbole. Your organization would, quite literally, be nothing without them.
However, establishing, building and nurturing trust in the workplace isn’t always easy – and arguably less so in a hybrid workplace – but with intentionality and commitment, it can yield a happier, more productive, and more engaged workforce.
As you’ve likely discovered, when you make the switch from leading in an office to leading a
hybrid team, one of the things you’ll discover is that because you can’t see your team and they can’t see you, you both have to fill that space with trust.
As a hybrid leader, you must have faith in your ability to hire world-class employees and have
faith in those rock star employees to do exactly what they were entrusted to do in the first place.
And here’s how to do just that.
Finding The Right Talent
Our biggest piece of advice – one that has informed every hiring decision we’ve made when it comes to determining if someone is capable of hybrid work?
Never confuse availability with competency.
The reality is that you need to expand your workforce to accomplish your business objectives.
That means you need the right person in the right role – and that starts with focusing on the project or initiative you want to accomplish – rather than worrying about just filling a seat.
Just because someone is available for the time you need them at the rate you can pay and for
the tasks you need completed, it doesn’t mean they’re the best person for the job.
So what, exactly, does that mean for hiring?
That means that as you hire, you need to be sure that the candidate can work remotely. If they aren’t a good problem-solver, struggle to troubleshoot, or aren’t resourceful or independent, then they probably wouldn’t do well working from home should your business model – or current events – dictate.
And that isn’t sustainable.
When you invest in an employee, you deserve to get the best person. You deserve the best money can buy, and your employees deserve the forethought and consideration that sets them up for success, too.
How To Start Your Hybrid Relationships Right
When it comes to getting off on the right foot with your hybrid employees, it’s mission-critical to be clear when communicating expectations from the onset. In no uncertain or gray terms, explain exactly what your expectations are of your employee and their role, specifically when it comes to answering the following questions.
- How much transparency is expected?
- How frequently?
- What level of detail?
Now, let’s dive into common hurdles and obstacles — and how to avoid them – so you can start your hybrid employee relationships off right.
- Being Willing to Teach — And Learn, Too
- Equip People With The Necessary Tools, Skills and Information
- Invest The Time
- Understanding Expectations
- Define How You Discuss & Assign Projects
- Use Collaborative Communication Tools
- Details Matter: Where Do You keep Them?
- Be Inclusive
There is one thing – one oft-overlooked and neglected little thing – that, if cultivated and nurtured properly, can change the course of your business. Think you know what it is?
Here’s a hint: It’s not synergy. It’s not culture. It’s not brand identity. It’s not foosball in the breakroom.
All of the aforementioned things are decidedly and categorically critical, and the foosball table is definitely awesome – don’t get us wrong – but all of those can’t exist without trust. Trust and just about every other mission-critical element of your business’ success are mutually inclusive; they simply cannot exist without trust.
Trust is a fundamental, foundational building block in any relationship – both professional and personal.
Your employees were hired for a reason, right? So communicate your expectations, give feedback, and then – this is the tricky part – give employees the freedom to leverage their particular strengths.
Be sure you’re clear from the onset exactly what expectations are of your employee and their role, specifically when it comes to availability, productivity, and meetings.
Your employees are the only ones who can tell you where you hit the mark and where you fall short of your hybrid culture – so ask them.
Then – and this is critical – listen.
Their insights will be invaluable in helping you decide to stay or correct course. We use company-wide surveys to gauge the health of our culture at BELAY.
Sometimes these aren’t anonymous because we want to address them anytime we miss the mark properly. We treat our team like the adults they are, so we expect them to do the same when we ask them to give us feedback in their own words – even when it’s not easy.
Accepting and adapting to feedback from your employees is the difference between talking the company culture talk and walking it.
Importance of Team & 1:1 Meetings
At BELAY, we highly encourage video meetings. Because in the hybrid world, most expect to be heard and not seen.
But when you have video meetings with your clients and colleagues, you add another layer of trust to your relationship and make ‘virtual’ feel more personal.
Video conferencing is – and always has been – a requisite for us and our clients. We’ve made it mandatory because, without it, we can’t read body language, make eye contact, or forge any sort of a real connection. And a company’s productivity is determined by its ability to communicate.
Well-structured video meetings can yield the same productivity as in-person meetings.
Lead Anyone From Anywhere: Contemporary Guidance For The Modern Workplace
By design, hybrid culture is laid squarely on a foundation of trust.
So as more organizations move toward a hybrid workforce, managers must be adept at learning to fill gaps with trust.
Trusting isn’t easy – at least it doesn’t start that way. It takes practice and commitment and can be the difference between accelerated growth and stalling out.
You can do it, and this book will help.
Download Lead Anyone From Anywhere to dig deeper and grow as a leader of a hybrid team – for free!