A modern agile working era is upon us, now referred to as a hybrid working environment. On average, 75% of us will be working remotely in the hybrid working environment, and only 25% going to the physical office. So, that translates to popping into the office about twice a week and working off-site for the remaining three days.
The physical office space will become a place for employees to have social connections, interactions, active engagements, in-person conversations and innovative brainstorming activities. One could say you will go to the office to get your social “fix” of being inspired and connect with your peers and then spend the remaining weekdays working on your tasks. A new way of working will not suit every employee or leader’s traditional working style with the key concern of managing your team in this new hybrid working environment where you cannot physically connect every day. Motivation in your team will ebb and flow and might not be as quickly noticeable as before. The following four techniques can help you keep your employees, and yourself motivated in the hybrid working environment.
Technique 1: Ramp up your communication with weekly coffee check-in’s
I know your first thought when reading this is that you don’t have the time. Unfortunately, there is no way around staying connected and motivated with your team than through ramping up communication with individual weekly 10-15 minutes check-ins on how your employees are doing and feeling. This is a personal human “care call” and not a progress report on their tasks or activities
Technique 2: Hand-out kudus
The rest of the team doesn’t necessarily know what’s happening with common project goals as information is easily lost in the virtual world. Keep track of wins and celebrate them (weekly if possible) with the collective team ongoingly. Help people know they are valued, appreciated and contributing to the project goal. That energy will be infectious for the other team members and make them feel proud to be part of the team.
Technique 3: Be available for your team
The traditional open-door policy remains in the hybrid workplace. Assist your team in knowing that you are always available for support, guidance and an empathetic listening ear. Please share with your team how they can easily access you when they need a quick 5-minute critical decision or quality time to discuss lengthier topics.
Technique 4: Create triad systems
Working with others on a project fulfils two essential human needs; we feel connected and become motivated to perform. The triad, pairing three people together, is powerful to drive motivation. A triad is a safe space wherein employees can openly exchange information, share ideas, hold one another accountable, feed off each other’s energy, and motivate.
Please be mindful that these techniques are purely guidelines. Try them out and see what works and what does not. You don’t have to have all the answers to motivate your team in a hybrid working environment; engage with your team in an open conversation on what would work for them.