Adapt & Survive: Strategies To Lead Hybrid Teams

Businesses that can’t adapt often fail when significant changes take place, learn to use hybrid teams to pivot when necessary.

Lead Hybrid Teams

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The COVID-19 pandemic caused unparalleled economic turbulence and uncertainty, with ramifications felt throughout businesses around the world. While the healthcare industry bore the full brunt of fighting the pandemic, other sectors did not stay immune to the crises. 

As economic growth came to a standstill and governments formulated recovery responses, the corporate infrastructure underwent radical transformations. The pandemic emphasized the significance of adaptability and digital innovation in developing corporate resilience to ensure survival. As organizations strived to reduce costs and increase profitability, the hybrid workforce model emerged as a viable solution to ensure efficiency. 

Presently, the work-from-home model is predominantly adopted worldwide, but it will gradually transform into a hybrid approach. It supports employee safety and undisturbed productivity by striking a balance between office and work-from-home hours. Companies are poised to embrace the hybrid system in the long term for a productive transition towards the post-pandemic future. 

However, embracing this model demands radical changes in leadership and managerial styles and communication infrastructure. Keep reading to explore strategies to lead hybrid teams towards growth and profitability. 


Adaptability & Readiness To Innovate 

Businesses worldwide faced a unanimous challenge: surviving the pandemic by formulating strategic responses. Since February 2020, consumers have been confined within their homes, and on-foot traffic reduced drastically. Companies with a thriving digital presence found themselves at an advantage with e-commerce solutions to maintain revenues.

Adaptability and readiness to innovate are crucial strengths that allow leaders to navigate turbulent waters and embark on lucrative opportunities. Leading hybrid teams demand adaptability to shifting work dynamics and embracing innovative managerial styles. 

Managers and aspiring leaders can muster adaptability by pursuing university short courses in future-proofing workplaces and digital innovation. These courses can shed light on the shifting dynamics of future workplaces and evolving needs of hybrid teams. The curriculum is designed to help managers, young professionals, and aspiring executives embrace skills to manage teams in hybrid environments. 

Such courses help team leaders and members develop digital literacy and innovative project management skills to increase their contributions. Luckily, the e-learning infrastructure allows professionals to combine continual learning with full-time careers with ease and flexibility. Digital courses and certifications are a viable solution for professional growth and enhanced marketability. 


Relearning Leadership Skills 

Executive leaders cannot ignore the shifting dynamics of workplace environments as employees demand more flexibility and collaboration. Managers must abandon traditional approaches that offer a narrow view of employee motivations and needs. Employees feel stuck between seeking in-office collaboration and at-home comforts because of the upheaval and unpredictability. Naturally, leaders must alter their human resource management approaches to ensure productivity and efficiency. 

Moving forward, employees may not want to return to a full-time in-office work model. Professionals worldwide are realizing the advantages of remote work to their personal and professional growth. There’s a growing desire for flexible work arrangements alongside organizational significance and creative collaborations. 

Executives and managers must relearn their leadership traits to regard hybrid models as commitments rather than compromises. Embracing the hybrid model allows businesses to sharpen their competitive edge and reinvent their employer’s brand. This endeavor demands a radical shift in organizational policies in HR practices. 


The Right Hybrid Model 

There are several ways to implement a hybrid model, and leaders must find the right fit for their organizations. It’s wise to offer employees the flexibility to choose their schedule preferences and work models. 

Businesses can choose between implementing the remote model or specifying weeks/days for in-office consultations. Most companies are designating weeks where all employees or team members must work in the office. Remote team members can divide their time between home and office settings, depending on the nature of their jobs. 

When we look closely, the concept of a hybrid team isn’t as new as one would imagine. Companies have hired freelance professionals for decades, and these freelancers would pop into the office occasionally. However, managing freelancers previously was a predictable activity, and these professionals rarely collaborated with in-office teams. 

Modern-day hybrid models demand active collaboration between all team members working in the office and at home. Naturally, this requires frontline managers and executives to usher in new practices for collaboration and communication


Embracing Project Management Solutions 

Failure to manage hybrid teams efficiently can lead to project management risks and mishaps. Therefore, businesses must invest in innovative and advanced project management solutions. You see, lack of accountability is a significant challenge in managing remote and hybrid teams. Managers struggle to maintain transparency and accountability alongside fostering collaboration to ensure a high-functioning team. 

Choosing the correct project management software provides firms with cutting-edge capabilities to improve collaboration. Employees working remotely worldwide can collaborate and communicate with seamless ease on multiple projects. What’s more, these tools make team members accountable for tracking their deadlines and progress. Managers no longer have to chase employees for meeting deadlines and responding to queries.

A streamlined project management solution boosts efficiency and collaboration by eliminating delays. It allows managers to track and evaluate the performance of each team member and offer valuable feedback. Team leaders can communicate with each member personally and hold group discussions for brainstorming sessions. 

Project management tools offer a wealth of features to lead hybrid teams towards successful project management and completion. 


Prioritizing Communication 

Prioritizing effective communication is crucial for the success of hybrid teams. Managers must communicate organizational requirements alongside emphasizing the personal needs of their employees. Naturally, companies will have to adjust to new norms and rules for communicating effectively while managing remote and in-office teams. 

Leaders must establish ground rules to streamline communication and embrace innovative collaboration solutions. First, executives must prioritize their communication needs and account for the needs of their remote and in-office employees. Given the lack of in-person interaction, it’s easy to lose sight of team members working from home. 

Managers must develop due processes to ensure robust communication with all team members. There’s an emphasis on employee wellbeing in the aftermath of the pandemic. Managers must consider this moving forward and demonstrate care and concern for each team member. Leaders must use communication as a tool to instill trust and create a culture of inclusivity.

Remote employees often fear getting excluded from workplace collaborations, opportunities and engaging in the social exchange with team members. Leaders must communicate with them regularly to emphasize their significance and contributions to the organization. 


Final Thoughts 

A smooth and efficient transition towards hybrid models demands leaders find the right model that complements their organization. Leaders must prepare themselves to embrace change and future-proof their businesses by advancing their skills and relearning their traits. The path towards change and innovation is always scary, but it opens up lucrative opportunities with the right skills.