January 20, 2022 by Andrea Rajic

Boosting Workplace Morale in Hybrid Teams

Boosting Workplace Morale in Hybrid Teams

With coronavirus being a major global problem, a hybrid work model conquers the business world.

According to the PWC's US Pulse Survey, 33% of surveyed executives said they would have a mixed model, some in-person full-time, some hybrid, and some fully remote.

Although switching to remote work awakened many concerns, a CoSo Cloud survey showed that 77% of employees were more productive while working from home. That's why many companies embraced hybrid work.

However, when your team comprises remote and onsite employees, it seems like a mission impossible to give everyone what they need.

In the following text, we share how to boost morale in a hybrid team, so keep reading.

Best Practices for Boosting Workplace Morale

A fat paycheck may be the reason people stay with some company. However, it is not the most significant one. Today's top talent, especially in industries such as tech, looks for a workplace that allows them to grow professionally.

In addition, when they know their presence and work matter, they are motivated to deliver outstanding results. So, if you want to have such individuals in your team, here's what you need to do.

Has Feedback Become a Buzzword?

It has not, and it will never be. Feedback is an important term in today's business world. Still, the culture of giving feedback must expand to the practice of asking for it.

Most employees believe their job is to complete a project and then sit and wait for the manager's reaction. It's time to eradicate that belief and encourage employees to use every opportunity to consult with their superiors regarding various aspects of their work.

Asking for feedback should not be between employees and their managers solely; it should be a standard way team members communicate.

When everyone feels they can always turn to their colleagues and ask for suggestions or advice, the team will bring better results.

In addition, the purpose of feedback is to help everyone improve their skills, be aware of their strengths and make the most out of them, and work on their weaknesses. Of course, having a "weak" side is not bad; it reminds us we are all humans and deal with distinct challenges.

A manager's job is to create such feedback that's free of judgment and criticism (although even criticism is not a bad thing, per se); it's a manner of showing, "Hey, we are in this together."

A Manager Should be a Mentor and Coach

Most managers forget their role is to help employees discover and nurture their talents. This practice is especially crucial for new hires.

Joining a new team is more or less a stressful and overwhelming experience, regardless of how skilled someone is. Besides introducing technical aspects of the business, managers should share their expertise and create a space of trust and open communication with new team members.

Remember, success comes when you look outside the box, allowing for different perspectives and ideas.

Suppose a team member has a passion the entire company could benefit from. Every great manager would, in that case, stand by that employee, supporting them as a mentor and coach to shape it.

Improve Employee Engagement by Showing Appreciation

When employees feel their efforts matter, they are motivated and more productive. A simple "Thanks for all the hard work" can move mountains.

Every company should implement a practice of showing appreciation to their team members because people should be encouraged to celebrate wins, big and small.

For a long time now, companies have followed the rule that the customer comes first. However, more and more organizations adopt an employee-first approach showing that employees are the most valuable part of their business.

One Latin phrase says deeds, not words. But words have so much power, especially when they are sincere. Say how much you respect your team members and their contribution. It will lead to some pretty amazing (re)actions.

Let's Get to Know Each Other Better

Many people draw a thick line between personal and professional life, and that's legit. But, when you spend so much time within a particular group, it is impossible not to build relationships with some, if not all, colleagues.

We have our interests, dreams, and hobbies, so why not share those with the people we work with?

Team buildings and informal gatherings allow teams to get to know each other better and have fun. Also, what are lunch breaks, if not an excellent opportunity to talk about our pets, the latest movie we watched, or where we plan to travel next?

Is All of This Even Possible In Hybrid Teams?

The practices presented above have proven effective with a traditional work model. But, if you also have employees working outside the office, here's what else you must provide to increase employee productivity and retention.

Create a Level Playing Field for Onsite and Offsite Employees

Companies that decide to implement a hybrid work model must thoughtfully approach it. Otherwise, they risk losing some of the most valuable team members.

It is of the utmost importance to create a level playfield for onsite and offsite employees. Managing remote teams is challenging, but once you allow your employees to work wherever they want, you must ensure everyone operates in optimal conditions.

Provide Various Workplace Options

In the last two years, employees had different experiences with remote work. Some adjusted quickly, while others dreamed of returning to the office.

Therefore, if you see hybrid work as a present and future way of operating your company, allow your employees to choose whether they'll continue working from home.

Still, if your team members are in the same city, you can organize an in-office meeting. It could be a regular thing, like once a month or once in two weeks; it all depends on your business needs.

Same Perks for All

It is easier to organize a birthday party for a colleague when you share the same physical space, but today it is pretty manageable to organize virtual gatherings. For example, if some remote team member's birthday is coming up, talk to the rest of the team and arrange an online surprise party; you can even send them a gift.

However, the same benefits don't just include the fun stuff. For instance, if part of a team works from home, a company could offer some financial support to help them cover work-related expenses or purchase equipment to ensure a seamless workflow.

Remember, if your onsite employee has an ergonomic chair, a remote employee should have it, too. But, again, that's not a whim; it is a way to provide an excellent workplace experience to all.

Make Virtual Meetings a Norm

When you have part of your team working remotely, it may be beneficial to ask your onsite employees to join online meetings, each from their computer. Even if a couple of people work in the same building, everyone should be in their workspace when it is time for a call.

Promote Work-Life Balance

Besides all the fantastic things remote work offers, it can be challenging because it makes people lose track of their working hours and free time. Flexibility is great, but it bit some people in the ass (pardon my French).

When you work from the comfort of your home, it doesn't seem like a problem to answer emails at 10 pm or work the whole night. Of course, that's ok if it happens once in a while, but it's not sustainable long-term.

Therefore, HRs and People Ops should encourage employees to have a work-life balance. Of course, professional accomplishments matter, but people need to relax, rest, eat healthy, engage in various activities, and be with their families.

Burnout is real, and companies must focus on employee wellbeing. Finally, taking care of team members leads to higher employee engagement because a happy employee is a productive employee.

It All Comes Down to Company Culture

Today, HRs and People Ops join forces to create a company culture that represents the company mission and vision and resonates with employees' values and beliefs. Earlier mentioned employee-first approach is, therefore, an integral part of it.

Companies across various industries face a labor shortage. If they want to continue operating, they need to stand out in the market and present themselves as an employer worth considering.

Finding qualified candidates is challenging, but keeping the top talent is hard. That's why company culture is so critical. If you don't promote diversity and inclusion, provide equal opportunities, nurture open communication, especially if you run a hybrid team, people will leave.

Written By

Andrea Rajic

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