How to Excel as a Hybrid Leader?
10 minutes read
Right now, as vaccination rates increase and pandemic restrictions are lifting in various places across the world, the business leaders are facing the new reality of leading a hybrid workforce.
While the shift to virtual work may have been precipitated by the emergency work-from-home measures in 2020, plans for this new hybrid workforce are becoming less reactionary and more deliberate now.
The details aren’t clear yet, but one thing is certain: The post-pandemic world of work is definitely going to look different.
According to a McKinsey survey, 9 out of 10 organizations plan to combine remote and on-site work going forward.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all model for a hybrid workforce or team, the term usually refers to a setting where,
- Some employees work remotely
- Some work on-site
- And others work a combination of both
This new way of working can be challenging, especially at first.
Leaders must try to accommodate different working preferences of their employees with a desire for continued productivity and collaboration. For example, some team members may be clamoring to get back to the office, but many others want to continue to work from home.
In fact, according to a study, the majority of employees say they want flexible and remote work options to remain. This study also found that 64% would choose a permanent work-from-home situation over a $30K pay raise.
That’s why hybrid workforce policies and how effectively managers can lead hybrid and virtual teams will be key for attracting and retaining talent in many industries going forward.
What is Hybrid Leadership?
Hybrid leadership is not a new term. In the pre-pandemic world as well hybrid leadership was defined as a style of management that blends the best of traditional male and female leadership styles to lead in authentic, empowered, open, collaborative, strategic, visionary, and nurturing ways. It focused on developing the leaders’ emotional intelligence alongside their business acumen.
Today, that definition has evolved to encompass an even more diverse range of attributes that help managers to get the most from their employees in remote, in-person, and hybrid teams.
Types of Hybrid Leaders
Who are Hybrid Champions?
The best hybrid leaders—the hybrid champions—have the ability, empathy, and patience required to provide each employee (whether they are working remotely or at the site or both) with the skills, tools, and support necessary to succeed.
To do this fairly, hybrid leaders must take a unique approach with each employee.
This lesson is just as relevant for the leaders in the hybrid workplace as it is for that teacher in the classroom.
The Challenges of Hybrid Leadership
Right now the expectation of everyone, from the top level to the bottom line in various organizations, is to make the hybrid workforce model more prevalent in the post-COVID-19 world. And the leaders are also focused on operationalizing this model effectively.
However, having a team in which some employees are co-located in an office while others do their jobs remotely presents several challenges for hybrid leadership teams, even to those who are already operating with the high-perming teams, in the high-performance environment.
The biggest challenge to successful hybrid team leadership, however, is ineffective leaders. Because when you have good and efficient hybrid leadership then all those challenges faced by the hybrid workforce can be dealt with easily.
Tips to foster an Effective Hybrid Leadership
Effective leadership in the new hybrid world requires different skills that go beyond traditional team leadership. Specifically, organizations will need leaders who can operate well across two distinct modes of working.
Here are some tips for leaders to succeed in the hybrid workspace:
1. Acknowledge what’s new and different about the hybrid workforce
They must work to create a psychologically safe work environment where people can be open about their uncertainties and their frustrations.
2. Drive performance without close monitoring or supervision
If some or all employees are remote, driving performance without virtual micromanagement requires two things: clear expectation setting and trust.
With clear direction and support, if they don’t perform, there should be processes in place to address the issues.
3. Champion employee development
Sales leaders must ensure that they equip all their employees with the skills needed to drive current and future performance. As with the band-aid lesson mentioned above, this will look different for everyone.
4. Communicate effectively across a variety of channels
In a hybrid sales team, the leader can decide which channel of communication to use based on
- The nature of the task
- The mode of work of the employee
- And the preference of both the manager and the employees
This way when everyone in the team is engaged in the work-related conversations regularly, through various channels of communication, the sales leaders will be able to foster,
- More innovative solutions
- Greater morale
- And improved productivity
amongst the members of their hybrid workforce.
5. Empower employees to contribute by connecting remote workers with their in-office colleagues
They must work to build trust and psychological safety amongst employees so that dispersed workers feel safe sharing their challenges with their team members for collective problem-solving. They can also run virtual workshops where people can get to know one another better and learn one another’s skill sets and strengths.
6. Cultivate the mindsets of learning agility and resilience
Here’s the reality of the new hybrid workforce: Plans will change.
In the McKinsey study, researchers also found that organizations willing to take a “test-and-learn” approach of designing and redesigning their processes for a hybrid workforce, realize higher levels of productivity.
Whenever possible, sales leaders must,
- Nurture their personal and professional relationships
- Prioritize regular exercise and sleep each night
- Make time for mindfulness
- And respect downtime and avoid contacting employees during their off-hours
Want to learn about the sales close rates across various industries? Check out this blog below:
Here are 6 sales methodologies that help in closing complex deals
Learn how the puppy dog close technique helps you to easily close more sales
Learn about the goldilocks effect and how it helps to close more sales
Want to learn how to set SMART goals for your team?
Want to learn how to do deal coaching and skill coaching for your sales team members? Check out these blogs below:
Looking for a sales coaching template? Check out this article for a sample coaching template
Are you more like a coach or a manager for your sales team? Find out when your team needs you to be a manager and when do they need you to be a coach?
Want to instill a buyer-first mindset in your sales team members? Learn how to do that from this blog below:
Published on Sat Jul 9 2022