The whole world has gone hybrid! In many ways, I’ve seen this shift benefit the professional workforce by creating a more positive working environment and leading to a higher quality of service.
At Yoh, my team adapted to adopt a culture of remote and hybrid work like most throughout the pandemic. We’ve learned a great deal about our staff and industry and evolved our business into a balanced, mature working environment throughout this time. At first, it felt like most of the workforce (including us) saw remote and hybrid work as a hindrance. However, my team has found that it’s grown on us over time in some of the most positive ways and led to major success all around.
So, what elements allow us to work so productively and proactively in a hybrid work setting? And more importantly, how do they impact our customers and candidates? These five pillars explain it all.
5 PILLARS SUPPORTING HYBRID TEAMS’ SUCCESS
1.COMMUNICATION (SETTING CLEAR EXPECTATIONS)
We found it beneficial to establish regular cadence calls - both with the team as a group and one-to-one. First and foremost, this provides opportunities to set clear expectations. It also allows the team to hear how each other is performing and the chance for one-to-one feedback surrounding challenges and successes. Unfortunately, we found that setting up and sticking to these cadences can be tricky when you’re not sitting in the same room or even in the same time zone. Because of that, communicating with a hybrid working team requires extra effort and forward planning.
Another added benefit we discovered is that the communication line is open at more convenient times to candidates and customers. This especially eliminates the need to stretch your salesforce too thin, and sometimes, to the point where they’re offering a lower quality service. In the best-case scenario, team members can build their own work schedule and break up their day to be more available when their team, clients, and candidates need them most. For my team, a hybrid working model avoids burnout. We’re now more readily available without exhaustion from long work hours in a week.
Giving your staff flexibility and offering a modern working environment can often boost team engagement. The potential to work when and how team members want widens the threshold of opportunity for them to get involved and perform their best.
My team’s been able to bring this same philosophy down to a customer service level. More engagement internally led to more engagement when working with clients, customers, and candidates - and the results have already paid off!
The ability to collaborate presented one of the biggest hurdles at the pandemic’s beginning. On the one hand, we lost the ability to walk up to our peers’ desks or meet in a conference room. On the other, we opened our eyes to the potential that virtual Zoom collaboration offers - the ability to work alongside both local and international coworkers to bridge the distance.
For my team, it’s not all about meetings for the sake of meetings! Our “digital enlightenment” has enabled us to both collaborate on a professional level and preserve our fun (and often quirky) company culture. We even gather virtually for birthday celebrations, anniversaries, holidays, etc.
When you offer flexibility, it’s up to each individual team member to hold themselves accountable to get their work done. At first, many of us faced the seemingly impossible challenge of juggling family, friends, chores, and more while working full 40-hour weeks from the same room where those things existed.
It took some time, but we’re now able to find a balance between our professional and personal lives. I believe we’re holding ourselves more accountable than ever to get our work done in the flexible hours we’ve set for ourselves, even when working from home.
Last but not least, trust speaks for itself! A hybrid model further instills trust within our team, customers, and candidates. It ties into each of the other four pillars mentioned above in its own unique way.
Increased communication channels allow managers and team members to have candid, proactive conversations to tackle daily challenges. In turn, this open communication builds a trusting relationship. We can solve a range of issues that we often weren't as willing to discuss in previous working models.
More engagement within our internal team triggers a domino effect where everyone is incredibly active with their customers and candidates. With the increased engagement, we’re trusted more than ever to provide a great staffing or recruiting experience.
New collaboration methods also added a layer of trust, both for our internal team and external collaboration with clients and candidates. No matter how we need to gather to get an existing project done or kick off a new initiative, we know the best ways to connect to achieve the most success.
Finally, since accountability is at an all-time high, team members trust their peers to meet deadlines and do their fair share of the work.Additionally, our clients and candidates know we'll hold ourselves accountable to meet and exceed their expectations of our team.
EMPLOYING A HYBRID WORKING MODEL
With hybrid models here to stay, it certainly helps to be adaptable and proactive in fostering a modern workforce. In the end, it’s up to you as the employer to advocate for employees and serve as a guiding light for customers and candidates. For my team, we found that this can all be achieved by fostering a hybrid working model that builds these five pillars into its foundation.