Although it’s not a particularly new concept, hybrid work setups have become a growing trend in industries across the world. In fact, because most offices have resumed normal operations, up to 74% of companies have said they’re either already using or planning to adopt hybrid setups. This comes as no real surprise considering that studies prove that organized hybrid work is beneficial to output and creativity. These comprehensive studies were based on a diverse range of industries and business scales, which further underscores how hybrid work is the happy medium for both companies and workers.
That said, hybrid work is not without its challenges. For most office leaders, one of the top concerns they have with this model is the lack of access between themselves and their teams. This has led some bosses to worry that their team culture may suffer or their employees will feel isolated. Conversely, 77% of surveyed company leaders have found that compassion can benefit both people and profits. Therefore, while hybrid does reduce face-to-face interactions, leaders can (and should) still exercise compassion through this particular medium. And here’s how:
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Show your employees you appreciate them
While you shouldn’t just toss out empty praises for the sake of it, you shouldn’t hold back on showing your employees appreciation either. This shows employees that you value them and recognize the adversity they’ve overcome so that it empowers your hybrid team no matter how challenging the transition may be. That said, to underscore the sincerity of your appreciation back up your words with actions. This is especially impactful for teams that work mostly remotely as it shows that you appreciate everyone fairly.
To show employees appreciation virtually, say “thank you” through meaningful gestures. This can include sending decorations for home offices, planning a virtual hangout to unwind, or gifting food delivery cards. Through such well-thought-out executions, you show that your appreciation comes from a place of compassion which is inspiring for many workers. In fact, surveys reveal that while 46% of employees left jobs because they felt under-appreciated, 79% said feeling appreciated gave them a boost professionally and personally.
Actively practice healthy communication
Healthy communication is not just about frequent meetings or check-ins. If anything these can be misconstrued as micromanaging and being inconsiderate when it comes to your team’s time and energy. Instead, effective communication as a leader is rooted in clarity, collaboration, and understanding. Too often, leaders are not fully open with employees for fear of seeming too familiar or open. But, if anything, creating an inclusive environment only heightens the potential of your team while also reducing the risk of miscommunication. This is particularly important in hybrid work setups because many employees sometimes are unable to participate. Over time, you can even encourage those who are less likely to speak up for themselves. Interestingly, another way to use communication as a tool for compassion includes modeling vulnerability. By illustrating how it’s okay to voice uncertainties, the rest of our team can feel more at ease opening up. This way, nobody gets left out and everyone has a chance to no speak up no matter the topic at hand.
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Offer relevant and sincere benefits
For most employees, it’s extremely difficult to separate their private and professional lives. In a hybrid setup, this can be even more challenging because some workers feel like they have to juggle their personal and work life. Thus, the best way for leaders to compromise is to offer relevant benefits with no strings attached. While these may not alleviate every employee’s concern, such benefits can drastically reduce the stress that workers have to face. In line with this, some of the most popular employee benefits right now include four-day workweeks, mental health days, and paid sabbaticals. Through these benefits, leaders are able to help employees attain a work-life balance that 63% of workers cite as a top priority.
Granted, the hybrid work setup is not without its faults and does require a new approach to leadership. But so long as leaders are able to translate their compassion and vision into this split model, their teams can remain united and more than capable of reaching their collective goals.by