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Leading a Hybrid Work Environment

Hybrid work is here to stay in many industries, according to recent research and expert opinion, despite CEOs ordering employees back to the workplace full time. That means many managers will continue to struggle with the challenge of overseeing employees who may only be in the office a few days a week.

HR leaders are addressing the difficulty by deploying technologies that can help leaders with reduced visibility into employees' performance.

The use of technologies geared toward hybrid work, like next-generation performance management platforms, can help managers stay connected to their teams, enable employees to proactively request feedback and provide "nudges" that encourage leaders to set clearer performance expectations or recognize people for good work.
Technology Helps Managers Struggling to Lead Hybrid Teams
SHRM | 2023

The hybrid work schedule, created out of necessity during the pandemic, has become a critical attraction and retention tool for many organizations feeling the labor crunch.

"It's how we work now," said Stacey Berk, founder and managing consultant at Expand HR Consulting in Rockville, Md. Despite return-to-office announcements from some big-name companies, many employers are continuing with hybrid work arrangements.

"A formal strategy should be established jointly by the CTO [chief technology officer] and CHRO," Berk said. "For the CTO, it is identifying, making investments in and maintaining software that helps leverage the hybrid environment. For the CHRO, it is ensuring that when working remotely, employees are highly productive and communicate effectively to maintain the company culture."
Fitting Hybrid Work Policy to Company Culture
SHRM | 2023

Related Reading
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A Potential Downside to Remote Work? Higher Rates of Depression
SHRM | 2023

External Resources

Leading a hybrid team requires adaptability to change and an openness to experimentation. A recent survey found that the leadership skills most needed in 2023 are engaging and developing talent, leading and supporting change initiatives, establishing goals and priorities, and creating a sense of inclusion and belonging.
How to Approach Leadership in a Hybrid Work Environment
Center for Creative Leadership | Jan 2023

The first step for successfully leading in a hybrid workplace is to focus on the outcomes—not the number of hours worked. Managers need to be clear about their expectations and shift away from the traditional "clock-in" measurement of success. Instead, they should focus on the result of tasks and objectives rather than how many hours an employee works.
5 Leadership Behaviors For A Successful Hybrid Work Environment
Forbes | Jun 2023

The CAARE framework combines four interconnected elements — configuration, autonomy-alignment, relationships, and equity — to help leaders balance individual flexibility with group effectiveness.
Leadership Strategies for the Hybrid Workforce
MIT Sloan Management Review | Apr 2023

Successful hybrid managers adopt team problem solving as a mindset. To tackle hard problems, they engage personally, mobilize resources, and link teams up. Involving people in finding a solution creates buy-in and encourages ownership of outcomes.
How to Lead in a Hybrid Environment
McKinsey | Jun 2022

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