The new normal in every corporate setup has created challenges for HR teams to keep employee engagement at a desirable level. Engagement surveys report that cases of burnout and attrition continue to grow. Employees feel that their emotional and social needs are no longer being met.
While managers are in the best position to address these problems because they work closely with their team members, they, too, need support. Company leaders and the HR team must work together with the managers to address the situation. Specialised onboarding, playbooks, FAQs, metrics, and training must be provided so that managers can deliver the kind of work needed in this hybrid setup.
What Can Managers Do to Keep Teams Engaged in a Hybrid Environment
But, the big question is: How can managers keep their teams engaged and motivated in this new, hybrid setup? Beyond Zoom meetings and office interactions, how can we balance social interaction and foster flexibility and autonomy altogether?
Implement a Centralised Expectations and Commitment
Managers need to have each team member accountable for every task they have committed to work on. Hold them accountable by giving them more autonomy in doing their job such as having them explicitly define how, when, and where they prefer to work. Expectations should be clearly defined so that everyone can provide the right support.
While regular check-ins via email or text are good, as much as possible, call each team member at least once every few days just to say hi or know how they are doing. Making your employees feel valued by knowing their situation even if it is not work related can boost their morale and confidence. Give them more flexibility by asking them what type of updates they want to share on digital communications and over the phone.
Regular Personal Meetings
Managers should invest time in sharing best practices during in-person meetings such as providing inputs, giving feedback, or simply encouraging each other. IN-person meetings must be held regularly to foster consistent collaboration.
Give Regular Recognition and Appreciation
Big or small, recognize each team member’s work. Show appreciation through simple nods, non-verbal cues, or give praises. Celebrate small and big wins every time. This will encourage and motivate them to work efficiently or do better.
Conduct Team Building Exercises
Keep the bond stronger by conducting team building. Find ways to make these activities creative. In this new hybrid setup, team members are mostly living in different places, and they only see each other whenever they are required to go onsite, if at all! With team building activities, your team can go together and form camaraderie, fostering stronger relationships beyond computers and emails.
The key to employee engagement is to make sure you consistently provide ways to address their emotional and social needs. While leaders and managers want to keep the traditional corporate structures in place, it is equally important to provide employees with flexibility and address human needs for bonding, fun, and encouragement.