Creating a Humane Environment
In a HTC, people know that their team members and the organization as a whole not only care about them as human beings but also treat them accordingly. There are a number of ways to accomplish this in a hybrid setting.
For example, many organizations have experienced success in setting aside time once a week on conference calls to express gratitude to one another, which you can do during the headlines portion of a meeting. This is not the same as offering shout-outs for great work. There’s a subtle but important difference. Shout-outs are valuable and recognize individual accomplishments. Gratitude emphasizes relationships by publicly demonstrating how much someone values another in a personal way.
Leaders can demonstrate humanity by respecting team members’ time and not asking them to work at all hours of the day. Working from anywhere, it’s easy to blur the lines between work and family or personal time. Encourage team members to make the transition at a reasonable hour. Don’t re-engage them after a certain time of the day except in extreme emergencies. No one should feel eternally on-call.
Also, build trust by giving trust. Provide team members with guidance. Make sure they know that if they run into a problem, you will be there to coach them through it. Come to an agreement about what team members’ end-products should look like. Once team members understand their tasks, give them room to complete them with minimal interference.
Colleagues Who Care
Building bonds in a WFA company requires thought and planning. Having dedicated channels for non-work chats can help and there are additional opportunities:
- Set up book clubs, cooking classes, yoga or virtual board game sessions over lunch.
- Designate time for colleagues to meet one-on-one via video conference to get to know one another. Provide them with a structure for getting the conversation started, such as icebreaker questions.
- Re-create in-office perks like free snacks or a happy hour on Friday afternoons.
- Send personalized gifts to employees on their birthdays like custom specialty foods or gift certificates for a therapeutic massage. Services that deliver monthly packages of specialty foods or gift certificates for a therapeutic massage sent on employees’ birthdays are concrete ways to demonstrate that the organization values its team members.
Once it’s safe to do so, try to bring the entire team together for fun and work in a special location at least once a year. A Work From Anywhere model can forge strong connections between team members, but there’s still nothing like live, face-to-face interaction.
Get creative and listen to ideas from the entire team. So long as company leaders take the right approach and make a conscious, careful effort to build and maintain a high-trust culture, it doesn’t matter where team members are located. The key is to build and maintain trust.
Be Extraordinarily Productive, Humane and Resilient
We know you have many choices of products to help you build a great company. At Ninety.io, our passion is to help you and your company become extraordinarily productive, humane and resilient in the transition to WFA.
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