How to create a high performing hybrid team.

White collar workers are working at the office. They are stay together and meeting. Employee and teamwork concept.[/caption]Ever since a small event called ‘Lock Down’ happened in 2020 across the world, almost all organisations that were once traditionally office-based, have been getting used to a new way of working.
The term ‘hybrid working’ was once relatively unknown, but with over 40% of UK-based businesses reporting having a hybrid working model in 2024, with employees working part of the week at home and part of the week in the office, this is now covert much the new normal for many employees.
Hybrid working, for many, may seem like the perfect solution to work-life balance, but it has proved to be tough for both individuals and organisations, so here we explore our tips for creating a high-performing hybrid team.
Firstly, as we always aim to do HR without the blah blah blah, lets define what we mean by a high-performing team. When we measure employee engagement (aka people who enjoy their job), we look to measure things such as:

Volume of leavers
Volume of sick days
Time to hire
Length of service
Employee advocacy

These are all data points that demonstrate how well an organisation engages its people, and those that report high levels of employee engagement will generate 2.5 x revenue of organisations who have lower levels of engagement (happy people), so based on that alone, you can see why creating a place your people love to work is key to an organisation’s success.
In our experience, creating a high-performing hybrid team, one that effectively combines remote and in-person working, requires careful planning, clear communication, and a focus on both individual and team goals.
Here are some steps to consider:

1. Define clear roles and expectations

This goes for all employees, whether remote, hybrid or office-based; make sure each team member understands their role and their responsibilities. This includes defining expectations for deliverables, as well as methods and frequency of communication. The clearer you are, the less of an opportunity for ambiguity, which is where most people tend to struggle.

2. Establish communication guidelines

Set clear guidelines for how team members should communicate with each other and with customers and stakeholders. This should include preferred communication channels (email, chat, video calls, etc.), response times, and availability. By being super clear and prescriptive on this, you remove any risk of confusion, which is key when people aren’t sat in the same place 5 days a week.

3. Leverage technology

There is so much tech out there to help make remote working more efficient, so get out there and explore the options, so you can use technology to facilitate communication and collaboration. This might include project management tools, video conferencing software, and communication platforms like Slack or Microsoft Teams.

4. Encourage regular check-ins

Schedule regular check-ins with colleagues to discuss progress, address any challenges, and ensure everyone is aligned on goals and priorities.
Also, remember to make time to simply have a chat and build a connection with a colleague. Without those water-cooler moments, we all need to be intentional about spending time with colleagues so we can build our relationships, or they’ll easily dwindle.

5. Foster a culture of trust and accountability

Trust is absolutely crucial in a hybrid team and without it, there will not be high performance.
Encourage open communication, and ensure that team members feel comfortable asking for help or sharing concerns. In order to ensure everyone knows what they can and can’t do, be clear what’s acceptable for the way you work; consider creating FAQs for your team, or a remote working playbook.
Importantly, call out things that aren’t acceptable quickly, so they can be corrected, and everyone can get on with doing a great job.

6. Provide opportunities for team building

Even if team members are not all in the same location, it’s important to create opportunities for team building and social interaction. Ideally a balance of both virtual team-building activities and occasional in-person gatherings.
Getting the balance between the two can be tricky, so ask people their preferences and iterate to get it right. At The HR Consultants we have a Friday Huddle which has become a time when we check in on everyone’s progress for the week, along with a fun quiz. It’s a session that everyone enjoys and feels anchors them and therefore they all make an effort to attend.

7. Consider flexibility

It’s always important to recognise that different team members may have different working preferences and needs and therefore there may be times when flexibility is needed.
It may be appropriate for your people to offer flexibility in terms of work hours and location, but we’ve seen the most effective hybrid working when everyone is in the office together on the same days. That means colleagues can make the most of in-person time and use remote working to get their heads down and get on with desk-based work.

8. Don’t forget about training and development

Provide opportunities for team members to develop their skills and knowledge, both individually and as a team. We’ve seen in some businesses a dip in the amount of training and development that’s happening because when managers aren’t in the same place as their team, they’re not identifying development needs as quickly, so make sure you keep a focus on this and keep it on the agenda in your one-to-ones.

9. Communicate, communicate, communicate

As a leader of a team, it’s up to you to set the standard when it comes to communication, so be available to your team when you’re working remotely and also make time for one-to-ones and team meetings.

10. Monitor and adapt

We’ve now tried various types of hybrid working with our team at The HR Consultants, as well as testing being fully remote. We always take the approach of testing, monitoring and getting feedback before tweaking the way we work.
Regularly assess your team’s performance and make adjustments as needed. This might include changing communication strategies, redefining roles, or providing additional support or resources, but keep your ears and eyes firmly on team performance so you can be agile in tweaking the way you all work, for optimum team performance.
So, there you have it, by following these steps, you’ll create a high-performing hybrid team and a place that your people love to work.
If you need help in developing your people and HR processes, policies and more strategic plan, then get in touch with our consultancy team, they’re really rather lovely ☺️