With hybrid team structures growing in popularity across the world, the pursuit of a great hybrid team culture is quickly becoming a priority for organisations of all industries and sizes.
As a team of behavioural scientists, psychologists, and avid observers/students of workplace culture we’re particularly interested in what the future holds for hybrid teams. With our 10+ years of experience working with leading organisations to transform their workplace culture, we’re confident that we’ve got some valuable insights to share on what makes a great hybrid team culture.
So, if you’re keen to see if your hybrid team culture is up to scratch, take a look at the following list and give yourself a score out of eight. This is a simple yet useful diagnostic to see if there are some changes you’ll need to make over the next 6+ months to achieve high performance in your hybrid team.
8 signs you have a great hybrid team culture
A focus on the collective
You know the saying, ‘There’s no I in team’? Well, that certainly has some weight to it when we’re talking about team culture. In order for a hybrid team to operate at a high level of performance, there needs to be a focus on the collective. That means collective effort, collective decision making, and a commitment from everyone on the team to do what’s best for the collective. Hybrid work can tend to create a slippery slope towards a contractor mentality of we don’t focus on the collective.
There’s high levels of personal accountability
For a hybrid team to effectively collaborate and communicate there needs to be high levels of accountability. That means sticking to deadlines, speaking up when things aren’t going to plan or mistakes have been made, and generally taking the time to check in with one another to ensure projects and tasks are on track. With hybrid teams often being separated by distance or rotating shift times, it’s crucial that team members are accountable to one another and take this commitment seriously.
Trust levels are strong
Trust has always been an important construct for teams, but when you’re unable to see all of your team members face to face on a regular basis, it becomes even more critical that you work hard to build trust for one another. Without trust, speculation and rumours can spread like wildfire and issues can arise from minor misunderstandings at the drop of a hat. For a hybrid team to work efficiently for the long term, there needs to be high levels of trust top-down, down-up and across the entire team. This is built in many ways, but it all starts with a conscious choice to focus on it.
Expectations are clear
In a hybrid team structure it isn’t uncommon for individuals to be working on a project or task in isolation. With this level of autonomy, there needs to be clear expectations around deadlines and work product standards in order for goals to be achieved. It is also important from a communication perspective that all team members are aware of expectations around digital communication – response times, communication channels and critical information that needs to be shared are all aspects worth considering.
You set (and achieve) team goals
Team goals are one of the foundational aspects that contribute heavily to team success, regardless of team structure. However in the case of hybrid teams, that can be at risk of feelings of separation and disunity, pursuing team goals becomes even more important. For a hybrid team to achieve high performance they need to be united in their approach and pursuit of worthy team goals. Tip: these goals aren’t simply BAU-type goals; they can be behavioural, social or cultural.
There’s a strong support system amongst your team
Working in a hybrid team structure that often faces fast-paced change calls for a heightened level of emotional wisdom and interpersonal emotional intelligence. Your team members need to feel comfortable reaching out to one another when they are under the pump or in need of help to get a project over the line by the deadline, for example. Without a strong support system hybrid teams can crumble at the slightest sign of instability. In a disrupted world, your safe place should be in your team.
You make time to gather
Because hybrid teams are often separated by distance or shift structures, team members may find it difficult to connect. This can lead to teams going weeks or even months without seeing certain members of the hybrid team. While this may seem fairly inconsequential on the surface, when you understand some of the theory behind group dynamics and even the Losada Ratio it’s clear to see how important it is that team members have the time to connect on an interpersonal and professional level on a regular basis. With this in mind, making time to gather is an essential part of sustaining a great hybrid team culture.
Improvement is a regular conversation
While Hybrid teams might be one of the newest team structures to rock our workplaces and regardless of the novelty, it is important that teams that adopt this structure aren’t hesitant about making changes to improve their process. Improvement should be an ongoing conversation amongst a hybrid team. From discussing the process and timing of team-wide video conference calls to exploring new virtual collaboration tools, it’s critical to the success of a hybrid team that improvement is welcomed in all areas.
After reading through this list, where does your hybrid team stand? Are you up to scratch or are there a few things you’ve realised that you need to work on, stat? Either way we reckon it’s worth taking the time to check out our brand new program for 2021, High Performing Hybrid Teams.