By Barb Ward

Progress has always forced organizations to shift and change, but the rate at which this change is now occurring is vastly different than in the past. The pandemic and the great resignation have certainly made sure of that. In the wake of these two monumental events, we are still adapting. Companies are trying different mixes of in-person and remote workplaces, they are looking at new models for benefits packages, they are realizing how remote staffing options may benefit them in building a diverse workforce, they are figuring out how to best communicate and build a consistent culture in this new landscape, and they are selecting technology that will most benefit their staff and their organizations as they move forward. 

But the changes don’t stop there. As we are starting to get a little bit of a grip, new challenges are on the horizon. Concerns like what a recession would do to an already delicate balance in our businesses, and the looming promise that artificial intelligence will again change the way we do business are just two of the unknown factors coming at us. 

It can be mind-boggling.

But let’s back up a little. Maybe there’s something we can learn from where we have been, so we can clear an easier path for the future. One thing we know is that we are resilient. In the span of months, organizations, and the world advanced technology capabilities at warp speed. Systems that normally would have taken years to develop and perfect, were set up and put into practice in days to weeks. We dug deep and figured out how to be teammates, family members, parents, and caregivers while maintaining social distancing. We learned to connect in new ways. We adapted and evolved. 

These rapid advances in technology are perhaps the most notable change as a result of the pandemic. The new systems available have increased our capacity not only to do business more easily on both a national and global level, but our talent pool has increased to a global market because we now know – and have proof – that conducting business remotely can not only be effective, but in some instances can be even more productive than in person. The ability for a diverse group to get together to brainstorm and innovate has never been so accessible. 

So, we know that offering flexible work hours, work-from-home options, or a hybrid work environment can help attract and retain high-performing employees. But, with these advances come new challenges. For instance, how do leaders maintain communication, foster creativity, create connections, and maintain a culture of fairness and inclusivity in a hybrid environment?

Leveraging the advantages of a hybrid environment while quickly assessing and mitigating any challenges that arise is key to ensuring the culture of your organization shifts to accommodate this new workplace environment. The solution comes down to the creation of a solid hybrid work strategy. You can start by asking your team members for feedback. What’s working, and what’s not? Really listen and then develop strategies for addressing issues and enhancing what is already effective. Here are some sample questions you can ask:

  • What work are you responsible for that can be done independently?
  • What projects or work tasks are more effectively done when together?
  • What happens when we are in person together that doesn’t when we work from home?
  • How can we build expectations in our work so that in-person time is maximized?
  • What suggestions do you have to shift our culture so a hybrid environment will work effectively?

It seems, as leaders, we are continually facing a future of uncertainty. Whether that uncertainty holds us back or propels us forward depends on our mindset and how we approach the challenges and inherent conflicts that arise. 

We are an organizational effectiveness consulting company. We help our clients walk through business challenges every day. We will come alongside you to provide tools and resources to help identify and solve your most difficult organizational and leadership challenges. If you’d like a free consultation to talk about how professional coaching services, leadership development training, or strategy sessions can help you or your organization, we’d love to talk to you. Contact us for a free consultation at admin@InnovativeConnectionsInc.com or call us at 970-279-3330.

Our mission is to give voice and action to an emerging future. As a partner in your success, we would love to come alongside you to help you find your voice, see your vision, and imagine what the right action could be for you, your team, and your organization.

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