Visibility is crucial for the success of any team. Building visibility ensures that everyone works on the same page and any bottlenecks have been identified and addressed. This means that managers, leaders and team members have a bird’s view of the company’s projects. Team members know what they should be working on now as well as their next task. They know who is working on what and how far the rest of the team is to complete their individual tasks. Additionally, the managers and leaders know the exact status of the project and can zoom in on the progress of individual tasks. This makes it easy for managers to assign tasks and resources and identify bottlenecks, which helps push projects forward. On the other hand, it enhances team members’ efficiency and collaboration to meet deadlines and expectations as required.
So, how do you ensure visibility when managing a hybrid team? Well, it can be daunting, but it is definitely doable if you follow our guidelines.
Have a virtual commonplace for work
As the wording suggests, visibility is all about having a view of what the team is doing at any given time for both the leaders and team members. Moreover, there is no better way to get a complete view of everything than when it is happening under one platform. Utilizing a single virtual platform for work brings all team members together regardless of whether they are working from the office or remotely.
Choose a virtual workplace that lets you build visibility into the task workflow and project communication as well as one that allows you to store important information. With a clear task workflow, everyone can see the status of the projects as well as what everyone is working on to complete the project. A project management tool can suffice in this regard. Additionally, keeping important information and all communication centralized empowers the team with the resources they need to work efficiently and effectively.
Take all communication online
Proximity bias is one of the major hindrances of building visibility in a hybrid team. Members working in the office often find it easy to access information and be seen by their managers since they work from the same location. This discriminates against those working remotely, often missing out on growth opportunities since they are less visible to the managers. It also causes a disconnect in the team, with remote workers feeling isolated and undervalued, which affects team collaboration.
One of the best ways to make everyone feel included and build visibility for the whole team is to move all communication online. This includes non-work-related conversations such as water cooler talks. You can utilize technology to ensure that even team members who work in close proximity talk to each other through a designated platform. This way, members working remotely can listen in or even join in the conversations.
Help team members connect and collaborate
Regular communication helps build visibility where teams don’t have the luxury of meeting together regularly. It helps everyone have a clear view of the organization and the part they play to meet organizational goals. However, effective communication starts with creating meaningful connections for team members so that conversations can flow naturally as well as keep employees engaged. In a hybrid team, you have to be deliberate in helping your team connect and bond.
This starts by understanding your workers’ schedules – when they are working from home and the days they drop at the office. This ensures that you can take advantage of the days they are present to connect on a one-on-one basis. In addition, understand your remote workers geographical locations so that you can group those working in the same location together to work on projects. Consider utilizing shared office spaces in different cities. If you have workers in Los Angeles, rent one of the reliable office spaces in Los Angeles to give your remote workers a physical space to meet and collaborate. The same is applicable to any other geographical hub. If at least 5% of your remote team is concentrated in a particular city, it makes sense to invest in a coworking office to give people a chance to meet in person from time to time.
Set clear goals and expectations
Setting clear goals and expectations communicates to the team what you expect from each one of them and shows them what they need to do to achieve their goals. Moreover, aligning these goals with the company’s goals give them visibility on how their work contributes to the success of the organization. This ensures that they don’t feel left out in the growth of the organization.
However, after giving clear instructions and goals, you also need to ensure that you have visibility of what your employees are doing. This puts you in a position to identify problems and move in quickly to offer assistance. Bringing your hybrid together on a video call or asking for an online report in the official communication channel allows you and everyone else to see what everyone is doing.
Encourage team members to take interdepartmental opportunities
Building visibility for your team shouldn’t be limited to individual departments. To drive growth across the entire organization, it is important for team members to gain visibility beyond their departments and teams. You can do this by encouraging your hybrid team to take up opportunities that come in in other departments. This might mean working in the office more than they do in their roles. In such a case, you have to encourage them to allow more flexibility in their schedules. After working across teams, let them share their experiences and lessons learnt with their teams to give them a wider perspective and more visibility about the organization.
Building visibility into your hybrid team is important in enhancing resource utilization and building teamwork. However, it isn’t as easy as it might seem when you have some members working in proximity and others dispersed. But, having a single platform for workforce management and communication and taking all conversations online go a long way. In addition, encourage your team to work across teams, set clear goals and create more ways for your team to connect.