It’s time for leaders to take a step back, embrace the unknown and listen to their hybrid team.The pandemic has demonstrated that people are more capable of change than they ever imagined. Today, workers are changing their priorities given their new post-pandemic perspectives, and leaders and companies are looking for solutions to manage their hybrid teams.
In today’s episode, Michael Seaver, author, speaker and founder of Seaver Consulting, encourages us to use this time for teams and employees to come together to build more authentic and sustainable solutions. Right now is not the time to pretend we have the solutions, but for us to focus on and embrace what we don’t know. Now is the time to listen to your hybrid team.
The Outcome of the Pandemic
The pandemic gave everyone space to assess if they are living their most authentic lives. The outcome of this is we’re seeing The Great Resignation, more people quitting their jobs than ever recorded in history. So what is causing this and what are leaders doing about it? Keep reading as we explore the employee and leadership perspectives that are leading up to this, as companies are trying new ways to retain their valued employees and manage hybrid teams.
New Personal Perspectives
The pandemic taught us that we are far more capable of change than we believed. With this change, we all stretched our ability to adapt to change, to stay resilient and to begin to create new habits. Virtually overnight, we went from working in an office, commuting 30+ minutes to get to work, and now all of a sudden we’re doing many things from our own home ranging from homeschooling to work and exercise. We were no longer getting in a car or subway, and spending hours commuting to and from work. Commuting time limits time with family, hobbies, and relaxation. Through the pandemic, nearly all non-essential workers experienced work without that dreaded commute.
Though many people don’t have a choice, others questioned their commutes and their very jobs. Now workers across the nation are questioning this. Is the commute worth it? Could I get another job and be closer to home? Even if it pays less, is it worth it?
Now people are weighing the pros and cons of working from home, in the office, or in a hybrid arrangement. As they weigh these outcomes, they are questioning if their work is aligning with their most authentic selves. With this in mind, whichever way someone decides, they should remember that we all are way more capable of adapting to change and dealing with the unknown than they were 12 months ago.
New Leadership Perspectives
If leaders repeated the behaviors that might have existed in 2019, they have not learned or grown very much from this world-wide upset. What has occurred over the past year and a half has created a transformational change in every industry and leadership role. As we experience the biggest worker transition in history, leaders across the nation are trying to keep up with creating companies, cultures, teams and atmospheres that will attract and retain top talent.
Solutions that Work: Ask the Right Questions and Listen Closely
One firm Michael works with made changes in the way their leadership assesses outcomes by making the transition from billable hours to becoming a results driven company. This is a big shift to make mentally and culturally inside an organization.
During the transition to a results driven culture, the leadership began questioning their out-dated hiring practices. One of the first questions they asked was this: “Why would we only hire people within a 45 minute drive of the office? And how does this limit the talent pool possibilities?”
To get answers to these extremely relevant questions internally, the firm created a document called Succeeding Together. This document contained a series of five questions focused on what leaders could ask their direct reports regardless of where that employee was working. This was a great way for the leader to safely bring important life experiences into work and deeply connect with their direct reports individually, regardless of whether the person was a remote, hybrid or in-office worker.
Embrace Uncertainty & The Unknown
If you’re an employee working through the decision on where and who to work for, or a leader trying to figure out how you’re going to lead a hybrid team, Michael recommends that the answer is to be open to many different answers and the possibility of “not knowing” the answer for a period of time.
For example, Microsoft made the shift years ago from a “know-it-all” culture to a “learn-it-all” culture. With 70.000+ employees, this was a difficult transition that took time to execute and scale. Just like what happened at Microsoft, we now need to take a step back to recognize that this is the time to explore various scenarios. By not having all of the answers and analyzing best practices of our transitions, we’re going to be better together as a team. We can foster meaningful dialogue with our teams about what’s working and not working for individuals, teams, and the company as a whole. In fact, even though it’s frustrating to not have a crystal ball that helps us see into the future, not having immediate answers allows time for reflection and for the best answers to float to the top.
Everyone needs to step back and understand that it’s now okay to slow down a little bit. We need to slow down, stay focused, reflect on our missions and core values, and allow for situations to play themselves out. Society’s transformation is far from over.
Tips for Leaders
- Take Aligned Action
- Be Authentic
- Know yourself deeply, express it, and encourage others to be authentic
About Michael S. Seaver
Michael S. Seaver is an award-winning executive coach, author, keynote speaker, and podcast host. He’s on a mission to unlock human potential to help people uncover and live their purpose and live a more meaningful and authentic life. Crashing through conventional boundaries, Michael thrives at the intersection of next generation business strategy concepts, positive psychology, and conscious capitalism. His unique methodology has revolutionized how leaders can live authentically and how organizations engage employees. He offers no-nonsense strategies to help people find confidence in their life’s narrative, commonalities across generations working today, and ways to communicate with emotional intelligence. www.michaelsseaver.
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