Leading Hybrid Teams

Leading Hybrid Teams

This On-Demand event was originally presented on February 23, 2023 (60 min)


Does this sound familiar? Robbie working remotely can’t find the current process map his team is developing and when he sends an instant message and then a phone call to the team lead there is no response, so he sits and frustratingly waits.

There are benefits to remote and hybrid work from the flexibility of time for life and living to managing the wellbeing needs of self and others including child/elder care. The key to performance success with hybrid teams is to create clear expectations around communications, timeframes, and shared resources and to communicate them actively among all teammates. Creating a culture of open conversations, curiosity, and trust in the intentions of everyone, regardless of location and time, is the framework hybrid teams require to work effectively and efficiently with each other.

Research and our personal experience have shown trust is a key factor in team performance, and by extension, in organizational performance. As COVID-19 brought about a sudden shift to hybrid and virtual collaboration, the need for trust-building in new ways was seen. In this session we will explore how you can foster trust and develop the communication and workflow process techniques needed within your hybrid and virtual team.

Attendees will learn

  • How to describe what a hybrid team is in terms of people and place.
  • 5 key process techniques used in creating performance success for hybrid teams.
  • 6 key questions to use in determining whether to have in-person events.
  • 2 modes of communication and 4 modes of information needed to benefit the hybrid employee.


William (Bill) Ryan, Ph.D. is the Founder & Principal Consultant with Ryan Consulting, LLC using learning as a strategic business tool to develop and impact people to improve retention, engagement, and performance. Bill has a demonstrated record of corporate and industrial management experience leading performance support and instructional design teams globally including government (Dept. of Energy), high technology (IBM & Westinghouse), and health-related industries including home health care and insurance (Humana).

Recent client work included developing a strategy on a page (SOAP) as well as a leadership development plan for a national financial firm, a comprehensive talent staffing and development plan for a manufacturing concern, an implementation strategy for a Hiring for Competency model used by the National Retail Services, and a state initiative focused on workforce development helping businesses retain and develop employees. Additional work has supported a clinical start-up focused on improved neonatal techniques for clinicians across the country and a blended leadership and coaching program for a multi-state manufacturing concern.

Bill holds an M.S. from Ithaca College focused on Instructional Design and a Ph.D. in Computing Technology in Education from Nova Southeastern University.

For more information, please visit his website at www.williamjryan.com, via email at bill@williamjryan.com, or (502) 797-2479.

He is active socially via Twitter (@WmJRyan) and welcomes connections via LinkedIn.


Leading Hybrid Teams

Training Tools for Developing Great People Skills

This event is sponsored by HRDQ. For 45 years HRDQ has provided research-based, off-the-shelf soft-skills training resources for classroom, virtual, and online training. From assessments and workshops to experiential hands-on games, HRDQ helps organizations improve performance, increase job satisfaction, and more.

Learn more at HRDQstore.com

On-Demand Webinar Recording
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Hi, Everyone, and welcome to today’s webinar: Leading Hybrid Teams, hosted by HRDQ-U and presented by Bill Ryan. My name is Sarah, and I will moderate today’s webinar.
The webinar will last around one hour. If you have any questions or comments, please type them into the question area on your go to webinar. Control panel on the questions box there, And we’ll answer as many questions as we can today. And make sure that you access today’s handout as well, you can also find that on the handouts drop-down in your control panel.
And today’s webinar is sponsored by HRDQstore. HRDQ is based upon research to publish training tools for more than 40 years.
We have been a provider of research based training resources for classroom, virtual, and online soft skills training, offering learning resources to help retain employees and clients, make better decisions, improve performance, and much more. You can learn more at HRDQstore.com.
I’m excited to introduce our presenter today. Bill Ryan …
is the Founder and Principal Consultant with Ryan Consulting, using learning as a strategic business tool to develop an impact people to improve retention engagement, and performance demonstrated record of corporate and industrial management experience leading performance support and instructional design teams globally, including government, high technology and health related industries.
Bill holds an MS from Ithaca College, focused on instructional design, and a PHD. in computing technology and education, from Nova Southeastern University. Thank you so much for joining us today, Bill.
Thank you, Sarah. And appreciate the opportunity. Hi, everybody. We’re going to use the questions. Think of it as our extended form of chat, and I promise, I will be sharing questions back and forth and comments made in between. So, let’s use that questions. Oh, it out down because I really want to get some thoughts about what you have about either working in a hybrid team or leaving a Hyper team. What are the challenges you may have found? I mean, it’s almost three years. It’s hard to believe. I mean, essentially, it’s hardly my twins, are juniors. And you know, I came home from an event and suddenly found they were going to be finishing high school at home, because there was something going on in the world, three years. So, what have you found in this time period, about being in a remote or a hybrid team? What kind of challenges and opportunities. Throw them into the questions?
So, Rick, got to do one thing. Sarah, you forgot to tell me to do one thing about making this bigger. This is the hard part and use the chat, my apologies, everybody. So, Rick, Oh, that’s good, may take culture. We’re going to talk about culture, you know, there’s some new research that shows it’s more about the people, then the place. We’ll talk about that. …, thank you about promoting engagement.
I’d be interested in knowing more about that, because there’s some research that shows that the hybrid and remote people are actually more engaged recently. Gallup came up with some new data last week I think. I should have been able to include it. I’m sorry, I didn’t Making sure your staffs doing OK, well balanced. Like oh good point Carol. You know that’s the hard part and you can’t see him sometimes.
How do you know opportunities about connecting from Iraqi Wendy talked about. Never. Never thought it was gonna be this busy, Ah, well that’s, that’s a problem. Making personal connections, Melissa? Really tell me more about the personal connections and were you see that as a challenge, I’d be interested in knowing more about that. It kind of goes with Amy, your point about building connections.
No, I think that’s a new part about leadership, is that it’s about creating that connection for people that that community. Sometimes I think that’s a leadership opportunity. Catherine brought out the idea that the general conductivity, the opportunities and greater use of time is a key challenge. But it’s also I think, an opportunity to and keeping everybody engaged, Christopher brings out.
And Heidi, Heidi shared something, this may sound Heidi Mrs. dressing up. Does anybody else miss dressing up?
Or, I mean, I don’t miss a tie because we went to Business Casual. You know a few years ago, but I gotta be honest, Heidi. I’m glad you miss that. But, you know, there’s a few of us. Nicole says, No Stephanie’s in the Nope, Tanya’s, and then nope, nope. Lisa, you know, Heidi. I applaud your willingness to get dressed up. Like, the rest of us have found comfort, and that’s OK, too, because it all comes together. I think this thing about hybrid is that it works for some people. It doesn’t work for everybody. And it’s not the solution for all, But I think we have to focus on this as an opportunity. It’s something that is brought out the idea that we have strengths, and we have commitments, and we have needs that. Perhaps we used to not be able to tell people. There’s a lot of things that come into play, in terms of care, elder care, child care, that we sometimes just had to hide.
People didn’t want to know about it, but the last three years has really brought out the bad that there are commitments, and people have to balance, you know.
I used to hear the words work-life balance, and I don’t know about you, but I found out it’s just life and work happens to be in it.
So, a key issue for recruitment seems to be now. This idea of being flexible. And, I think one of the things that keeps up the, the, the mindset is, that, it’s how you organize yourself to look at this as an opportunity opportunity balanced your time.
Opportunity to balance your work, opportunity to balance your schedule, to maintain that balance.
And, you know, the idea that sometimes, you may want to dress up, know. It helps frame. It helps keep your mind.
Know, in the workload, Christopher, share that, you know, if you’ve dress up, you feel like professional Everything works for everybody in their own way. And, I think the issue is, is that what may be a negative for one person, doesn’t necessarily have to be for another person.
So, these are some of the numbers that came out in buffers, 2022 State of Remote Work, and, and the key bubbles that came about it, this was, people wanted and needed that flexibility.
I think, know, we really did.
Just kinda find out, You know, it’s life, and there’s work within it, and, and the well-being concerns that have continued to bubble up that we’re seeing, one of the things that came out on this Gallup research that came out last week, I think it’s coming out. one of my LinkedIn, or Twitter feeds, in the next couple of days, is, Is this issue of timing control.
That one thing, that, that people felt that when they had more control of their own time, that they felt like they had more personal responsibility, but also the accountability to their teammates. And there was an implied sense of trust from leadership, and I think that’s kind of a component that goes into some of these numbers that you see here on the screen.
Is that there’s a lot of, of options that you have the control of. You’re not.
You’re not stuck in the box physically and figuratively, in terms of time. So, go back here into the questions again, and tell me what’s some of your main concerns, if you’re leading a team.
What are the things if you are, you know, if you’re a leader, what are some of the concerns you found or continue to have about leading a team?
That’s it, is my employee working time to share with us sense of urgency or lack of urgency.
Brittney says, Is the work getting done well, Mona?
Have you put schedules in place?
Have you put the success criteria or metrics in place for that?
I think that’s one of the challenges that we’ve been finding out, and, and how to know what team members’ time is being spent without being able to see them, Stephanie says.
So, we’re expecting, so we’re talking about trust issues, know, we’re talking about, maybe somebody isn’t carrying their own weight, but we had that problem before we went remote.
You know, I do think Wendy has a point about the human contact. So, connections, communications.
I think those are things that bed, you know, there’s, there’s a, there’s, I’m gonna say this a couple of times.
We can use all the high-tech in the world, but the focus still has to be on the high touch.
We have to reach out. All right. I’ve actually made more friends that I didn’t expect to go over this time period.
Because, when we’re all stuck at home, you know, there’s this little group that people started joining in.
And so now I have people in England, and people in Germany, that I never would have expected to meet, and never thought I would have a connection to, But I have We should we talk, we use cameras. We see each other.
So, some of the things that we’re entering concerning, though, is, is, you know, making sure that everything in everyone has an understanding of what’s expected. So, this comes back to leadership, and leadership really matters. The ability to get the work done on time.
That people are treated fairly, Think about promotional opportunities, communication goes constant and across all levels, and that trust, it’s still built the entire time.
So, when you think about some of those challenges in a setting expectations, is probably the root cause for many. You know, it was easy to kind of, like assume stuff when you were in place, because you could just walk around, and I say this from the perspective of having led remote teams. I’ve led hybrid and remote teams through most of my career. I teams both overseas and domestically as well as work at heart and and There was one point where sometimes I caught myself walking along the floor of the center. That I was in physically and here in Louisville, Kentucky and and and then somebody would come back and go digit do, you know. What are you talking about? I’d forgotten to share, because I’d seen some of my team here.
I forgot about my team over there, so no setting expectations and making sure you’re consistent about it is something that and everything that comes into play schedules a tone, Tom’s really intent and, and I think, you know, understanding how we communicate to people across time zones across their cultural zones, and setting up those protocols around those communications around those timeframes is key.
Things like, when will you respond to e-mails?
Where it was scheduled to be posted, Should they be posted on for projects? How about, you know, when you’re taking vacation time or time off or whatever it is? You know, there’s still a lot of this whole balance thing, you know, work at home, so how do we know when to reach out, when can we get people back?
You know, this is kind of a challenge that I think we’re facing, whether you’re being full, fully remote or in a hybrid space. So, you know, I’m a big fan of putting the camera on, You know, I think they need to emphasize, you know, there’s still a face, there’s still a voice, there’s still a connection.
You should see once, you know, when, when, you should see me. I’m not saying that, you know, everybody in a in a meeting has to have a camera. I think that’s, you know, even at a staff meeting, we’re not all, You know, there’s a point where we’re kind of doing this, and we’ll talk about that, too. But there is a point where you should be able to see some tone, and she will see facial cues.
And, and, um, And that, I think that one of the things here is that, knowing when to rely on technology, you know that, if you get caught in, that, I’ll send an e-mail.
When you could just pick up the phone or do a short instant message like this or record. Short Zoom call, you know, this is part of the cultural aspects.
This is a part of creating connection. You know, culture is not a place culture, or there’s the norms that we do, that we create, the behaviors that we agree upon, that will treat each other, that we treat, the work that we treat and deal with. So, you know, to do that, we have to have this kind of interaction. So, you know, make it inclusive for everyone.
Leaders starts with you.
That’s the key part.
So, going back into the questions, when you think about today, know, we are leaders saying, You know, come back to work. We have some people that want to pull back to work. We have workers, and in some leaders that say, I don’t need to come back all the time, You know, I don’t want to spend an hour cheering. I don’t want to be on a crowded subway with people that aren’t wearing masks. I don’t want to go into a building that has not changed its ventilation system since 19 60. You know, let’s we all know those conference rooms right with the grades up there that are around You know, they don’t want to go into it, So what do you do?
How do you how Do you know when you do have some people that want to go in? They want that human connection? What Do you think about those those challenges and and What do you think would what would you do to maybe even resolve some of them?
or come across some of them?
I’m looking at the at the question mark, so if I’m not making eye contact, that’s where I’m going is kind of I mean fair, I took a good 100 main fair before, Jennifer and And and there’s equal and fair right. So I love the word fair, I think you do that. I think it’s great because not everybody’s equal And and and and how do you, how do you mean fair, especially if somebody’s hybrid in somebody’s in person?
Time difference as well, that’s that’s always been a challenge a jet lona, sorry?
Well, Nicole has a good idea, I mean, the idea is if you can, you know, if everybody can get together and schedule time in, that’s great.
That’s assuming that everyone’s in the same physical plant, and that there may be true, and it may not be Same amount of contact with individuals would be fair. OK, so 20 minutes with With me, Would you do I want to be 20 minutes with Sally as well?
But if I only need five minutes.
I love your idea.
I think fairness is the key, because everybody has a different level of fairness. It’s not about equal, you know. Just because I gave 20 minutes to Bill, doesn’t mean I need to come to an end, it’s what do they need?
So, I think that’s one of the key things, and I think that’s true, whether we were in person, or whether you’re in a hybrid or remote space. So, I think Charles hit, one of the key things, though, the leadership development Carol brought out that, that we need better management training for hybrid in place. And, I think, I think one of the key things is that from a leader’s perspective, we’ve got to learn.
That listening is a key part of leadership.
And that we’ve gotta move past project manager, you know, leading and managing are two different words, and they are two different philosophical approaches. You know, it’s, it’s, this is, I think this is this, the last three years is really highlighted that, but this is more than just checking a box. Or they hear attendance when I take an attendance anymore. It’s about setting the expectations.
You know, and I’ll go back to, I’m on an instructional designer by trade, and there’s a part where, you know, even in leadership, it comes back down to, is define what success.
Describe what success looks like.
And then define the criteria that you measure success by.
Then set out the schedule, setup, cost, setup budgets, settled schedules, Set our expectations, roles and responsibilities, So those kind of things come into play. And that’s part of what I think managing is and after that, it’s, it’s co-ordinating, it’s networking, It’s making those connections.
No, Sherry brought out the idea that, that you gotta take the time to learn about your team members.
Some of those issues that they have, a place, you know, a regular check in with is really one of the best things you can do.
I had a leader that used to do virtual coffees and ensure you don’t even worry about your type of trust me. If you saw my stuff you’d be laughing going on ace. Because, I’m not. But, the manager, we have morning coffees. Now, the manager had five time zones.
Luckily, this manager like to coffee, but basically would have this, this 10 minute to 15 minutes stretch from 7 0 AM till noon, pretty much, where they just blocked it off.
And they just said, anybody can pop in. That was just open time. But the case manager was very clear. She made it a point to say, This time for this group this times for this group is, that is where this group seat inches bounce in.
And I think that when you come together, that this hybrid world has actually had an opportunity to lead us.
We organize how our structure is.
No, it’s, you know, communication is so key to this whole process.
Work happens, OK, Work will happen, But it’s communication among each other.
one of the things I’m trying really hard to do is pull out there that you folks are sharing ideas and exchanges or interests here, in this discussion. And, and that, I want to make sure that you understand that you’re sharing with each other.
And then we bring this out, because there’s a time where I think, from this hybrid learning, that we, as leaders, help to bring out this whole kind of social connection. We bring out and enhance the connections in the network people have at work.
There’s opportunities to make the hybrid work really well.
So, likely if you have people in person and you’re having a session a meeting of some kind, you know, with, with remote workers that are, at the same time, connect in person with a remote worker during breakouts.
Don’t let just don’t make it in persons and remotes, That’s an us and them. You don’t want to do that, we want to make connections.
You know, nudge conversations and hybrid connections, kinda provoke those deeper conversations because what you want to do is start developing meaningful connections between people across time and distance.
Rocky, and if I apologize, apologize in advance. If I kill anybody’s name, please, Knowing my intent is good. Would share that he’d ask each individual and his team how they like to be led communication, preferences recognition and more, and then share how he likes to lead, so we had a foundational understanding of work from.
That’s brilliant, it’s brilliant.
Bradtke, Brian will share that and I think those are the kinds of things that we can look at. I would also add into this though, from a leadership thing that you can do is supporting curiosity. I’m, I’m a big fan of curiosity because if you’re curious, you’re going to learn.
And, And in as a leader, you should be modeling the behavior. Does anybody know or at read or or use the five whys.
If you ever heard of that, it’s a little little we’ll call the five whys.
And And And I will tell you, Don’t, don’t if you haven’t.
If you bring the book home, don’t share it with children.
My wife is an instructional designer to, And that’s kind of a, so, so, we talked about this kind of stuff and talk a lot about design and, and she’s a leader now. But, but we met initially because our shared interest. And, and our twins learned about the five whys when they were young.
But there’s some great conversations. But the point is it brings out the idea that that ultimately, you can get to the root cause. Jennifer brought that out. Exactly. Say it gets to the root cause very, very effectively.
I think if, as leader asking why provokes, those conversations.
You know, I think people disagree with you is is in a respectful honorable manner is a really wonderful opportunity to dig into conversations.
And I use the term provoking conversations because I think this is the opportunity to learn more about how people think.
And it helps create trust.
I’m going to, I’m going to be vulnerable, I’m going to let you know, I’m going to, you know, talk about those kinds of things.
And those are the values that help, you know, bring teams together, create a culture.
Again, culture’s around people, not a place.
And that comes back down to how we communicate in that last thing here is, about, you know, the whole idea of, you know, expectations, roles, and responsibilities. You know, I don’t know anybody that on projects that purposely goes in and says, I’m going to ***** stuff up. A lot of times, they just, There’s a there’s a lack of understanding of what my role is, or what I’m responsible for, or what people expect me to do and where I’m supposed to handoff. So, a lot of times, you know, confusion and processes always can be come down to, is, I didn’t know, nobody told me. So, you know, those are the kinds of things that kind of come into this conversation that I think can help.
So, with all that said, if you had a new team coming into play, what would you consider would be the things that you would want to have put in place?
There would be, and I use the word arguments, I don’t. It’s probably the wrong word, you know, up upon further reflection.
Again, the, the, the topics, because they’re not arguments, but what are the, the kind of attributes that you would consider pulling into a new team that’s going to be either fully remote or hybrid, of some kind of format, maybe summer, fully remote, summer, in person, summer.
A little bit of both.
You know, What would be some of the things that you would think would be vital for the success of that new Team?
Identify and share how you will measure success, especially sharing success, tonya’s, share that.
Common rules of engagement, Very well known nicely. Said, Catherine Catherine coming, it came out and says, we, now, We’re back down to creating culture.
How are we going to communicate genitive abroad.
You know, what’s the expectations?
I think, how do you provide feedback. Oh, that’s a good one.
…, I apologize if I said that wrong.
Anika: I read it, I know, yeah. That’s a really good point. You know, how does a feedback is a gift.
Done properly done respectfully, so how do you do that?
I shared understanding. Understanding what Christina, understanding of, of projects, understanding of office, understanding of, just curious what you think.
The understanding is, unfavored out, you know, shared hours, When can everybody get together?
That’s always a challenge.
I, unless, unless everybody is, in one facility, in one town, those that, that, having worked across multiple time zones, that can be fascinating at times. So, those are the, I think, you know, all good points that are brought out.
And the kind of things that I look at and say, Here’s how we can build on, on each other. There’s a kind of a reliance when you start pulling out these things that, you know, are brought out, these kind of communications. Like Jennifer says, the the common rules of Engagement is Catherine notes and, and Katherine also brought out. No, I’m sorry, I wrote that twice.
And how you’re measuring it, Um, I think is key. Stage, tiny did. Richard, we’re not, we don’t have a chat pod, we’re all in discussions. Sorry about that.
Oh, that’s a really good inec using Calendar or Doodle so you know, how do you communicate.
What kinds of technology are you going to use with the team that you share. That’s a really good point, too.
And, and, Christina, Thank you for understanding if we’re expanding on that to expanding the expectations of the team, the project, how we will work together.
Yeah, it’s a great one.
There is there is a book that was that was overused about sharing cheese a long, long time ago.
And I’m not going to bring it up as it was really beat to death, and if anybody remembers it, you know, throw a smile, and, But, you know, one of the things that bed, I will say, in fact, we can use now.
Jennifer knows.
Is that that? You know, how do we play nice with each other? How do we look, you know, both ways, You know, do we hold hands on across the street? You know, all those kinds of things. But, you know, there is a point where it kinda comes back down to, is, how will we work together.
How will we treat each other?
Know, and, And I’m going to drive the bets culture.
And that’s culture with people, not place.
I think we get too hung up on the idea that we have to be in the office together if we’re gonna have a team culture, and I’m going to challenge you and go, I don’t think so. Because culture and every team is different.
I mean, I’ve been on, on, you know, different teams, and in my role now, as a consultant, I have different clients.
I don’t work with just one client, and I work on different projects with different clients, and it’s fascinating to watch the different cultures that come into play, because everyone has a different set of expectations. They come back and they come together, and what they do is, they come across these things.
They’d come across these kind of agreements on how they’re going to work together.
They’re going to talk about, there are tools, know, we are going to talk about, it, who said that, antica, …, I’m so sorry, you know, how are you going to know, what are the things that we’ll agree on, you know, Communication, as, as many of you who are brought out, how to agree to disagree, as Christina kind of highlighted the idea of when we come together or of how we agree to disagree how we work together.
Then, I think the big one is really about meetings.
You know, in some ways, there’s been a couple of really interesting reports. one came out of Korn Ferry about end of the year. And it’s it sure that there’s been a month of, the other ones from Microsoft was, wanted to say my top of my brain, it’s also kind of the end of the year of last year and it showed that we’re having more meetings.
There’s two parts of this, this idea that we’re having more meetings.
one is, we’re having more meetings in smaller groups.
So I have a problem, and I’m going to go find out and we will find Bob and Sarah and say, hey. how do you do this? And I’m gonna have one of these meetings.
Now, part two of this conversation is, I, my personal hypothesis is we are not having more meetings.
We now have the ability to actually track how many meetings we actually had because we’ve been kind of forced to use technology.
In the old days I would have leaned over the cubicle wall and said, Hey, Bob, you do this or I would go and walk down the hall and said, Sarah, can you figure out helped me out? You know, figure out what this means now? I’m going to use a tool that is going to measure and track me. So now, people know how much time around meetings.
But I think the idea is that there was a time and a purpose.
And we have to set those expectations up.
And those meetings that people are having are more focused and agreed on what things happened for what people.
So, in that, I think one of these things that comes into play is, is the kind of tools we use.
So I’m curious, what tools would you consider it’s necessary for a hybrid and remote team?
And faith? I don’t, I hope you can hear me now.
I see that you lost sound, I hope it’s not me, our wind is create is just crazy out here, down with the trees, are doing one of these things out of my window.
It’s, it’s, it’s, I’m waiting to see what’s outside later, so good things. So, what kind of tools and platforms do you think we should be having?
Microsoft Teams.
OK, Carol, I agree. Our calendars, good point faith. one note, oh, interesting, Jennifer, Zoom.
And it says Brittany and Emma’s Teams, or WebEx or the idea that we have some kind of web conferencing, OK, Think about this one more level.
What are the things we want our tools to be able to do?
What is the intent of these different tools, that we want to make sure, we, all, our teams, are able to accomplish, talk about intent?
You’re all right. I agree on all of those things.
Set of goals, track, and follow for projects, says Mona. Christopher has finding a sharing data easily. Got to find the two. Don’t forget that part. Access to knowing where everything is, Faith has collaborations, Jennifer Daydream accountability. Interesting Audrey, tell me more about accountability. What kind of accountability you’re trying to find?
Keeping notes and sharing notes, I’m assuming.
And Carol, you know, brings out the idea that we want to communicate.
And I’ll say, all those are good, because the intent is that we have access to each other, to our work and that we have a great way of saying it is Katherine.
Kathryn, just shared, is with intention, that we find it with we have a plan and it’s intentional.
Sherry, you know, made sure that we had to have all the things that we can expect. Even if the wind blows that hopefully the technology will stay in place. And that, in order to share that its documentation and participation.
OK, so, you know, I think those are, those are the kind of things so so what we’re looking is, is how do we streamline the process?
We want the tools to not get in our way. I know that’s, I think one of the biggest challenges.
Um, Is it in Leon backup, I want to say challenges on my conversations have changed in the last three years with people.
I’ve been in distance education for ever since, You know, we had trucks with dishes on it That went up to the no satellites and the sky And now we have some zooms in WebEx and all these things. And, and so, you know, I’ve been doing computer based training, and it’s kinda funny when I went into business for myself was, my children, my twins, were about to turn.
They were 12, almost 13, and so I made them, helped me learn how to use Zoom.
This is like eight years ago. So, they are upstairs with their various devices and we get, you know, 5 or 6 people on. So we could learn how to use whiteboards and share and all those kinds of things. And they helped me understand how to use this. So fast-forward until March of 2020, and I’m, I’m listening to them, coach their teachers, and how to use Zoom, because the teachers had never had to use Zoom before. And and my kids were just used to using it, because that’s how we talk to grandparents.
And data has it downstairs, and all those kinds of things. And I think the point is, is that we don’t want technology to get in our way.
We want it to be streamlined.
We want to make sure that people can easily access information, and everybody knows where it is that we were able to access it simply, and that it’s keeping us informed and connected.
And if it’s difficult, then we need to figure out how to get it out of our way. Bad practices and processes shouldn’t be kept just because that’s the way we always did it.
You know, I think one of the biggest things is, you know, figuring out how, how, how do we know what’s being worked on?
And the status, and I can’t remember exactly who said that. And, I’m sorry. Access faith, faith brought this out about keeping access to work in progress. No, I think, I think that’s just one of those things that, that, you know, we need to know, so we don’t duplicate work. We don’t duplicate efforts.
Has any, have you guys had any kind of technology that’s gotten in your way?
I’m curious, in the last couple of years, have you, it has something then there, and it’s been difficult to use consistently ituri at a distance.
Have you found any kind of tools?
You know, I, I told people when, when, you know, used to be, you know, We can’t work at a distance, we can’t learn at a distance, and now my conversations really focus about, how do we do it better.
And I’ve told people through the years, you know, how can we take practices and procedures and make them efficient?
We’re wherever we are, instead of, you know, the old ways.
Some confusion about SharePoint in Teams tani shared about.
Yeah, Word files, anything that’s not collaborative. That’s a good point, Faith. You know, I think Office 365 really has as had made some jumps if everybody used it in, in kind of its design feature. But yeah you’re right, that that is a problem.
All the tech, you know from zoom on AOD audrey talks about It’s just been difficult. Yeah. If you weren’t used to using it, it was. It was, it was really interesting.
Chats can be, can be confusing. Stephanie, share that.
And, and, uh, and Jennifer, you know, the biggest call out is from leaders, who would rather be learning and … versus over the tech.
That’s my quadra. I totally get it. and don’t misunderstand me.
It does not mean that we don’t have a place to be in person, we absolutely do.
This is just one way of extending the access to experts, expertise, and the information people need to grow and develop.
So, I think this is one of those, you know, times where there’s no one single solution.
It’s all about fluidity. It comes back down to flexibility.
You know, I needed more flexibility when my kids were little on, I had to do pick up duties versus when they were starting to drive. And I would just stay at all in my office and be nervous instead. Totally different situation. Totally different needs.
Flexibility, so So Richard talked about sharing Microsoft Project updates at the team level project.
And Carol talked about ticketing systems. Yeah. Yeah, If you’re not. If it’s not accessible Across the board.
That’s a challenge, And that is So when you think about this, These are the kind of things that you, know. You guys.
just did this a little while ago, and I’m gonna you know, kind of Take and build upon what you had. Some of the things that you included are these kind of tools. And I wonder if there’s anything, and it’s not in this kind of system, You know, it could be Outlook, it could be, you know, Google, you know, it’s some kind of e-mail That some kind of, you know, tracking system. I think the idea of storage and sharing information or content like documents.
It’s key that everybody has access, and, and, and I think, you know, the ability to, to maintain that, that adaptability across remote and fluid teams is going to be a driver going forward. You know, I think that’s going to be something else. It has anybody taken in something that, in the last like 2.5, 3 years, that is, has they found really, really interesting, that hasn’t been listed already, that they have used with a team that you would recommend?
Well, what lessons can we share from each other?
I will say, one of the things that has caught my eye was, was looking at what Zoom has done in terms of partnering with, With some different third party vendors to bring in different ways to whiteboard in different ways to collaborate, in designing process maps, for example. And in breakout sessions, And that, that list of apps on the right-hand side, keeps growing and growing. I think we’re gonna see more of those with different tools, You know, I would expect to see teams doing that. Office, you know, Business 365, n-vivo, like doing that, Melissa shared here, Slido.
It’s an, it’s, it’s for interactive virtual meetings, Slido, if you have a website or a link and you can throw that into this but the, the questions, we will find a way to share it. I’m gonna say S Sarah. Sorry, Sarah, to help me collect those. And we will find a way to share some of these. OneNote has been amazing between for sharing and communicating. Oh, that’s interesting. Katie, brought that out, Melissa slido dot slido dot com. You guys can figure that out. S L I D O, dot com. Thank you, Melissa.
Pulling within Teams. Oh, that’s interesting, Megan, OK.
Richard likes the Microsoft Whiteboards for brainstorming and mirror for collaboration with Jennifer. Yeah. Mirrors one of the ones, the partners on Zoom, you know, that they’re integrating into, that I think we’re gonna see more of that on Canva, Christopher Shared also is, is allowing all kinds of content creation options.
Those are all good things, and, and, and I think if we keep our eyes open, we’re gonna see different ways, but the key driver, I’m gonna, you know bring up again, is that don’t let the tech.
Get in the way of the touch.
It’s all about making it inter personal.
The tools are cool, and I like them, believe me. But it’s, it’s creating that connection with another person have a purpose. and I’m, I wish I could remember, I’m sorry, I forgot who said intention. It’s, it’s doing it with intention I think is a key design kind of, of opportunity that we can, can bring out because it’s about the communication.
Got to have these conversations. We gotta find ways to ensure that we have this, this connection with each other.
We know of a synchronous ones.
And I’m a big fan of, just pick up the phone, You know, I had a manager years and years ago, who said, after three e-mails, if it’s still confusing, pick up the phone, No, Or go see them, Whichever you can do, You know, make it a Zoom call.
But three was it. You know, And he, and, he was big, on the baseball analogy after three.
You’re out. Go go pick up the phone, and figured out. So, you don’t do that, and it can be, you know, a quick Zoom call, a teams call. It. can be picked up the phone, I mean, goodness, notes, we certainly carry them the wrong at all here, Right. And then, yes, We do have the asynchronous, And we have ways to do this. I think one of the things I like about teams, for, example, if you can have a synchronous leading, but start a thread that can be done asynchronously. They can keep the conversation going. And if people have more time to reflect and think about maybe a situation that has been raised. They can add to the to the situation, they can add to the solution.
So, this is a kind of a, a neat little, you know, chart, you can think about, and bring out, it’s not the most perfect one, and it can change depending on what your needs are, too.
So, when you think about the agreements that you have put in place, um, I’m sorry, Marie asked me a question, will you rename Benamed those software …
mentioned, Canva Miro, Microsoft Whiteboard.
one note, and Slidell, what are the ones that were mentioned?
Marie? When you think about that, again, the tools not get in the way of, the people, you know, Since we have to it, since it’s based on the communication, what are some of the things you want to put in place?
What kind of, of, of, rules?
what kind of agreements would you think we can, you know, make sure that we put in place to allow us to work comfortably freely?
Because responses can vary, and, you know, between peers, between clients and you internally, as well, external.
Lawrence, I think there’s a link, that goes out afterwards. Sarah, will, we’ll come back to that one?
Agree on non working and not available hours. Really good point, Stephanie.
There’s, there’s, there’s gotta be some kind of limited there and, and I think that that’s one of the things that we think about, you know, and there’s times when you can, you know, use a team thread, and then in LinkedIn, wins it OK?
Just to jump on Israel expectations about timing?
Absolutely! When will people get right to Carol brought that out. You know, I think they did.
You know, how you connect with others over time and distance, you know, is is going to be one of those things about how we communicate Now, in a meeting setting, I’m really big on. Again, don’t make it in person and re and remotes.
May, you know, provoke and promote the interaction.
You have had people, you know, what? We already have these in our meetings, go to a corner, you know, use the Zoom connection or the WebEx connection, and pair people up to to be on a remote person with an in person person in person version.
And, I think, because, you know, the issue is about how do we, how do we create that trust with each other? And, and, I think you brought it out, really. was, is that we’re trying to build respect a mutual respect when communicating. So one thing that Stephanie highlighted as, it was, what’s the expectations to be on camera, or not?
during a conference? I think it’s a good point, there are times when you want to.
And sometimes, when you don’t, know, I think, I think, Jen, and that’s a team by team, by team thing.
I think there’s 1 of 1 group I’m working with right now, and it’s that, that whole issue is about, you know, when do people have a chance to come together?
So I think the idea that you come and have to list out, are these kind of, you’ve already brought out, know when? when is it, when is it right?
And the bottom line there.
If it isn’t working, toss it.
Just because we did it this way, doesn’t mean we have to do the same way.
I recently had a project with a client, and they had me analyze a production slowdown, and because they were assumed, the training was the problem. What I found out was that there were certain forms that were needed for project approval and they still had to have a physical signature.
In this day and age, forget it. It’s time to change things, read the room, People had moved on, and that was the simple thing.
Figure out what works now. And let’s be here.
one of the biggest things about this is about conversations and conflicts going to happen. Let’s say hide from it. OK, let’s face it openly and let’s codify with steps to Korea. There is acceptable behavior that we can ask for and expect to have in the workplace regardless of location.
So name, it may get the team’s norm to find a path forward that values each person.
All comes down to treating each other with respect, the dignity, with honor, and to move away from our own internal biases, and we all own our own, OK. And one of the most obvious ones is, I’m right or wrong. I’m at work.
You’re not, know, we have to get past that and realize it. You know, we have to approach everything with good intent that every person might have, information. we don’t have. And we have to be open and receptive to learning it.
To listening to it and, and getting past, you know, this kind of defensive, you know, reactions that sometimes we have, so no understanding what those rules are that we agree to.
Knowing what kind of phrases, and I forgot, I’m sorry, there was a gentlemen, and it’s too far up here to go look.
You talked about setting the expectations that how you’d like to speak?
How you like to have things brought to you? how how the employee or teammate wants to be spoken to, how their expectations are Let’s take that one more step. What are the red flag words?
What are the things that just sets you off the edge and and knowing what those are. let’s how do we avoid this?
Here’s a chart that kind of gives you some ideas on on on ways to move past some of your initial reactions, but the key is that you want to move together.
And if you move together as a team, you will succeed.
And that’s kind of the key, is, is, it’s acknowledging, you know, these things will happen.
So, let’s figure out, when it does, How do we minimize the time? How do we minimize the loss time, and how can we bring people together?
So, no.
How about meetings?
When do you need to have a meeting?
When, who should be included? What should be included in a meeting? What do you think?
Do you have too many meetings? How do you, how have you handled meetings since since the last couple of years?
Lisa added, by the way. Never put anybody down.
Thank you, Lisa, that’s a very good thought to keep close. Again, it’s, it’s, how do we, how do we work with people?
How do we work together?
You know, we, If we can’t lean on each other, how can we lean on?
So, what do you think about meetings?
Me for common needs got an individual.
mm hmm, well put Jennifer have an agenda wave VA Mona.
Lisa Learn less interesting point Jennifer Carola also has the agenda not meeting just to have a meeting says Christopher agendas again.
They need to be focused with outcomes as Audre.
action items and takeaways in the end says Mona.
See this so that you understand you guys are you guys are way ahead? The whole issue here. Comes down to the idea that there is a point to having a meeting.
That there is a there’s a need for it. I’ll bring up, the one thing, though, that we, we, I think, have to include in meetings for remote into an hybrid workers is, it’s time to socialize.
I mean, let’s be honest, we’re in person, we grab a cup of coffee, maybe, or go to lunch, you know, this is an opportunity to start creating connections and building on those connections so that when we come together, you know, there is a level of interaction that people kind of X should be expecting.
And that there’s ways to look at this and, and too, open it up and you should know have part of your norms is, you know, what kind of input should you expect.
Because time is, we’ve found. It’s priceless.
So, you know, what’s, what’s the most effective time to be together? Sometimes, you know, it might be just a task team or just a project team that comes together, you don’t need an all hands gathering.
The whole idea of agendas.
No, perfect, but if it’s just kind of a broadcast information that, you know, everybody needs to have it, no, it’s informational. You don’t necessarily need a meeting.
So, you know, understand that.
There’s purpose. I love the agendas, a lobby our books, and all the idea that you don’t talk over other people.
So making sure that that people know that who’s being heard and that in person, people don’t drown out the remote people. That chat. If you’re using chat to be in person, people see the chat.
They should do the remote people have the ability to speak and be heard initially, they should, you know, and breakout rooms. You know, let’s use breakout rooms with, you know, 5 to 6 people and blend.
Have an in person being a breakout room with remote people, you know, blend them together.
Know, again, we’re preventing provoking connections over space. Be intentional about the time and includes some social time.
People start to build their personal networks and then encourage more people will think Well, the agendas is people a chance to be planned full and to reflect so that they can have that opportunity. So that takes us down to the responses.
What do you think about responses?
Um, and and Deidre, I like your idea. At least you know something to build support among people.
Absolutely, absolutely.
Situational meeting skills, touching base. Richard, Richard brought that out. That, you know, again, some of those things can be more around task teams versus all groups.
I think it’s, again, planning with intention, I think, is a key set of words you people have shared with me today, and it really does drive the point, have that high touch, when it’s really, really effective.
So, what about how response time, You know, do we expect response time at 7 0 PM, wherever that person is, living or working from?
You know, how, how quickly do we need to respond to each other?
How, how can we determine when we need it now?
Compared to, yeah, I’d like to know when weekends, evenings, You know, when would a team or maybe a Slack? compared to an e-mail be preferred preferred?
And the idea of common time with, somebody mentioned a little earlier, you know, it’d be nice if we get everybody together in one section, where we can at least say, hey, everybody come together.
And, and, you know, is asynchronous, at what point can we put stuff into asynchronous communications versus synchronous communications?
So those are the kind of questions that I think you have to, to have to, to think about.
And I think those are the kind of opportunities that you can, you know, have to be understanding what’s a priority, what’s not, and that’s something where the team kinda comes into play.
And I think, that’s about, like, identifying levels of need, So, what’s a fire, you know?
What’s, when, when do you really need stuff to come together? And how do you understand when those things come together?
And as leaders, remember, you know, if you ping somebody, they’re going to drop stuff.
So, you know, because that’s kinda what we do.
You know, the bus, there’s some causes. It must be important. So, intention, I think, is another thing.
So, you kind of have an obligation coming back to respect that people’s time and trusting that information will get done, and it will get done in a timely manner.
As a team, creating that agreement, I think, is, is key.
Comes back down to clarification about roles, responsibility, and expectations, and if we set those all up ahead of time, then we know.
I think those are, you know, one of the things Lisa just brought out, was the idea that alternate dates.
You know, can a proxy be sent to a meeting if you’re unavailable? I think those are all really, really good, you know, and vacations. Or we handle that kind of stuff.
And where, so that takes me to a little case study.
Um, that, this is based on an actual client that came into me. And, here’s what they had.
They had, they were putting together a new team. one of the things that this group had found out, they had a hard time hiring for certain roles and, and the pandemic actually allowed them to because of the flexibility in remote, they were actually hiring people with the skills they needed. They just weren’t nearby. So, they were going to put this new hybrid team together. They were across multiple time zones.
They had a new product they were trying to push out.
So, we’re designed people, we had marked something or green people. We had some operational people, so there’s a lot of IT people involved because it was a tech product and the person that was chosen lead a team.
Highly skilled, incumbent worker, but noodle leadership.
So I’m going to put you as that new leader, what would, what do you think that person had to do?
What are some of the things that they came together to do upfront to help create this team, this hybrid team, and be successful?
And just to let you know, I will say, what were some of the results here. But, they were successful, well, they’re not in operations, and production yet, but they’re pretty close. So, they did learn some lessons, but it was you.
What would you do?
You’d have a face-to-face virtual meeting, Barbara starts off with.
Um, the Tanya said, Welcomed people. Get some preferences, styles. Shared goals. Yup.
Solicit buy in daydream well. Well, well, yes, Yes, yes. Recording videos for information and chats and e-mails responding.
Common time to hold meetings said, Lisa.
Yes, DJ says there’ll be the nodal.
That person was very good at that honestly. and truly, they were very, very humble, it’s kind of neat training.
Tell me more Inec, Anika, I’m so sorry, Nneka, I’m sorry, tell me more about what kind of training. And I’m gonna call you and, if you don’t mind, soap. I don’t embarrass myself anymore.
They did have, They had already put the team together. Lisa said, it’s good, but, but, I think one of the things is making sure the right people were in the right place. Give them a virtual sip of tea first.
Lauren, she’ll have to explain it to me.
There’s that, like, you know, coming here, and cheering everyone?
I need a discipline here, so thanks.
Richard comes out, agree with the team expectations, behaviors, connection times, how to deal with fires and floods. Yes, yes, yes.
So, what happened was, is what you guys are, really are? A disarming tactical. OK, guys, thank you Lawrence. And I came back and said organizational development trainings and thank you for letting me call. You in soaps already.
What they started out with was they brought everybody together. They did have a virtual there were a couple of people that were nearby So there were a couple of in person pupils, they align people the purpose and the outline was initially was crafted this purpose and mission was crafted by the leader in a couple of direct reports.
But they brought it to the entire team and the team did revise and edit, and then they did it through teams, they did it conduct, they did it synchronously.
But they kept an asynchronous thread so they could edit along the way and they did that. Then we moved on to define people’s roles, responsibilities in terms of leadership, ownership, time scheduling, on management and accountability to others, They made a matrix of, of where the process flow responsible to you. Your stuff comes down to me, I’m upstream downstream, kind of things.
As part of the roles and responsibilities, the communication agreements outlined earlier were put in place, time to respond, commitments to meet, And when, Like one-on-one, small groups.
Now, given the complexity of the work agreements, and they made an agreement on where materials will be stored and archived, and that was kinda key, so they didn’t get confused with too much you know stuff in a file. They also put a workflow in place. They put a process map from design development, and they linked into that in different folders. And it kept them like synchronized. And that was kind of an interesting application about the tool systems that they were able to use. Now, one thing that wasn’t included, but about three months into it, they did run into a conflict. It was a miscommunication and misunderstanding between different people in different parts of the country, but they all came back together. And without the leader being involved with team, came together and made their own agreements on how to manage these issues. And it was tied back to that communication agreements, They also had a couple of our hearts. They included the work schedules and they found out that there calendaring system didn’t automatically adjust for time cells. So they were able to fix that. They also found out that they included they needed to include personal time in their production calendar so that they could see when people were off and have better resource planning.
And then they agreed to, know, cause fires, floods, e-mails, and when people could be contacted during approved leiber vacation, they came up with that on their own.
And they are, they have been successful ever since, so that was kind of neat.
So, you know, it really comes back down to intentional purpose.
People, you know, it’s a mindset, it’s an opportunity as we sat upfront, and it’s a little bit of a behavioral shift, OK?
But it’s here, I don’t think it’s going to go away. I think people don’t want this, we need flexibility in our lives.
So, let’s set up the experience, be the same, I’m sorry, I forgot the name, The idea of being fair, I think, is going to be key.
You know, Make our culture focused on the people.
Make it accommodate people everywhere, It’s about the team, Processes are more inclusive. And bring everybody together.
So these are some of the findings. There is a handout, and please, take that. It’s one minutes to the top of the hour.
I wanted to thank you all for your your investment here in the questions you’ve been wonderful and sharing, and, And thank you for your input, and, And The sharing of ideas and stuff, that you guys were, just rock stars, and I really do appreciate your willingness to participate.
If you have any questions about hybrid and remote, I’d love to talk to you by the time, Sarah, I’m going to turn this back to you.
And thank you, and I think the handout is available in. I forgot, where. But you’ll tell me. Oh, yeah, this was a really great informational session. And you can locate the handout on the handouts drop-down on your control panel, if you haven’t had the chance to do that yet. And download that PDF there. And that does bring us to the top of the hour. So, thank you so much for such a great session today.
Thank you. Appreciate the time.
Wonderful, And, as always, if you stuck around for the entirety of today’s session it at you, Do qualify to receive a one credit hour, And you will receive follow-up messaging tomorrow About how you can receive that, if you’re interested in receiving that activity ID. And then make sure that you join me. Next week, Same day, Wednesday, at two o’clock. Again, two o’clock, Eastern Time for next week’s session to learn how to deliver virtual experiential learning activities.
Thank you all for participating in today’s webinar training Thank everybody. I really appreciate it. And thank you for your kind comments. They’ve been very, very kind. Thank you all very much. Hope you have a great day. And you stay safe wherever you are.
Thanks, everyone.

Listen to the podcast

In this episode, your host Sarah, Learning Events Manager at HRDQ, welcomes Bill Ryan, who recently presented a webinar on Leading Hybrid Teams. Together, they dive deeper into the key takeaways from the webinar, focusing on the fluidity of organizational structure, aligning people to a common purpose, building trust, supporting curiosity, and fostering teamwork. They also discuss the changes happening in the L&D space, including the shifts towards flexibility in remote and hybrid work arrangements, the importance of trust and rewards, and the transformation of leadership techniques. Join Sarah and Bill as they explore the evolving landscape of soft-skills training and the exciting possibilities that lie ahead.
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