Hybrid work is here to stay, yet many organizations still grapple with virtual meeting fatigue, low employee engagement, and creating a workplace environment that supports work-life balance. Let’s face it, many of us simply roll our eyes at the very thought of another virtual session or, as a leader, hint at the same idea that it is somehow easier to work remotely.
During our session, we will address these friction points and highlight seven proven strategies that will act as an antidote to your virtual meeting fatigue, enhance employee engagement and optimize the effectiveness of your teams’ hybrid work.
Judith Cardenas is the President and CEO of Strategies By Design, a consulting firm helping organizations across the globe to innovate and design successful solutions and experiences for their clients. She has spent the last 10+ years empowering leaders and organizations to execute their vision and reach their goals through processes focused on innovation, change, and co-creation.
Her academic background includes a doctorate in education administration, as well as a doctorate in training and performance improvement. She has completed a variety of postdoctoral training in topics such as Innovation, Design Thinking, Digital Facilitation and AI.
Judith has created and delivered training to organizations and agencies such as the World Bank, United Nations, QVC, Inc., Phillips Semiconductor, U. S. Navy, U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Agency and U.S. Army, National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development/UT Austin and American College of Radiology. Connect with Judith on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Stephanie McGreaham is an HR leader with a passion for helping businesses develop and expand their employee engagement. With a background in change management and leadership, she is certified as a Senior HR Professional with HRCI and has over 15 years of experience working with industry leaders to achieve their organizational vision. Stephanie is the Partnerships Manager at Howspace.
At Strategies by Design Group, we specialize in supporting Leaders and Organizations that are ready to innovate faster and more successfully – and want to design better solutions, or experiences for their customers and employees. We help foster the culture of innovation needed to stay competitive in today’s modern, ever-changing market, apply innovative techniques and approaches to achieve immediate engagement and growth and enhance the connection between behavior design and human centric design. Learn more at www.strategiesbydesigngroup.com.
Seven Strategies to Optimize Your Team’s Hybrid Work
Hi everyone, and welcome to today’s webinar, Seven Strategies to Optimize Your Team’s Hybrid Work.
Hosted by HRDQU, and presented by Doctor Judith Cardenas, and Stephanie McGreaham.
My name is Sarah, and I will moderate today’s Webinar. The Webinar will last around one hour. If you have any questions, please type them into the question area on your GoToWebinar control panel, and we’ll answer as many as we can during today’s session.
Today’s webinar is sponsored by Strategies by Design Group. Strategies by Design specializes in supporting leaders and organizations that are ready to innovate faster and more successfully. I’d like to design better solutions or experiences for their customers and employees. They help foster the culture of innovation needed to stay competitive in today’s modern and ever-changing market.
Strategies by design group applies innovative techniques and approaches to achieve immediate engagement and growth to enhance the connection between behavior design and human centric design.
Learn more at www.strategiesbydesigngroup.com.
And I’m excited to introduce our presenters today, Doctor Judith Gardenias and Stephanie McGreaham.
Judith is at President and CEO of Strategies by Design, a consulting firm helping organizations across the globe to innovate, to innovate, and design successful solutions and experiences for their clients.
She has spent the last 10 years empowering leaders and organizations to execute their vision and reach their goals through processes focused on innovation change, and co creation. Her academic background includes a Doctorate in Education Administration, as well as a doctorate in training and performance improvement.
She has completed a variety of postdoctoral training and topics such as innovation, design thinking, digital facilitation, and AI.
Stephanie is a leader in HR with passion for helping businesses develop and expand their employee engagement with a background in change management and leadership. She has certified as a senior HR professional with HR CI, and has over 15 years of experience working with industry leaders to achieve their organizational vision.
Stephanie is the, the partnerships manager at our space. It’s wonderful to have you both with us today.
Thank you, Sarah, and thank you, everyone, for joining us, and we’re thrilled to be with all of you again.
So, today, we’re here to talk about that.
We’re both very, very passionate about it, hybrid work.
And, although some of us may have dreamed about hybrid work or thought it was a fad or wondered what was going to happen to hybrid work, the one thing we know for sure, is that hybrid work is here to stay.
Yet, many of us continue to grapple with media fatigue.
I know myself, I tend to, I thought, at the beginning, hybrid work. I wouldn’t have as many meetings, but actually found that I actually doubled. My meetings, by means, were longer than usual.
I would start the earlier in the morning and ended up later in the evening.
And so we started working with leaders across all different types of organizations, and different sizes of organizations.
Their number-one goal was to enhance employee engagement.
How do you really do that when you have media fatigue along with wanted to try to increase collaboration and employee engagement?
So, we wanted to stop our webinar with our first poll. And, Sarah, if you could help me out with this particular poll.
We would like to know what specifically in your organization, what do you grappling with as it relates to hybrid work?
Is it meeting fatigue?
Is employees don’t have the right tools to engage remotely?
Or is that by organizations struggle with the needs of a diverse workforce?
So, what are the, you know, we’re just really interested in knowing what is happening in your workspace.
So, Sarah, we’ll give it a few, a minute or so.
Yeah, so we’ll give you some time here.
We’ll give you about a minute, here, to submit your vote, and it looks like the word got cut off there at that last poll option there, that was diverse workforce.
We did have a comment, come in through, saying all of the above. So you have all the above.
You can drop that in the comments box, love it.
OK, great, so we’ll get those results up on the screen.
OK, wow, 65% of you said meeting fatigue, 11% said, maybe not the right tools to engage remotely. 24 is the needs of a diverse workforce, and I, a few of, you were like, all of the above.
So, those are just amazing stats, and just great information for us.
And today, we’re going to dive in to see if we can help all of us engage in a different way by sharing seven strategies that we have that will actually help increase collaboration in this remote workspace.
OK, so let’s face it.
Many of us, roll eyes at the thought of another virtual call.
Now, again, that was a bit of a surprise to me as a whole, because I used to think great, I could be at work at home, excuse me, behind a computer, and just jump into another virtual call.
Yep, When the virtual calls, when I open up my calendar, and I see call after call after call, I just simply roll what others in our environment actually derive.
We’ve had people who actually love the idea of jumping on the zoom, call, gaining, getting, you know, connected with their team members, and start work forward.
While other of us are not so much, we stay on mute, or we don’t even show a picture at all.
And there are many different perspectives.
What are the beauties that that we have really uncovered in the last few months?
Is the different perspectives people have about remote work, and jumping on a computer and sharing their screen and sharing a view of the room that they’re working in.
Everybody has a different aspect, and the different perspective of how that really happens to enhance learning and enhance collaboration.
Yet, there are many ways people thrive at work. So, this has been another Aha point.
The curiosity that has really revealed itself to us is that there are different ways that people thrive. There’s not one way that people drive.
And so, our good friends and partners at House base did an amazing piece of research, and I love to turn it over to Stephanie. So she could talk about spaces, 20, 21 global survey that they did on remote workspaces.
Thank you, doctor Gardenias, and a big thank you to all of our participants who are here today with us. It’s a pleasure to be with you and to have the opportunity to discuss a topic that, frankly, we’re all still trying to figure out.
And, as Sarah mentioned, I’m on the partnerships team at how space and how space is a digital facilitation and social learning platform that allows for better engagement, involvement, and group collaboration in hybrid environments, but at how space, we wanted to get an understanding of how organizations across the globe were feeling as we transition into this new hybrid model.
So, we recently conducted a survey in 20 21 to gain a better understanding of what people’s views and plans were around hybrid work.
And this survey includes responses from over 300 people in over 30 countries, who are business leaders, consultants, and employees across a range of industries and organizations.
We asked a variety of questions in our survey and found some really interesting takeaways, including how much more complex this topic really is than many of us even anticipated.
And the full results of that survey are included in our House Space, Hybrid Work Playbook, which is a free e-book download, that will be available for you after the session today.
one of the questions we asked in our survey was, what do you see as the biggest challenge of hybrid work?
So, I’m gonna be sharing the top three answers that came from our respondents.
The first, not feeling connected to colleagues.
When we’re speaking with our teams on the phone or video, we’re not getting some of those non-verbal reinforcements that we’re so used to in our face-to-face meetings, the ones that help drive consensus in discussion. If you think about all the little micro expressions that we have, they’re harder to see on video. And they’re not there at all when we’re over the phone.
Even something as simple as eye contact on a video meeting, you might think that you’re making eye contact with someone, but you can’t really be sure that they’re that person’s even looking at you and not at something else on their screen.
And it’s even harder if you have certain colleagues who are working in the office with others remote, because there’s two different styles of communication happening within that same team, and it’s especially difficult if you’re conducting a meeting in person, where there’s people joining. But then others aren’t joining via a phone call or via online.
Those can feel like they’re favoring the people attending in person, and the co-workers calling in from home can feel, frankly, very isolated, or just like they don’t have, as much of a say, or as much of an influence as those do in person.
Secondly, and this is one I can really relate to coming from an HR background, and that’s maintaining a strong and consistent organizational culture. This was also cited as a top challenge of hybrid work.
And that can be especially frustrating if this hybrid model is new to you because it’s really changed the way we think about our interactions, and even our identity as an organization.
We’re having to think much more intentionally with our touchpoints are communication the way we train, the way we give feedback, and the way we hire. I was talking with my husband about this the other day. Many of us, even as short as two years ago, probably could never imagine hiring someone over the phone, or via video, because we rely so much on, you know, that in person presence. And the signals that we see from in person meetings, and now, all of a sudden, it’s common practice.
And it doesn’t stop with interviewing employee engagement, and employee autonomy are critically important now, more than ever, to our cultures, but going hybrid has changed the formula for cultivating that.
And our last takeaway from this survey, feeling overwhelmed with more meetings and more messages.
There was a wonderful study released by Stanford last year that talks about the main reasons why we have meeting fatigue, and how our video chat platforms actually have design flaws that exhaust our mind and body.
They shared that close up eye contact, and the unnaturalness of seeing yourself while you’re talking in a video all contribute towards that fatigue.
And the last takeaway that I found really interesting; it goes back to body language again.
When we’re meeting in person, we have those very natural nonverbal signals that we interpret subconsciously. Whether it’s a subtle not an eyebrow raise if you’re making glances to a person. But in video chats, we have to work harder to show those.
For example, if you want to show somebody that you’re agreeing with them on a video chat, most of us tend to do this really exaggerated, head nod, or even a thumbs up.
And I don’t know if you’ve been a person that’s actually taken yourself off of mute to laugh at a joke. But I am guilty of that. And that’s not really natural communication. So, we’re using more energy to communicate, and it adds up to our cognitive overload.
Then, on top of all of that, we’re having more meetings, because we are in person, and that’s been our knee jerk reaction to staying connected through all of this. Right. More meetings and more touch points.
And if you haven’t had a chance to read that Stanford study, I’m referencing, we will be linking that in the chat for you right now.
Next, we’d like to hear from you via our poll here. Do you relate to the house-based study on the three biggest challenges of hybrid work, and, if so, which challenge?
And, again, lovely. Sarah is going to be helping us out with this.
Thank you, Sarah.
So, the poll is now launched. We’ll give you about a minute or so to submit your answer, and then we’ll share the results.
We have answers streaming, and we’ll give you five more seconds here. If you have yet to vote, you can do so now.
OK, great, now we’ll get those results up on the Screen.
OK, I Can’t say I’m entirely surprised all of the above about 46% Wow.
I think the one thing that there’s a little comfort in knowing We’re not alone and feeling this way, right?
And as we digest this information, we’re faced with a question of how, how do we redesign remote and in person work in order to reap the benefits of both? And while we can take best practices from in person, we know that not all of it translates. And that’s when a redesign is an order.
And my favorite analogy that I’ve heard around hybrid work, is from Doctor Nicola Millard, where she compares hybrid work to a zedonk and a zedonk is an inter-species cross between a donkey and a zebra. And what I like about this, she says, the zedonk doesn’t spend three days a week as a zebra and two days a week as a donkey. It’s a completely different breed all of the time. And that’s what she says about hybrid work. It’s a completely different breed of work.
It’s not about your schedule, or how many days a week, your home versus the office. It’s about the work itself and the engagement of our people, rather than the where and the way. So I encourage you to think about the zedonk when you’re looking at your redesign.
Secondly, given the burnout we’re experiencing, from all these meetings, now more than ever, we have to consider balance at the forefront of this redesign. So, how might we design a workspace, or a workplace that not only allows for work-life balance, but actually enhances it?
And Judith is going to share some insights for us on that.
Thank you, Thank you, Stephanie.
When we put together this PowerPoint, we really wanted to delve into what were the best insights that we could actually share with all of you, what have we learned from our clients, what have we learned from the literature in the sciences out there?
And we’ve gained a number of insights, and some of them have been shockers, and some of them have been just gentle reminders of a shift of mindset or thinking or being curious about what’s really happening out there with the teams we lead and the team to work with.
So the very first insight is that there is power of digital facilitation.
However, that term is frequently used in the workplace, yes, it’s considered one of the most critical skills.
What we keep finding is that people really don’t know what the term digital facilitation actually means.
So I took a little bit of a poll with the people that I work with and just asked them their definition of digital facilitation.
They knew definitely that this was not just about how to click on the zoo link and actually just start working on a meeting.
They knew it could have something to do with how you actually structure and design the type of experience that you want to create with your employees or your team, but no one had a common definition of digital facilitation.
And I have to say, for me, personally, the digital facilitation definition has really come into play for me.
This particular year.
You know, we spent the first year, we were in …, try to get into a space of a virtual space. How do we connect?
How do we share information?
Know, what many times our e-mails doubled in size, or our meetings doubled in time, that, and this is, that was not necessarily digital facilitation.
And we all, I also realize is that some of these skills don’t come natural to most of us.
We’ve all been in meetings where half of our group is a mute, or sometimes there’s a hot bike situation, or sometimes there’s a hot mess, you know, when someone’s camera is showing, it’s not a natural way of connecting or interacting with each other.
So, digital facilitation doesn’t come naturally to most of us.
So, we have a poll for you, again, just really like to interact with the two, to learn where you’re coming from and what you have.
Know, what you are experiencing as not only as an HR person, but as a leader.
You know, we often find ourselves naturally in the facilitator’s role.
We’re facilitating a call, an interview, a meeting, a virtual cocktail party. We’re all facilitating something in, some way, shape or form.
So with digital facilitation, being an important piece of hybrid work, how would you rate your experience as a digital facilitator?
Do you consider yourself to be a novice, basic, intermediate, or advanced?
Sarah, can you open the poll for us and see what our audience tells us.
Yes. So the poll is now live, And again, we’ll give you about a minute here to submit your answer, and then we will share those results for discussion.
I see the responses streaming in just a few more seconds here. If you haven’t yet answered, you can do so now.
OK, great, and we will get those results up on the screen now.
OK, so 49% of all of us in this call consider ourselves to be intermediate in the facilitator’s role, and I would agree with that 35 very basic level.
Just a few of us are at the advance or the novice level.
Let’s face it. This is a learning journey.
And this is a journey that we continue to grow and develop in the ability to not only use tech tools, but to use them in a way that designs experiences for our leaders and our teams. It doesn’t come natural, but once we get the hang of it, we really do find, you know, some synergy. So thank you all for sharing that.
Our second insight, we found, is that virtual sessions need to be need a framework to ensure success.
And we’re not talking about the normal framework that we have used, oftentimes, in hosting meetings.
I often look back at my career and my life and wonder, who taught me how simple agenda media would go, introductions, up your agenda items, some things that you might want to discuss in the meeting ended.
And what we’re, what we’re seeing is that when we went to the virtual space, that particular framework did not always ensure success.
As a matter of fact, it added to the virtual fatigue that we were all having.
So, because of that, here’s a couple of insights that we have started collecting the last few months that we wanted to share with each of you.
Each session should have some type of action.
The participants should do something every 5 to 7 minutes.
So if you noticed during our webinar, we’re asking you to take a number of polls or to share with us some of your thoughts and ideas so that there’s a different level of engagement or energy that is actually created as part of the interaction.
This could be easy as having them share ideas or raise their hand. but you have to consciously methodically actually design your interaction or your means to actually have that type of action occur.
The second insight we have is content.
Now, this one, through referral loop, I would say, the first couple of times, I’ve tried to do it, but then, it became quite clear.
Remove 25% of your content and replace it with connection.
So, I used to think, let me just cram everything in in this 40-minute Zoom session, Let’s get all our questions answered and let’s move on.
And then I started realizing, there were people who weren’t engaging.
There were people who stayed on mute the entire time of the meeting, and the level of connection was actually decreasing and not increase.
Could we be moving 25% of your content? Replacing that with connection is key.
It’s not easy, but it does have some amazing implications for collaboration.
Also conclude your session with an action item.
You should always have some context, but you also should leave with some level of action.
Cannot tell you how many meetings I’ve attended or actually been a part of or asked to present.
We’re at the end of the meeting. People leave, and they have no idea what comes next. What should I be doing next? Who should I be working with? Who should I be connected to?
Some type of action items should be part of the conclusion of each of your session.
So let’s talk about the elephant in the room.
I couldn’t say it’s tools, tools, tools, the shiny object tools.
And I am, I remember, one bag tools, every term, again, e-mail of some kind of new software, or something that’s going to automate something for me, or something that’s actually gonna make my life easier, or click.
And when I click, I tend to register, at least for the free version.
And at the end of the month, I end up having so many tools that really don’t use any of them, or the ones I use, I don’t use well.
So, the truth of the matter is that there is no one magical tool that has been one of the biggest lessons and insights we have learned.
Among our own team members.
There are, there’s one tool that’s good to make every everybody’s fatigue away.
There’s not one tool that’s going to necessarily increase everyone’s engagement at such a high level, but there is a magic of combining specific tools, understanding the science and the neuroscience behind some of the tools.
There’s power and strong digital facilitation. But you have to know how to combine the tools with the message, to create the connection, enhance collaboration.
So collaboration just doesn’t happen magically.
It is really a design, process, or design approach framework.
And many people will ask.
Your work is basically an innovation and innovation design.
But what we’re finding is that we cannot ask teams to be empathetic and collaborative and learn how to ideate and brainstorm when they don’t have the right structure for the infrastructure.
And that’s what got me on the hunt.
Trying to find the tools, that with the right combination and the right elements that we could actually convey a message while creating connection and enhancing collaborations.
And so that’s what set us up on our journey of finding our tools.
And the Insight seven, there are a few of our tool kits in our Insight Beer bottle inside our toolkit that we wanted to share with you, we wanted to share why they’re in arc.
So Stephanie, I’d love to turn this over to you so that you could talk about how spaces are spaces.
one of our favorite tools, the use daily in our clients, just tend to love it and our engagement has increased.
So can you tell us a little bit about the power pal space, why it’s different than what’s normally out there in the marketplace?
Yes, Judith, I would be more than happy to talk first about how space and share a little bit about what it is and why it’s been effective if you’re unfamiliar how space is an engagement and involvement platform for digital facilitation and social learning, and how space was built specifically for digital facilitation. And one of the key insights we learned today and from this session is we’re having to totally change the way we work with one another, and at how space, we believe that the future of work includes asynchronous work.
And when we say asynchronous, we mean on your own time, within your own availability. And because I can’t resist a good Olympics’ analogy, instead of working in a team of synchronized swimmers, we’re now working on a relay race relay race team.
And we all do our part, and we pass the baton, but it’s not necessarily at the same time as everyone else.
And this approach allows teams to keep their productivity up, while also allowing the flexibility they need to take care of their families and themselves.
But it doesn’t come without adjustments. It requires a shift in how your workflows, and it might even require you to do more multitasking, for example.
But at how space, we’ve created a platform that allows for this type of work to happen. asynchronous and synchronous work that’s visible, and where everyone can keep track of projects.
The way that I like to describe how space, it’s a digital facilitation platform that’s designed for a high level of involvement and participation. And then we have artificial intelligence layered on top of that, which allows for really quick sense making of your dialog within your team. And I love the fact that it not only drives the dialog forward, much quicker, but at the same time, allows for all voices to be heard through the process.
We’ve all been in meetings where the loudest or the most outspoken person on the team tends to just naturally drive the influence of the discussion.
But the beautiful thing about digital facilitation is you can make sure every voice is involved in giving that input, and the truth is, with the technologies we have today, we can actually design and host virtual meetings with the same or even better results than face-to-face.
When we consider the first insight, we shared from our survey that most people don’t feel connected to their colleagues in a hybrid environment, we find that with how space, the way that hybrid environment is facilitated makes all the difference.
The two pieces that help make an impact within our platform are the high participation rates that we get through our facilitation features that we offer, and what we call our widgets. There are 17 different widgets when within how space. We have video, polls, pulse surveys, what we call our Super Chat widget, and many more.
And, secondly, the part that gets me really excited being in HR is what you can do with all of that dialog that’s happening within how space, using our Artificial Intelligence tools. And so, when you combine the high participation rates with the artificial intelligence, you get improved employee engagement and sustained learning impact.
And just to give you a little insight in the AI, that helps how space, what we’re referring to when we say artificial intelligence, at how space is actually with the language processing, we have four separate AI tools, and all of them are primarily with one of our widgets available, called Super Chat.
And with Super Chat, you can ask a question to a group, a very large group even, and the AI can create a summary statement from all of the contributions in your group. Let’s say you have 100 comments on a question you ask, the AI can actually summarize that into a sentence or a succinct paragraph.
We also have the ability to do a sentiment analysis where the system will decipher if the comments in your discussion are comments of appreciation or comments of concern. So that can be really helpful if you’re trying to measure something like learning or change readiness within your organization.
We also have a theme Clustering feature, where the AI will find different themes from your dialog, which can be useful if you’re brainstorming, or you’re looking to extract the topics that came up in your discussion and into one place.
Then, along the same vein, lastly, we have our smart word Cloud, which will detect trends in the dialog and pull those most used words into a word cloud with a nice visual, and if you’re interested, you’ll have the opportunity to actually experience house space with our free intro to digital facilitation course that we are offering as a follow-up to this session.
Thank you, Stephanie.
So I am a big huge fan of health space, but I also know that many of us have used many other tools.
And what I would say is that the beauty of house space as well is that I can integrate many of these tools right into the platform itself.
So one of the elements that we are very passionate about is having some type of white boarding tool.
We know that teams like to share ideas, brainstorm, IDA, pulled on top elements, whether you use mural or miro or job or many of the other data types of whiteboards out there.
A white board capability is powerful, and that whiteboard capability can then just simply add it to how space and a discussion and dialog can continue from there, but please, always consider some type of white board element.
Now, Canva is a tool that we also have in our toolkit that we use daily, and you may wonder, why Kambo?
What we know is that the brain has the ability to actually process a visual much faster than text.
We know that the way our brain, and the way we behave as human beings, is that when we look at a large cluster of a paragraph, we tend to eat maybe the first sentence or so, and then go to the end of the sentence.
So we will lose context very quickly, and that’s captured in a very different way.
So the ability to capture the best screen, the fastest way to capture contexts is through a visual.
Canva is just one of the easiest tools that we can use to create visuals for PowerPoint or presentations or for even the background inside of our house space, visual speak volumes. And that’s one thing I like to make sure that you hear loud and clear today that we pick a visual because we know what it does for the brain itself.
What we’re trying to do is we’re trying to address that overload that Stephanie talked about earlier.
So if we have a place where people can engage in a very non-threatening way, a white board, and a way of actually gaining context through visuals, then we started addressing some of the elements that are adding to the fatigue of our meetings.
We use quick video tools as well.
Now, I still believe in the old batch and pick up the phone and give someone a call. But at times, it’s not possible. Times, you know, we may be working late at night, or we may have this great idea in the middle of the weekend.
We use Awesome Screenshot or Loom, which are both free, there’s free versions, and they’re actually added to our Google Chrome.
Ah, we just click on it, create a video that can capture an idea, around a PowerPoint, or a visual, or document, and you will actually video yourself, you send it via the e-mail, with the link, and the person that only can hear your voice, they can see what you’re looking at.
So, this quick video tool is also a way of addressing the meeting fatigue.
It’s also a way of helping connect in a very, very different way.
We always have the boating peach polling features, and sometimes our systems, like how space has the ability to lead us poll.
Or GoToWebinar, or Zoom allows to pull as well sometimes, we want to poll inside of PowerPoint.
So slide up though, are Ahmed meter. We use that quite frequently to actually just create some polls.
Again, it doesn’t help to add or create, then labret PowerPoint with the presentation with ideas without also having engagement elements within that presentation itself.
So, it goes back to the design process, designing the construct, design the framework, and even designed the smaller elements inside the framework to increase engagement.
Creating powerful combinations is our goal in design, employee experiences.
We find that we have worked with some of the most amazing organizations, with the most amazing cultures, but when it comes to meetings, and how they connect, or even onboard, nowadays, these employee experiences really need to be redesigned with a combination of different elements. And not every organization has the same combination.
So there’s power in that, in and of itself.
So, Stephanie, would you like to talk a little bit about our giveaways today?
Yes, yes, absolutely. So, to help you out and to give some additional insights into what we’ve shared so far today, we’re offering our hybrid playbook that I was referring to earlier as a gift for you to download and reference with more information on the survey that I was talking about, and then, in addition.
A gift to all of the participants on our call today. We’re offering a complimentary intro to digital Facilitation coursed through house space that will be starting on Monday, February 28th, and will run for three weeks through Friday, March 18th.
And in this course, the main goal of the program is for you to develop and hone your skills in digital facilitation and just generally feel more confident in your everyday work life as a facilitator. And so as part of the course, you’ll get an introduction to the concept of digital facilitation, of course, but also concrete tips on how to facilitate different types of activities in a hybrid environment and different types of processes.
We’re also going to share keyways on how you can engage and involve groups ranging from just a few participants to thousands.
And the way that the course works is there are six interactive sessions that are 30 minutes each done asynchronously. Of course, on your own time. And we will release two new sections of the course each week.
The expectation for timing on that is that you set aside roughly 1 to 2 hours per week for this learning. And then lastly, we’re also going to be Raffling off several House space subscriptions for those that take the course. And there will be a place for you to enter that raffle within our course. So, we’ll include links to that, Sarah, I’m not sure if you’re sending that handout at the end, but we’ll make sure that you get that in your hands when we conclude our webinar today.
Yes, you can download today’s handout, under the Handouts drop-down on your control panel, which includes all the information that Stephanie just shared.
I’d like to conclude by thanking all of you, sticking around with us, and engaging with us in a very unique way. Thank you for sharing your insights with the information you shared with us on the polls, and we really wanted to give yourself an extra something special. So, you have access to the playbook plus access to this amazing course. And when I first took the course, it was a game changer for me.
I wouldn’t techniques I’d never had heard about.
I learned to think of a learner in a different way and I really learned the power of a learner experience or an employee experience.
So if you have an opportunity to take advantage of this generous and wonderful offering from hal space, I’d say go for it.
Um, and so that concludes our webinar for today, and we’d love to open it up to any questions that anyone may have.
Yes, so if you have any questions for today, please put those in the questions box. And we have some time here where we can have Judith and Stephanie answer all of those today.
We did have a question come in a bit earlier from David, and David would like to know.
And David says, I understand the bound that boundaries are important, but how do you get others to accept those boundaries? For example, I’m off the computer by 5 PM to be with my family.
Stephanie, would you like to take a shot at that one?
Yeah, I’d be happy to. So for me, it’s, it’s all about communicating expectations. And 1 of 1 of the things that I’ve struggled with in my career that I’m, I’m working to get better at, is being, OK with saying no, and reinforcing those boundaries after, after you set your expectation that you’re going to end the day at 5 0 PM.
one of my favorite phrases that I’ve heard, one of my mentors always shared with me, is an emergency or a failure to plan on your part doesn’t constitute an emergency on my part. And so I’ve tried to live by her advice with that, and I would encourage you to do the same with your boundary setting.
A big piece is just that communication in the onset and making sure that people understand when you’re available and the time it takes to communicate with one another. As you go, you can adjust, but it’s important to set those expectations right out of the gate.
Anything to add to that, Judith?
Sure. I think one of the things we’ve learned from some organization is really getting clear of the culture of boundaries.
So boundaries really, really tied to the culture of an organization.
And the agreed upon boundaries is really a discussion that needs to be had by many teams.
What are those agreed about?
Boundaries, what are you will we have teams that are five different time zones To this is that it may be my work time, but not your work time.
So having that discussion of what gets rewarded, where the time boundaries, and how do we want to communicate?
Even as simple as what to put on the subject line on an e-mail or a subject line on a, you know, maybe if you use another form of communication?
I Think it’s, it’s interesting How you can even create channels. So I did work with an organization that actually use Slack.
And they created different channels where people could still ask questions for that. one channel in there that was specifically for the most urgent things.
So it became very clear that that was the child that you used for that, but for the remainder of the time, these are the time frames that we probably won’t respond.
So again, it’s having those discussions and dialogs, understanding the culture you want to create, and then utilizing the technology that you’re using to communicate. So if it’s e-mail, maybe you want to change the subject line for specific types of messages.
In Slack, you may have a special channel only for those most important types of messages, but you’re just creating that together in a collaborative way so that people have a mutual understanding.
Sonia would like to know, and Sonya says, just how space makes sense for an outward facing program Lead do not provide internal training.
Yes. I would say in any situation where you’re looking to include dialog and collaboration, the way that how space works is you have access to an unlimited number of workspaces. And the way that I like to describe a workspace is, it’s sort of like its own project. It’s got its own, its own theme or subject to it. So, once you have that workspace, you can invite internal or external people into that workspace, and share content, and collaborate with those widgets that I was referring to in the presentation. So, absolutely, we find it works very well, not just internally, but externally as well.
And we have another question here from Leslie. And Leslie says, can you use the tools that were discussed today when some people are in person, and some are virtual?
Yes. Very much so. You know, we use the tools for face-to-face, as well as for our people who are, you know, work virtually.
There are, it’s the combination of the tools that is probably the most critical.
So sometimes, we’ll always use Canva to design some type of visual, but at times, you know, our polls may be one poll, whether you’re whether you’re in the office or out of the office.
It’s the same poll, no widget that we use at the same poll link, but yes, the tools can be used interchangeably, and they can be used for people that are outside.
You know, we’re both are those who work, you know face-to-face.
The tools can also be used for clients and other stakeholders, when you want to gather other data, or you want to engage with stakeholders in a different way.
So yes, the tools could be there.
It’s all about combining them and really designing the right experience for the client, or the internal customers you want to serve.
Great. And Alex asks, what techniques do you find the most effective when creating a collaborative experience?
So I can stop, and then, Stephanie, you can, can jump in afterwards.
So a couple of things about collaboration is that, true collaboration is really about having everyone’s voice heard.
And understanding the diversity of perspective, so we find that what are the best elements that will reduce bias.
An increased collaboration is what we call blindfolding, so many times we’ll have an idea, or we have a project. We have some initiative that we’re looking at together.
instead of having everyone both in a Zoom meeting, for example, we open it up to blind voting. We know we create a poll, or we create some. We use another tool to actually vote.
You just vote blindly. We don’t know who voted for what.
That helps that one step has really decreased bias and increase collaboration, at least by 50%.
And I think the other suggestion, I would say, is that collaboration also is about having a diversity of voice.
For some people, some people like to draw, some people like to write, some people like to speak.
So having the ability for people to maybe pitch an idea in 3 or 4 different ways, really does open up collaborations. It’s just not a one-way or one-way street: necessarily, for collaborations, are finding different approaches.
Doing blindfolding on any kind of initiative, or any kind of, uh, idea that you want to move forward, gives people the freedom to show what they believe, think, and having the diversity of how people can really share their idea has been very successful with the teams that we’ve worked with.
So, Stephanie, do you have anything to add to that?
I think I would just say, um, being willing, especially now that a lot of people, when they start a new job, they, they never actually get the opportunity to meet their co-workers face-to-face and people that are in truly remote environments. And one thing that’s just a baseline that I think is really important is just making sure that you are creating a safe environment, where people feel like, when they do speak up, that their opinion is valued, regardless of what it is, that they’re, they’re able to talk in a, in a safe environment, that psychological safety concept is really important with collaboration.
And the less you have of that, I think, the less collaborative people are willing to be. So as a baseline, you have to determine, you know, what kind of a trust exists within this group we’re looking to work within. And what can we do to, to increase that trust and encourage people to, to be more open, to sharing. And there’s a lot of different ways that you can do that, but I find just taking the time to get to know your teammates. And having informal coffee chats, and one on ones with people, that can go a really long way in establishing that trust.
Great. And then the next question comes from …, and Eileen says, since hybrid work is our new norm, what two tools would you consider the most critical and creating a collaborative environment?
So, I definitely, from the tools that we share today, I definitely would say, House Phase and a whiteboard, if I had to know, you’ve seen those little.
Question here is that they have bought some social media, like, well, what would be the tool to two tools you would take on an island of Europe alone, in Ireland, because they said no whiteboard.
Yeah, the whiteboard does give people the ability to, to write text, or design, or draw, or whatever it may be.
Add Big house piece, we’ve used it a lot with teens, some that are very hierarchical, while others are very free floating, but the ability to understand sentiment, and to understand themes that are emerging, as you’re trying to facilitate that led to the next step.
Because one of the most critical elements that we have back, so those would be the two tools I would take, if I were on an island, or by myself, Be those.
Yeah, and I would. Of course, I’m biased with how space. Obviously, I love how space, but I would throw Slack in there, as well. And one of the reasons I really like Slack is, it’s just, it’s really easy to, to create different challenge channels when you’re working on a specific project. or within different teams. Maybe you’re on a global team where you have, you know, multiple types of environments that you report into, or you’re, you’re working cross functionally. I find it’s really helpful to share information that way.
I also really like any kind of tool that allows you to drag and drop documents into it because we’re constantly collaborating with others on Excel or Word, or, you know, a number of things. And so, I love, I love Slack for that purpose. I just wanted to throw that one in there as well.
Great, and then we have a question here from Erin: What biggest challenge you face when onboarding a new employee into your virtual workspace?
Ooh. Great question.
I would say, I guess I’ll start, as someone who, who’s been onboarded in a virtual space. The biggest challenge is making sure that that person knows that they have connections and people that they can reach out to. So, if there’s any way that you can put together some kind of directory, or matrix, of who to go to, for what, I know, when you start a new job remote, it can feel so isolating if you’re not immediately immersed in the culture or getting a great orientation schedule put together. So, if you’re on the flip side of that, as the new hire coming in, I would, I would recommend being as proactive as possible and, in your outreach, to get to know your co-workers and, and be aggressive in scheduling those meetings to make that happen.
But then, if you’re the person designing the, the actual orientation, I would say, get them in front of as many people as possible, so that they can quickly learn who their resources are for what. And make sure you assign them a buddy, or someone that can be their go to question person, and schedule regular check ins, where they’re constantly getting a chance to ask those questions. And you’re, again, creating that environment, where it’s OK. It’s OK to ask questions. It’s OK Not to know the answer, but the resources are available.
Rate, and we have one final question today that we’ll answer from Claire. And Claire asks, looking back, what has been the greatest lesson you have learned?
I think, for me, working in the remote space of virtual spaces to always keep a mindset of curiosity.
You know, I’m curious about why certain people live soon. Tools by certain people like to show their camera.
Or have a background from Hawaii behind.
It is a very good, you’re keeping up, open mind and a mighty curiosity helps me stay very centered on the people we’re trying to serve.
So, I believe that’s the greatest lesson I’ve learned.
Yeah, for me, I think, be being remote and like we’ve, we’ve spent this last hour talking about having kind of this information overload culture That we’re all in, where it’s, it feels impossible to stay on top of meetings, and I feel like you can really live a balanced life. Sometimes.
For me, it’s, It’s Allowing myself the time to reflect at the end of the day and adjust.
So, just, you know, even if it’s scheduling an hour on your calendar every day, where you don’t allow for meetings to happen, where you can, you can digest information. That’s so important, because, if we never take the time to do that, it makes it really difficult to learn. Because we’re just flying by the seat of our pants and reacting at that point. So, that’s been my, my biggest change, since going into a hybrid environment, is allowing for more, more reflection time than you, you even might think you need.
Great. Well, thank you for a great webinar today, with that are really powerful Q&A. With that, that does bring us here to the end of our session today. Today’s webinar was sponsored by Strategies by Design Group: Strategies by Design Group applies innovative techniques and approaches to achieve immediate engagement, and growth to enhance the connection between behavior design and human centric design.
You can learn more at www.strategiesbydesigngroup.com, and if you’d like to learn more on topics like today, HRDQU memberships offers over 200 Human Resource webinars to trainers, consultants, and coaches. Keeping you in the know with industry trends, as well as workforce virtual seminars. For instructor led classes on key training trap topics for your employees, whether you’re a professional learner or a learning professional, we’ve got your training needs covered. You can learn more at www.hrdqu.com/memberships, and that is all the time that we have for today. Thank you both very much for joining us today.
Thank you, Sarah. Have a great day.
Take care, and thank you all for participating in today’s webinar, happy training.
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