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One of the major lessons we learnt in 2021 was how to address the ‘Hybrid Hurdle’ and translate this into effective Leadership & Development programmes for our clients with a blended learning approach.
The ‘Hybrid Hurdle’
2021 was definitely the year hybrid working became imbedded into most companies’ everyday norm. Whilst 2020 was the year working from home became a necessity for most, it was last year that companies really embraced a hybrid way of working.
With the vaccine roll-out and some restrictions lifting, there was more opportunity for companies to explore what hybrid working meant for them. But with this came challenges – the ‘hybrid hurdle’.
The hurdle comes down to deciding how much time should be spent working from home and how much in the office.
For some, working from home is the preferred option as it helps them with their work life balance and non-work commitments. For others, the buzz, connection and collaborative nature of working with colleagues in an office is more important and valuable.
A ‘one size fits all’ approach just doesn’t work anymore so a way of vaulting over the ‘hybrid hurdle’ is listening to everyone’s personal needs and finding a balance that works on a case-by-case basis.
At CLP we addressed our own ‘hybrid hurdle’ by offering clients a blended approach to our leadership development programmes. We created our Making Hybrid Work, Work eLearning course – a 30-minute course that helps clients and their teams understand how they can work professionally in a hybrid (remote/office) set-up. Also, we launched the eLearning course (60min) Leading Hybrid Teams, where leaders can find the the do-or-die tips on how to adapt their leadership style to lead hybrid teams successfully. Please use the links below to explore these example courses.
Constant change didn’t make jumping the hurdle any easier
In 2021, as we worked with successful corporations proud of long traditions of excellence and quality, we saw one of the biggest challenges facing their leaders was the constantly changing environment (both personal and professional) caused by the pandemic. Medium-term planning was almost impossible which meant cementing a hybrid way of working became even harder. This, in turn, affected their ability to work in a smooth and efficient way.
In short, leaders had to adopt the 80/20 rule to survive – roughly 80% of consequences come from 20% of causes. This was a huge mindset change for some of our middle management clients.
Our Remote First Culture virtual leadership development workshop helped in these cases as it focuses on staying versatile within a virtual environment.
Psychologically getting over the hurdle
The fast-changing environment we experienced in 2021 meant that psychological safety was an important aspect of our blended learning programmes to ensure adaptive, innovative performance could be achieved by our clients.
When employees feel comfortable being themselves and can easily ask each other for support and challenge the status quo without fear of negative consequences, companies are more likely to leverage the strengths of all its talents, innovate more quickly, unlock the benefits of diversity, and adapt better to change.
Hybrid working poses a challenge for leaders as it is not always easy to build psychological safety if they are still trying to establish the right working atmosphere, attitude and behaviour in their teams. With our clients we found those who did this best in 2021 empowered and enabled their teams and cultivated psychological safety by role modeling and reinforcing the behaviours they expected.
Our Peer Group Coaching eLearning programme encouraged this empowerment with peer level support and the creation of virtual informal learning networks.