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What will your team look like after Covid? Odds are it will be a mix of people in the office while others work remotely, at least part of the time. Hybrid teams will be an increasingly common—and difficult—way of working in the coming years. Can you really be a good teammate when you’re in a different location from your colleagues? How will you ensure collaboration and relationship building while avoiding cliques and the perception of favoritism?
Join Wayne Turmel, founder of the Remote Leadership Institute as we look at the challenges of being a great remote teammate. Using research and tips from his new book, “The Long-Distance Teammate, Stay Engaged and Connected Working from Anywhere” you will get a better understanding of what it takes to help form amazing, productive hybrid teams.
Wayne Turmel is a writer, speaker and co-founder of the Remote Leadership Institute. For 25 years he’s been obsessed with helping people communicate effectively to lead people, teams and projects. The last 12 years he’s focused on learning the skills necessary to survive—and thrive—in the complex world of remote work.
Wayne is the author of 14 books including “Meet Like You Mean It- a Leader’s Guide to Painless and Productive Virtual Meetings,” and “The Long-Distance Leader- Rules for Remarkable Remote Leadership,” and “The Long-Distance Teammate-Stay Engaged and Connected Working From Anywhere;” which he co-authored with Kevin Eikenberry.
Turmel has worked with clients and spoken at conferences around the world, and Marshall Goldsmith has called him “One of the most unique voices in leadership.” Originally from Canada, he now lives and works in Las Vegas. Connect with Wayne on LinkedIn, Twitter, and at www.RemoteLeadershipInstitute.com.
HRDQ-U offers a curriculum of 80+ virtual seminars for training employees in soft skills. Covering topics from leadership to communication, conflict to change, communication to diversity. Enroll your learners in HRDQ-U Virtual Seminars and let them develop soft skills from their home or office.
How to be a Good Teammate on a Blended Team
Hi everyone, and welcome to today’s webinar, How to Be a Good teammate on a Blended Team, hosted by, and presented by Wayne Turmel.
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 HRDQ-U Virtual Seminars. HRDQ-U Virtual Seminars are engaging a soft skills training classes with real-time interaction and expert trainers, enroll your organization’s learners and HRDQ-U virtual seminars, and let them develop the performance skills that they need from their office and on any device from desktop to mobile.
Learn more at www.hrdqu.com/virtualseminars.
Today’s presenter is Wayne Turmel, is a writer, speaker, and co-founder of the Remote Leadership Institute. For 25 years, he’s been obsessed with helping people communicate effectively to lead people, teams, and projects.
The last 12 years, he’s focused on learning the skills necessary to survive and thrive in the complex world of remote work.
Wayne is the author of 14 books including The Leader’s Guide to PMS and Productive virtual meetings, and the long Distance to Stay Engaged and Connected, Working from Anywhere, which he co-authored with Kevin Eikenberry.
Wayne has worked with clients and spoken at conferences around the world, and Marshall Goldsmith has called him one of the most unique voices and leadership.
He’s originally from Canada and now lives and works in Las Vegas. Thank you for joining us today.
Thanks Sarah and thank you everybody for joining us. I always get a little weirded out when I hear my own bio, because you don’t really care about any of that. Frankly. What you care about is that for the last 15 years, my work has been centered on virtual and remote communication.
And for the last 18 months, we’ve kind of had a window seat to what’s changing in the workplace as a result of the pandemic. And so I’m really happy to share this content with you today. That’s coming up. But also, I want to answer your questions.
So I know Sarah told you about the chat box, or the Q and A box. Please, please, please, ask your questions as you go. She’s going to be monitoring, it will take some of them as you get as we go. And, of course, we’ll have time at the end.
So, here’s what we’re going to talk about today.
And I know that the quest, you know, that the slide earlier, talked about blended teams. And this is how fast the world is changing. That was the word that was used a lot for months ago, or whenever Sarah approached me about doing this webinar.
Now, the word, the kind of buzzword is hybrid.
And we’ll talk about what all of that means, but I want it address two days.
Webinar for you as an individual. We’re going to talk about the role of HR towards the end. But I want you to think, first and foremost, about you as a teammate, you, as a worker.
And make this about you. for once. And I know you’re in HR and you’re not used to that, but this is about you.
We’re going to talk about what are the opportunities and the challenges.
And I want to introduce you to while I’m not shamelessly plugging the long-distance teammate, there is a model in the book called the three P Model for being a great remote teammate. And I want to share that model with you.
one of the things as we go back in this kind of weird, blended hybrid, call it whatever you want, way of working is there are going to be some cracks open between the people who are in the office full-time and the people who are not.
And we want to be aware of some of those and talk about some techniques for bridging that, and tips for using technology to help build that divide. Then I want to introduce a brand-new concept called Ethical Visibility, which is how to be visible to your manager and your teammates, no matter where you and they are working.
So, that’s what we’re going to talk about in our time together. And, and again, don’t be shy about asking questions.
First, I think we need to define our terms.
The word hybrid work is getting thrown a lot around a lot. They’re using it in commercials and they’re talking about it.
This is one of my favorite things when people start throwing jargon around is from the Princess Bride. And Wallace Shun keeps saying it’s inconceivable. and no, the giant says you use that word a lot. I don’t think it means what you think it means. So let’s define hybrid.
For our purposes, a hybrid team, it’s a team. It’s a functional team, sharing a manager, sharing a goal.
But it can be comprised in multiple ways. Right.
Some is, you’ve got a full-time staff in the office and full-time people who are remote, and they’re pulling together to make it work.
That actually is a little bit easier. A lot of us are kind of used to that way of working, but it can also be teammates, who are co-located on some days, and other days, they’re not right. I’m used to having Alice next to me at work.
Oh, Alice, is it isn’t here? Is she working? Is she on the clock? Is she working from home?
Or it can be a little more specific where, you know, Alice is in the Office, Tuesdays and Thursdays and maybe not other days.
But the idea that not everybody is going to be where you need or want them at a given time is really at the core of understanding a hybrid team.
And you know, what’s gonna make a hybrid team fail or not?
Well, if you look at the five or so reasons that teams fail, they all apply, frankly, but some of them are more relevant to hybrid teams than others. If we start with a lack of compelling vision and purpose.
one thing we’ve learned during the pandemic is organizations that have a good sense of why they do what they do and why are we here and what’s our vision. Manage to maintain that pretty well, regardless of whether everybody’s co located or not.
That one doesn’t seem to be terribly impacted by where people are sitting.
On the other hand, the idea of accountability, and if we think about engagement, if we think about high functioning teams, the idea of the team, not only being held accountable by a manager and by the organization, but being accountable to each other, takes a little bit of a beating when we aren’t in the same location. And we’ll talk about why in a minute.
A lack of shared leadership is not terribly location dependent, but poor or, team processes that haven’t been properly thought out and created are going to be a huge stressor and lead to all kinds of charming behaviors that we’ll get into.
And then finally, what doesn’t change?
If you are a manager, I hate to tell you that it’s still going to matter. The old adage that people don’t leave jobs.
They leave bosses, is still true. And as the barriers to leaving virtual jobs or jobs with more flexibility as that gets easier to do, it’s going to be even more true That pressure is going to be on the leaders.
Here are just some of the things. And I would love to hear in the questions. You know, what your experience has been.
But some of the challenges that we’re experiencing wheat, human beings, are experiencing with hybrid teams is it’s hard to be one team. It’s very easy to devolve into the people in the office, kinda the home team and the remote team.
It’s also very difficult to help organization’s cross function.
Right, if you want finance, and marketing, and sales, and fulfillment to albite one team, that is much easier when everybody is in the same place. At the same time. It just is.
Doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to do the other. It’s just easier.
And, so, if you want to create one team, you’re going to have to be creative and mindful and work at it.
Uh, for those of you who are in HR, you know that before cobin systems kind of defaulted to the local teammates.
If people chose to take flexible work, if they chose to work from home, they were kind of sending the signal that they had taken themselves off the career track that, um, know, if you come into the office every day, you’re gonna get noticed, and you’re gonna get promoted, and you’re gonna get those assignments, and you’re gonna get them networking opportunities.
Post …, we’re seeing a huge demand for flexible work, including people who used to be in the office all the time.
And those systems that don’t include your hybrid workers, more proactively organizations, are going to lose people. Their people are going to vote with their feet. We’re already seeing that.
And if you have questions about that, please get them in queue.
Part of the reason is that managers, and this is not intentional, it doesn’t mean managers are evil, it means they’re human beings. We manage by line of sight.
And when we see something, you know, if I see Alice on her way to the coffee machine, my brain goes, Allis. I need to say something to her. And I can give her some feedback, Or I can ask her a question, or, she can see me.
and just get my attention, Whereas, people who are remote, don’t get that same access despite our best efforts. When we’re bringing new people onto the team, you know, it used to be, you brought them into the office, and they kind of followed somebody around.
Again, that tends to favor the home team.
How do we develop processes that allow us to do that when people aren’t going to be in the office at least 100% of the time?
And, frankly, if it sounds like I am defaulting to the remote folks, sometimes you’re going to have to get together.
And it’s going to be important that we agree when on how we’re going to meet so that we’re making the best use of our time.
I mentioned earlier that teamwork uses visual cues, and this is true of the manager, as I said. But it’s also true of teammates. If you think about it. If I’m working on my desk and I have a problem, and I look up, and Bob is at the next desk, I’m going to ask the question of Bob.
Even if I would normally ask somebody else, but that would require getting on slack, and typing a message and waiting for an answer.
I’ll just ask Bob, And while on the one hand, that’s perfectly natural, and that’s great for my relationship with Bob.
You can see where it creates strains where maybe people start to not be included in thought processes or they don’t get asked questions that they are perfectly capable of answering.
one of the biggest corrosive factors on hybrid teams is exclusion.
And usually, it’s not intentional, It’s out of sight and out of mind.
Now, sometimes it can be intentional.
If I’ve work, and, you know, Larry is always across at the next desk, and Larry is my favorite person, buddies there, right? I have no choice. I gotta make peace with them. I got to work with them. We’ll find a way to work together and make it happen.
But if I’m not looking at Larry, and he’s not sitting right there, it’s really easy for me not to deal with Larry.
So, we need to intentionally kind of overcome that lack of visual connection.
And we’re gonna talk a little bit about how to do that towards the end of our time together.
I guess I should probably also take a moment to define some terms.
We use teammate a lot. It’s literally the name of the book, the long-distance teammate. And Kevin and I did a lot of discussion about that. You know, it was originally the long-distance team member.
And it kept nagging at me that there is a difference between somebody who’s a member of the team.
And somebody that we consider a teammate, that word me, is very important, and this is kind of how we defined it.
There is an emotional social kind of shorthand mental connection when you are a teammate that isn’t necessarily there just because you have the same boss and it doesn’t mean that being a member of the team is a bad thing, right? A remote team member can do their thing. They do the work. They best they can. They put their head down. They focus on their metrics. They do their thing.
They are wildly successful in terms of completing tasks in isolation sometimes better than other people. And they do exactly what’s expected.
So we’re not saying that being a member of the team is a pejorative thing not at all, but there is a step beyond that.
When we become a true teammate, teammates, think about their work in terms of the greater whole.
So, it’s not just completing my tasks, but it’s helping the team complete theirs.
It’s focusing on the big picture, which involves prioritizing tasks and maybe stopping what you’re doing to help a teammate achieved something up.
Teammates build and maintain working relationships, whether they are in the same room or not.
one of the things that we have discovered during the pandemic, and you’ve probably encountered bits is that teams that work together and functioning pretty well prior to the diaspora, ah, have maintained that.
Right, we’ve been able to maintain the relationships because we have webcams and chat and we kind of remember what Wendy is like to work with.
But as we bring new people on, as we form new teams, as we hire new people, we need to actively and proactively build relationships. Great teammates do that. They do that naturally, and they do that constantly.
A great teammate engages in meetings, they don’t just log on, put the phone on mute, and go ahead of the e-mail.
They’re actively engaged, which means they’re visible to their manager and to their compatriots.
one of the things, and you’ve heard Kevin Eikenberry talk about this, if you’ve been on these webinars in the past, you certainly heard me Blather, on about how one of the challenges of virtual communication is it becomes extremely transactional.
You know, hey, I need that report. Great. Here’s this report.
And that’s a perfectly functional communication, but it doesn’t build a relationship. It doesn’t make work fun.
It doesn’t build relationship equity so that you want to deal with me more in the future.
And that’s something that great teammates do. We joke around, and we say, happy birthday. And we do all kinds of things that are not necessary, technically, to do the job, but create long term communication capital.
Teammates offer feedback, voluntarily, and without being asked, sometimes, to both their manager and their teammates. We are seen as valuable and helping in, looking out for each other.
And a great teammate does this because they’re taking the long view, both for the team. And for themselves there is an advantage to being a great teammate. There is an advantage in terms of career advancement. There’s an advantage in terms of work being enjoyable when you are a teammate, and not just a team member.
So when we’re talking about teammates, that’s what we’re talking about.
It’s that higher level of connection and engagement and all of those things now, no hybrid team.
There are some unique challenges, right? You need to stay visible. You need to focus on your work and the team’s work.
It’s very easy when you enjoy working from home and enjoy not having to face traffic to just default to that, but there are times when no, we really need to get together to do this meeting, and it might be inconvenient, and it might be annoying, but you know what? It’s the right thing to do.
Whether you are an in the office person, or a remote person, intentionally, including team members.
In conversations, in copying people on useful information, and including them, or asking them, Questions, needs to be much more intentional, because we default to the people that we see.
And this requires using technology. A lot of people don’t like to share their calendar, or, you know, get really lazy about availability status, but this is important information. People need to know, are you on the clock? Can I reach you? What’s the best way to reach you? When should I reach out?
Those tools, as simple as they are, really highly functional teams, share that information willingly and assertively, which allows people to not be in that wonderland of sitting around waiting for answers that are coming. Or defaulting to the people who are closest to them in the office.
And a hybrid teammate can help their teammates prioritize their work, right. And this is one of the things about hybrid teams is we’re going to change the way we work.
We may find that, you know, if I’m working from Home Monday and Friday that’s when I do my head, down gotta focus work, because, frankly, when I’m in the office, there’s a lot going on and people are socializing and they want to meet, and they want to talk.
And so, if I’m trying to get work done that day, maybe that’s not going to work so well, we’re going to change how we prioritize and schedule the work that we do.
OK, I want to share with you, and, again, Sarah, I don’t know what we’ve got in terms of incoming questions, but I’m trusting that you have your Eagle eyes on it.
Yeah, we actually did have one question come in a few moments ago. We would like to take a break to answer that. Francine and Friends, he asked, do you have suggestions for giving negative feedback in a virtual and hybrid context? It seems harder than in real life settings.
Yeah, thank you, friends, he, for asking that.
And it is more difficult, we’re going to talk about this in a little bit, but I think the big thing is not to just blurt out feedback, particularly, if it’s negative.
Ask if you can give them some feedback and be gentle about it because the minute somebody says, I have some feedback for you, people become defensive and weirded out even if it’s good feedback.
Do you mind if I ask you a question about that work, preface it in such a way that you’re obviously trying to be supportive and helpful and make sure that that is invited?
Even really excellent feedback that comes out of the blue, can feel a little bit like an ambush.
And then the second thing and this is a much larger discussion for another day.
But feedback generally comes from three sources.
It comes from a position of authority. I am your manager, so I am going to give you feedback.
If you’re a teammate, you don’t have that authority.
Which means people don’t have to listen to you, but there are two other sources, one is expertise, and one is relationship.
So if you are going to offer corrective feedback, make sure that they understand where it’s coming from. Hey, I don’t want to see you get in trouble. And, you know, our boss, Larry, doesn’t, like, when we do that.
So, no, I’m trying to help you.
Is generally going to be better accepted than just, hey, you know, you should really do this.
So position it from, is this coming from a place of expertise?
Hey, I’ve been here 10 years, you know, I’ve seen this before, or from a position of relationship.
So I hope that helps Francine.
I am not a big fan of models. Consultants always put together models, with cute acronyms and whatever. But this one is actually really interesting because it comes from there.
I think it comes from a lot of discussion between Kevin and I and other people over the years about why. What is different about being a remote teammate?
Why is it harder to work this way, collaborate, create one team?
Then it is when everybody’s in the office and what we came up with is the three P’s, which is a lovely consultancy I Yeah, it was sounding idea.
What actually works? The first P is productivity and productivity.
It means getting the right work done at the right time in the right way. It’s not just completing tasks.
But when we think about being a member of a team and even being a teammate, productivity is first and foremost, right? Are we getting our tasks done? Are we carrying our weight, are we helping the team achieve?
And in a hybrid environment, are you getting it done in the right amount of time?
So that you have the work-life balance that you’re trying to achieve by not going into the office, But productivity is generally where being a team member stops, right?
If I do my work and I get it done and I get it done on time and it’s done, right, that’s all I need to do.
So it starts with productivity, but in talking to hundreds of people about what makes a great team mate, The word that came up over and over, and over again, more than any other, was pro activity.
And pro activity is more than just if you see something that needs to be done, do it without being asked. That’s kind of the idea that comes to mind.
But it’s more than that.
Pro activity is if you see somebody has a question.
Do you proactively offer two, assist that person, or answer that question? When somebody puts a question up on Microsoft, Teams says help I need an answer to this.
Do you step up and help, or do you just go about your business?
But it’s also, do you ask those questions.
A great teammate isn’t afraid to check their assumptions.
If the manager asks them to do something, do they just smile and nod and say yes, or despite any questions they have, or do they ask those clarifying questions?
Do they ask where this work fits into priorities?
So Pro activity is reaching out to people, if I haven’t heard from Alice for a while, maybe I’m going to make a point of reaching out to her and just checking in and seeing how she’s doing.
The third thing that a great teammate does is they take the long view of the work.
And this does a few things. First of all, it helps communication, not be transactional.
I can send Bob a nasty e-mail and say, Here’s where’s that report, your problems.
And I might get that report.
But it’s not building the relationship with Bob, or at least not in a positive way.
To take the time to say thank you, too, ask how the kids are, to check in with them, and see how they’re doing to offer feedback, especially positive feedback, unsolicited, those types of things.
Have a long-term impact on the relationships and how you’re seen.
It’s also true that working remotely, even part-time, can help people be more engaged if they really liked their work and the people they work with or it’s easy to disengage.
If I know that there is a career path, if I know that I am included, If I am having fun with the people that I work with, I am more likely to stick around. I’m more likely to seek a career inside that company.
I’m not going to go looking for greener pastures.
And so a great team mate gets their work done and helps the team get their work done, Certainly.
They’re proactive. They don’t wait to be asked. They don’t wait to be told if they want a development opportunity. They ask for it.
They help their teammates and are building relationship capital all the time.
And there’s a bigger picture than just, my job is to fill out 25 B forms, and I’m gonna fill out 25 B forums all day long until I get tired of it and go somewhere else.
So that three P model is really important.
And as individuals, it’s a great way to assess how you’re doing, right? How engaged are you? How good a teammate are you being?
But as HR developments, as people who are interested in learning and development, as people who are looking for people who are going to be a good fit for your organization, it’s a nice way of thinking about what do we need to assess, what makes a good member of this team? Who are we looking for?
And what skills can we help people to deliver develop?
OK, one of the very common challenges that we’re encountering in hybrid teams is this idea up, Mom likes you best, the idea of kind of developing into cliques not to make this sound too much like junior high. But I don’t know if you’ve, your experiences like mine.
The workplace isn’t that different than junior high if we think it should be.
But there’s a very easy schism that develops when some people are in the office, especially if they’re there all the time.
And others are not the people in the office.
You know, people who are remote or mostly remote, think of the people at the office they got it made.
They have access to the boss whenever they want.
They’re under the boss’s nose, so they get the cool assignments. They hear everything before we do. There’s pizza in the break room. Sometimes.
They have access to people in other departments of the company, so they’re networking and getting to know people. For those of us that require social interaction, there’s other people to talk to that we’re not related to.
Those things sound like the people in the office have it made and should be very happy.
The people in the office, though, are envious of the people who aren’t.
They don’t have to commute every day. They don’t have to wear big boy clothes to go to work.
Um, most importantly, whereas, you know, having access to the boss is great. I had a teacher in junior high who said to me, mister …, you do not want. Do not want my undivided attention.
The people in the office are more likely to have the boss’s undivided attention for good or evil Um, know the people who work from home Our lab to get their work done, they get left alone to actually work. They don’t have everybody stopping by their office every five minutes or getting dragged into the break room because its analysis birthday.
There are tensions that develop, you know, it’s easy for me to develop relationships with people. I see all the time because of that line-of-sight communication.
So if I have a question, I’m gonna go to the person who’s right there physically rather than reach out to the person who’s remote or, you know, Tony isn’t going to be in the office until tomorrow. I need an answer now. I just won’t ask Tony; I’ll ask somebody else.
That is a challenge.
Right, and it does seem sometime like, the systems do favor the home team, if you’ve been on one of those meetings right, where everybody’s gathered around the table and there’s a speakerphone and there’s no eight people in the room and 3 or 4 dialing in, that is definitely advantage home tea.
There are plenty of organizations where, if you work from home, you have to use a webcam, but, if you’re in the office, you don’t that makes sense if you’re talking to other people in the office.
But it creates this kind of inequity.
Not No, I, I’m working from home, I want to see who I’m working with.
I want to know the people in the office, And, up until now, that has been far less priority delegation.
In terms of tasks, in terms of development opportunities, very often follows the manager’s eyes.
Now, that can mean, as some people say, oh, we get all the dirty work.
But it can also mean you get the opportunities. I see you work every day. I develop a tighter relationship with you than I have with somebody else. It is fairly natural for me to offer you an opportunity that might not go to somebody else.
And onboarding very many credits.
The home team, you know, even if somebody isn’t going to work in the office full-time.
Part of the onboarding process is probably, you’re gonna come in every day, for the first month. You’re gonna come in for a couple of weeks, and you’re going to shadow people, and you’re gonna get face to face, and you’re going to have lunch with people.
And, how do you develop those same kind of relationships in a virtual environment?
And I’ll give you very simple example.
We’re going through this right now at Kevin Eikenberry Group, we’re hiring two new salespeople.
They’re in completely different parts of the country.
Rather than have them come into the office and just shadow somebody, we’re doing a couple of things. one is in the first week that they are with us, they are to schedule a one-on-one half-hour webcam conversation with every member of the team. Even if it’s not somebody they’re going to interact with all the time.
They might not work a lot with Erica in graphics, but they’re going to have a half-hour, personal one-on-one time on camera with Erica so they can get a sense. You know, where did you go to school? you have kids What’s their personality like? What did they do at the company? All that stuff that you learn following people around, right?
The second thing is we’re not assigning a single mentor for a person.
We are breaking it up so that Marissa, who’s in the office knows all the systems, but I know the content and somebody else might know the sales process or the How to work the CRM.
And so we’ve broken up the tasks, so that they are going to be dealing both with people in the office in Indianapolis and those of us who are remote, much more than would happen if we kind of let those things happen organically.
OK, I promised that I would introduce a concept that kicked around in my brain, honestly, for a very long time, before I figured out what to call it and how to explain it.
If the biggest challenge on a hybrid team is out of sight, out of mind, not kind of being physically visible to your manager and your co-workers, the goal, of course, then is to become visible.
At the same time, there are a lot of people who are resistant, two, speaking up to making a show to looking like they’re bragging or in pushing or being pushy.
Culturally, it’s not comfortable for a lot of people to say, Hey, I’m here.
I would like to volunteer for that, we believe that our work will speak for itself, and the cold reality is that it does, it should, perhaps, in a fair universe, and it has that going forward.
So we need to be visible to our teammates. Well, how do we do that?
I’m gonna be specific in a minute, but I want to address this concern, that this is all about being needy or a showoff, or something else.
When you are ethically visible, you make it about the team. It’s not about you.
The words that you use really matter, I and me sound like it’s all about you.
We are trying to do this, the company, the team, we are trying to move here. That’s why I think we should do this.
Positioning it about the team and not about yourself will take some of the sting out of that. It’s also got to be appropriate to the team culture.
If you have a very collaborative, low friction kind of environment, and that’s not necessarily great, but it’s what you’ve got.
If you come in like a bull in a China shop, it’s going to come across badly. So you want to understand what is the team culture and kind of, what are the communication norms and fit within that, as best you can?
It also isn’t about diminishing or embarrassing other people.
And ultimately, and this is the hardest part, is, it’s judged by the behavior that people see, not by what you intend.
Um, if you are really hard on married, on a team call.
You might mean that, as a way of offering feedback, you might mean that so that she gets better at her job.
You might mean that because you are so concerned about the team, and the direction it’s taking that you’re not too concerned about, Mary.
All everybody knows is you were really hard on Mary.
So it takes some thought, right? You don’t just blurt the first thing that comes out of your mouth.
You want to be visible and so the first thing is you want to be visible to your teammates.
The first thing is pretty obvious, and not always easy when you work remotely, which is to actively participate in meetings and projects.
It is tempting.
I know, because I have done it, like every one of you has it for honest, to join the call, put the phone on mute, go answer your e-mail.
But if we’re on a meeting, and I get five e-mails from you, what, during that meeting, what is my opinion of your engagement in the meeting?
Right? You might think you are being incredibly proactive and multitasking and all of that. Oh, I know, is, you’re obviously not paying attention to the meeting if you’re sending chat messages.
Focus, engage, and participate in meetings and projects, and that does mean speaking up. Now, not everybody’s comfortable with that.
You can be visible asynchronously as well.
If you’re using Teams or Slack or something similar for discussion threads and asking questions and seeking assistance, you can be that person.
You can be extremely helpful and visible to your teammates, even if you aren’t speaking at the time, you can post suggestions, you can offer assistance after the meeting. You can say, Hey. I really like what you said in that meeting, even if you don’t do it during the meeting.
Reaching out to people, proactively offering that feedback. Sharing, learning, and best practices is one of the most important things we do.
On our Slack channels at work, is we have a channel that’s basically dedicated to cool stuff that we learn.
Articles that we come across, podcasts, videos, whatever.
And when people could contribute to that.
They are being visible to their teammates, as somebody who is helpful and trying to improve in, and, no, even if I don’t talk to you a lot.
Oh. Yeah. That’s right. There’s Marissa.
Being visible can also be simple things like filling out your profile on teams.
So that when you’re speaking, I can see your picture. And I know what department you’re with.
And especially if you’re trying to work cross functional and in across teams, things like that can make a very big difference. Help us know who you are.
And then, finally, if we’re being visible, maybe we should be visible, which means using your webcam. And it doesn’t mean using your webcam every minute of every day for every conversation.
But people develop trust. They develop relationships much quicker when you can put a face to a name.
I know that some of you have heard me mention a study they did at DePaul University where they found that when people work together but couldn’t put a face to a name.
Somebody’s just a voice on a conference call, or an e-mail signature, that there’s an increase in negative behavior.
Withholding information, exclusion. Being overly aggressive.
Uh, those types of things, if we want to build trust, if we want to build relationships, we need to do that, and the people in the office are getting a jumpstart on that. Because they’re seeing each other every day and they’re seeing the body language and the style, and the personality, and how are, you know, when somebody comes in and Wednesday leaves that leave at night?
The people who are remote are a little bit behind the eight ball on that. Webcams are the simplest and best way to help overcome that.
Yes, XOOM fatigue is a thing, yes, we spend way too much time on meetings.
All of that is absolutely true, which gets back to the part about being mindful, right.
We also, because we need to be thinking about long term potential, we need to be visible to our manager and the larger organization.
Participating in meetings and discussions, obviously is part of that.
You own your career; nobody cares about that the way you do.
So, while it is tempting when you’re not in the office to plug your ears and, you know, avoid politics, and all of that, you should have an ear out for opportunities to volunteer for assignments that sound interesting for chances to work with other people in the organization and proactively share what you learn with your manager.
Hey, I found this really cool article, hey, you know, I took this training, Maybe the rest of the team might like this offer to share what you learn.
Here is one of the biggest things.
When people are in the workplace together, they generally say, my manager does a much better job of coaching me, and, and developing me and helping me hit my goals than when I work remotely.
Whether that’s true, whether that’s just perception, that is certainly the perception.
one of the reasons for this is your manager sees you all the time.
And they have those, oh, by the way, conversations.
You own your development. When you’re having your one on ones with your manager.
It’s really easy for those to become checklists, right. Did you do this? Did you do this? Did you do this?
Great talk to you next week.
If you want, development, if you have not had a conversation, big picture with your manager for a while about your goals, that’s on you. It’s not that your manager doesn’t care. They just get lost in the day-to-day.
It’s up to you to be proactive about your personal development and your coaching plan. Help your manager be successful. You are not going to offend them by saying, hey, I’d like to ask you about X, or We haven’t talked about this for a while because most managers will tell you, we don’t do a great job of that, and we do forget things and we do get off the call And I should have talked about.
Ethical, visibility, aids, you, and makes you an asset to your manager and the larger organization, I know. We want to make sure we have plenty of time for questions. So, just two quick things. one is when we are bringing new people on board, and we’ve already talked about most of this.
Volunteers offer to help the new person introduce yourself, Be the managers, the eyes and ears, not the tattletale kind of way. But hey, Alex is doing a really good job on this, or we had a really good conversation about this. Or I don’t think Alice really understands this as well as she should. What can we do about that?
And if you have a great interaction with the Newbie, tell the rest of the team, hey, have you talked to Alice about this? Because in her last position, she used this tool a lot. And she knows lots of cool tricks.
And as we start to come back to the office, right, as we start our geo return to the office, we need to think about ways to do this as managers and as teammates.
So we need to communicate as ritually as possible, And a lot of you have seen this before.
Choose the right tool for the right job, not just the one that is convenient, right? Face-to-face communication is incredibly rich.
It’s not always necessary.
Alright, I don’t need to have a one-on-one webcam conversation with you to tell you that it’s Alice’s birthday and you should say, Happy birthday to Alice.
On the other hand, it’s easy to default to e-mail, especially the more difficult the conversations are.
We need some richness, so be conscious of which tools you’re using for which, um, you know, use your webcam. Not all the time, necessarily, but often enough that people know who you are and are comfortable in speaking to you.
Not everything needs to be a meeting. Darn it, you can use asynchronous tools. And, you know, nobody needs to be back-to-back to back-to-back.
And it’s not about you. You might not be crazy about using Slack. You prefer e-mail.
Suck it up.
You’re on a team, teammates not only use the processes that are there. They’re constantly helping to improve and maximize them.
And be proactive about not only offering feedback to your manager and to your colleagues but seeking it.
And so before we get to questions, here are some questions to ask yourself, as we enter this new phase of work as we start to think about blended and hybrid teams.
What is your biggest concern?
What are you really worried about here?
And it might be incredibly selfish, it might be that I’m taking myself off the career track, OK, what are you going to do about that?
And in especially what’s changed, That’s non-negotiable.
All right. Some people are dying to get back to the office. Some people are reluctant.
All of those things, some of them are non-negotiable, Some of them. We have some input into it.
I was talking to Sarah before we started the webinar.
This notion that for everybody who’s impatient to get back to the way things were, right, to get back to normal, to get back to that before time, it’s important to remember that it wasn’t like 18 months ago. Work was this Garden of Eden where everything was fabulous.
There are things that worked about it that we need to maintain going forward, but there were also things that weren’t going well, and now is our chance to address it.
Ah, there’s a lot going on, right?
I will just tell you if you want to connect with me, anytime you can connect with me on LinkedIn.
Drop me an e-mail, I will gladly book a half-hour cop consultation with you. There’s lots of ways to reach us. But, in the time we have remaining what questions that we got, what can we do for you?
Yes, So, if you have any questions, please type them into the Questions box on your control panel, and we’ll be able to answer a few of those for you today. Our first question comes from Sandra and Sandra would like to know: What are the best. What’s the best way to complete performance reviews remotely? And how is it being the best way to delegate and monitor this?
Oh, wow, OK, there’s, oh, man, that’s going to depend on a lot of factors, but very simply, the more frequent communication you have of things like milestones, and, and deadlines, and goals, the more you can address those on a more frequent basis.
Performance reviews should never come as a shock if somebody sits down, and they are completely 100% surprised, their performance review, you’re doing it wrong.
People should know, on a regular basis. Not only, they should not only be sharing that information, information should be shared with them, how are you doing against your goals. What’s working well? What feedback have we gotten, both positive and corrective?
What steps have we taken throughout the year to kind of make sure that we get closer to the bar than then otherwise? So it’s really frequency of communication.
And the nice thing in a remote environment is, there are all kinds of ways that you can check your milestones.
You know, in the office, you can turn your screen around, or open the book, and show them how they’re doing.
You can do that online. Right.
They should be sharing the metrics visually so that everybody’s looking at the same thing, but it’s really about short, frequent communication throughout the year or the period, rather than saving it all up for the end.
And what you will find if you listen to your employees, is people in the office feel like they have gotten more of that feedback on a regular basis than people who are remote. So, you want to be really mindful, Set up, schedules. Set up regularly scheduled time to review this content.
We’ve got companies, clients, for example, who do one-on-one’s every week.
But one of those one on ones, every month, X less explicitly addresses yearly goals.
And you have no option, you have to talk about it, it’s built into the system, so that can be immensely helpful.
Yeah, you know, 360 is all that other stuff. It’s really, it’s complicated and it varies organization to organization, but it’s really about defining the information that’ll be useful, and then gathering and sharing that information on a regular, consistent basis.
Great. And we have another question here regarding the three P’s. Are the three P’s where I live.
In any case, whether that’s virtual, hybrid, in person? Yeah, absolutely.
I think that the three P’s unprejudiced, to be sure, which is not the fourth P.
I think that applies, regardless of where you work, write good teammates, do those things.
As with so much, right, 90% of what applies across the board applies virtually, There’s just a little bit that’s different. And I think if we think about the three P’s a little bit, that’s different is the pro activity piece.
We need to be a little more proactive because we’re not just going to bump into somebody in the hallway or give them a smile in a meeting.
Other than that, as we have said so many times, teamwork hasn’t changed since kangas caught, right? He ruled half the world and never held a WebEx meeting. It’s obviously doable.
So, yeah, I think the three P’s are just good practice, and we just need to be a little more proactive when we work in a hybrid or a blended environment.
OK, and then this next question that we have here is from Alex, and Alex would like to know, what does HR I need to take into account as we return to the office?
Oh, Lord, that is literally a webinar that I have done on other occasions many times.
Um, I think HR needs to be aware of a couple of things.
HR needs to be very aware of rare, of what people are expecting.
And how prepared the organization is to meet those expectations.
I am talking to a lot of people in HR departments right now who are shocked, that people and it is in the high eighties, low nineties percentage of people who say, if I can’t work in some sort of flexible way, I’m going to go find a job that will let me.
If the organization is not prepared to accommodate that, you’re going to have your work cut out for you and it shouldn’t come as a surprise. We should be assessing people and asking the questions that I asked at the end Then we should be asking that of every employee.
What’s been your experience during the pandemic? What did you like about working remotely? What did you not like? What are your plans going forward?
Because without those, we’re working on assumptions, and my experience over the last couple of months is that organizations are making a lot of bad assumptions. Everybody is kind of assuming that people just want to go back to the way it was.
And that’s not true for lots of reasons.
So I think there needs to be some assessment and some communication of expectations that are above and beyond what a lot of us are thinking will be necessary.
Alright, and we have time for one more question today, and that question comes from Amy, and Amy says: I’m still having trouble getting people to use webcams. Do you have any tips?
This is much less of a problem than it used to be, but I think there are a couple of things that are Absolutely true, one is number one factor in how a team uses communication is: Does the boss use it.
Secondly, webcam’s, especially if you have a big team webcams are less important on group calls than they are one-on-one.
So encourage them in one-on-one communication and they will gradually become more used to it.
And the third thing is to determine when you need it and when you don’t, you know, the richness versus scope model that I didn’t spend a lot of time on, but some communication, your coaching conversations should be on webcam.
Can you get this for me on Thursday? Maybe it doesn’t need to be.
Not, everybody needs to be on webcam all the time and set the expectation that there are times when you do.
This is an expectation is very different than hey, you want to turn on your camera.
Alright. Well, thank you Wayne. That does bring us to the top of the hour. Thank you for your time today, Wayne. This was great.
Well, thank you so much and thank you, everybody.
I cannot thank you enough for the opportunity to be with you all again, and, you know, I, if you have questions that we didn’t get to send them to me, I’m happy to answer them.
OK, Great, and thank you again, for your time today! And this webinar was sponsored by HRDQ-U, Virtual Seminars. Be sure to check out our curriculum of more than 80 virtual instructor led online seminars. You can go to www.hrdqu.com/virtualseminars for more information. Join us on your favorite social media site for quick access to all of our latest webinar events and blog posts. You can find us at HRDQ-U. That is all the time that we have for today. Thank you so much for joining us, and thank you all for participating in today’s webinar, Happy Training!
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