Creating a Workplace that Works: Leading and Working in Hybrid Teams

For many, the
Work from Home (WFH) Program will shift what began as a stop-gap in response to the pandemic to a fundamental component in how teams structure their day-to-day operations and collaborative efforts. While some aspects of a hybrid team may feel familiar coming out of the context of remote work prompted by COVID-19, the transition to hybrid teams offers a unique opportunity to refresh, reimagine, and even reinvent as a team. 

Human Resources Health Safety and Environment (HRHSE) is pleased to offer the Creating a Workplace that Works: Leading and Working in Hybrid Teams workshop series. This series is tailored for leaders and team members. The eight virtual workshops in this series cover some of the integral parts of leading and working in hybrid teams. In these interactive workshops, you will have the opportunity to: 

  • Build essential knowledge
  • Leverage your existing competencies 
  • Gather strategies and tools to co-create an effective, collaborative, and engaged team
  • Learn about how to support an inclusive and psychologically safe hybrid team.

If you are in a supervisory or leadership role, we recommend reviewing the resources on our Strategies and Practices for Leading Hybrid Work Teams webpage that are available on-demand and can be accessed anywhere, anytime. 

Leading Hybrid Teams: Doing Hybrid Well (1.25 hours)

While the prospect of leading a hybrid team may feel daunting and more complex when compared to a traditional or even remote work model. Here’s the good news–leading and working in the hybrid environment does not require new competencies. The hybrid workplace is full of opportunities to increase your team’s effectiveness, collaboration, and well-being. Accountability, communication, collaboration, team building, inclusion, and emotional intelligence competencies will continue to be important for leaders and team members alike. 

This workshop will provide a foundational knowledge of the key elements you need to consider when setting up and leading a hybrid team, and will provide strategies and tools for co-creating an effective and productive hybrid team.

 Learning Outcomes

  • Identify some of the benefits and challenges of hybrid teams 
  • Outline the key competencies leaders need to leverage in the hybrid workplace 
  • Describe 5 perspectives that need to be considered when designing your hybrid team 
  • Identify strategies supporting effective and productive hybrid teams
Psychological Safety in Hybrid Teams (1.5 hours)

"The ability to constantly learn, innovate, and improve is vital to an organization's success" - Amy Edmondson, author of The Fearless Organization.

There is a mistaken belief that psychological safety in the workplace is simply about "being nice" to each other or feeling good. This is incorrect—it is really about enabling high performance through "a belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes." This is particularly important in hybrid work environments where greater intentionality is needed to create psychological safety. When we don't feel safe, we practice "impression management" by trying to fit in or by armouring up.

This workshop will support you in your on-going transition to hybrid teamwork, with changes you may encounter with your teams, with the new work from home structures, and to feel supported for the ever-evolving hybrid environment. This will be an interactive session with breakout rooms for insightful conversations to share meaning and context together.

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe the fundamentals of psychological safety—what it is/isn’t
  • Explain the connection between psychological safety and motivation/accountability
  • Identify the four domains of psychological safety and confidentially assess your current level of safety
  • Discuss ways to increase psychological safety for yourself and others
Building Trust in a Hybrid Workplace (1 hour)

Trust happens between two people or people and an object (say an institution, a process, etc.). Psychological safety just is—you feel the safety or the ability to be vulnerable or you don’t. Yet they have a dynamic relationship and one can’t happen without the other. Trust is earned one conversation at a time.

In this workshop, you will learn about the four distinctions of trust, characteristics of trust in a hybrid workplace, what causes trust to break down and what we can do to increase trust in a hybrid workplace.

Learning Outcomes

  • Examine how trust is developed/supported differently in a hybrid workplace
  • List characteristics of trustworthy teams
  • Define three ways we trust others
  • Explain a practical 4-component framework to analyze trust
  • Outline the enemies of trust
  • Brainstorm ways to increase trust in a virtual environment through communication, meeting protocol, etc.
Leading Self & Others Through Change (1.5 hours)

"Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind. To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get worse. To the hopeful it is encouraging because things may get better. To the confident it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make things better." - King Whitney Jr.

A very common phrase shared is that change is the only constant. All of us have experienced a lot of personal and professional change related to remote work, the pandemic, and institutional restructuring. With the implementation of the Work From Home Program, teams will experience more change with the transition to a hybrid work model. In order to transition successfully into the hybrid work environment, it is important to pause and reflect on the impact of these changes on oneself and others. 

During this workshop, you will be introduced to a model that will help you understand how change impacts people and will provide a snapshot of how you are feeling about the changes you are experiencing. This model will also give you a framework for thinking about how to support yourself and others (informally or formally) throughout the change. 

Learning Outcomes

  • Explain how the field of neuroscience impacts how we lead ourselves and others through change
  • Identify strategies for adapting to changing conditions, such as working on or leading a hybrid team
  • Describe ways to manage our own healthy perspectives regarding change to support others
  • Outline the natural stages of change that people experience
5C’s of Connected Hybrid Teams (1.25 hours)

Communicating within teams is challenging at best. Within hybrid teams it can be even more challenging. Thinking about how to align team members around a clear vision and picture of the work to be done, communicating clear roles, responsibilities and accountabilities are particularly important in hybrid teams to avoid a team climate of blame. Ensuring team members are focused on the outcomes, building strong connections and being inclusive, despite these challenges is key. This workshop will equip you with a practical 5-step framework to support positive team dynamics.

Learning Outcomes

  • Explore the learning dynamics that occur in hybrid teams that either support team member motivation and accountability or take it away
  • Describe a practical 5-step framework for team alignment, strategic thinking, decision-making and delegation
  • Practice the 5C model by coming to the session with a specific communication you’d like to practice working on
  • Identify components of healthy team communication to include all voices regardless of where the team member is located or how they are participating
Facilitating Problem-Solving in a Hybrid Work Environment (1.5 hours)

“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” - Brené Brown

Encouraging input and creative buy-in from all team members can be challenging, especially during times of change. The added complexity of hybrid work environments means that supervisors, managers and leaders need to find new ways to engage their team in problem-solving and creative idea generation. Sometimes newer team members can be reluctant to share, thinking their ideas are not as valued as longer-term team members. 

Also, for some personality styles, brainstorming can be awkward for those who need more reflection time pre- and post- meetings before sharing their ideas. The hybrid work environment and restructuring create new opportunities and challenges for teams, making it even more important that meeting hosts build-in safe spaces and tools for the most positive, inclusive interactions possible.

In this workshop we will provide tools to help encourage feedback and facilitate effective collaborative conversations, while having some fun. This will be an interactive session with breakout rooms for insightful conversations to share meaning and context together.

Learning Outcomes

  • Practice a creative facilitation tool to encourage sharing of diverse opinions and ideas
  • Build strategies to ensure that all voices are heard during meetings no matter where people are located
  • Develop strategies to foster better decision making by harvesting input/feedback from all team members
Coaching in a Hybrid Workplace (1.5 hours)

Coaching and mentoring team members has become more challenging in a hybrid world. Effective leaders recognize that the traditional role of command and control is not effective in today’s teams. Not only does this model cause time management problems for the leader, it also limits a team’s ability to be innovative and collaborative. As a leader in a hybrid world it’s hard to know who needs more or less of your time, whether they require coaching on skill development, enhanced performance or for their own development. Coaching requires the skills of deep listening, asking good questions, giving and receiving feedback and psychological safety. In this workshop, you’ll learn a simple, yet powerful coaching model to set you and your team up for success.

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe the coaching model and how it is different from counseling, mentoring, and consulting
  • Learn the three different types of coaching 
  • Explain a practical coaching model 
  • Practice coaching in a safe environment
  • Understand how to give positive and constructive feedback in a hybrid work environment
Thriving as a Team Member in the Hybrid Workplace (1 hour)

Great teams don’t just happen. They are the result of individual team members demonstrating intentional practices,  the effective use of key competencies, and a shared mindset. But what does it mean to be a great team member in the hybrid workplace? While some aspects of a hybrid team may feel familiar to you coming out of the context of remote work prompted by COVID-19, the shift towards the hybrid workplace isn’t just the extension of a temporary work-from-home arrangement. 

This means as you shift between working on campus and at home on a more permanent basis, you will need to think about how you can leverage the competencies you are already using to be a great team member within the hybrid context. This workshop will provide foundational knowledge of the elements of effective teams and will offer you strategies and best practices that will help you co-create an effective hybrid team where you can thrive. 

Learning Outcomes 

  • Develop strategies to ask for what you need in order to be successful in a hybrid team
  • Explain the natural stages of team/group development and reflect on your own context  
  • Describe how empathy and self-compassion can support you and your team members’ success
  • Identify tools and strategies to help you manage your day