7 Steps to Engage Hybrid Employees
An advisor to New Stand, Amanda Slavin is the author and business leader behind the Seventh Level Engagement Framework, which has transformed how we measure learning success and is taught in MBA programs worldwide.
The increasing popularity of hybrid and remote work has changed the way organizations function. Throughout my career, I've worked with startups, Fortune 100 companies, and nonprofits across industries, and I’ve experienced firsthand the challenges of managing distribute teams and maintaining engagement.
In my bestselling book, The Seventh Level, I share the Seventh Level Engagement Framework, which helps organizations authentically and meaningfully connect with their employees, particularly in a hybrid/remote environment. Here, I share my personal experiences and insights on what has worked for me and my teams in mixed work settings, drawing on my extensive experience across industries.
Level One: Determine Preferred Communication Methods
In a virtual-heavy environment, it's essential to establish how each team member prefers to be communicated with, whether it's through texting, Slack messaging, or phone calls. This can help reduce disengagement and ensure smoother communication.
Level Two: Ensure Clarity and Prevent Confusion
Messaging apps like Slack can be fantastic for productivity, but also create opportunities for miscommunication. Make sure to find the best use for different tools and avoid the temptation to misuse them. For important discussions, schedule a Zoom meeting or at least make a phone call to prevent misunderstandings.
Level Three: Limit Distractions
Hybrid work can come with its fair share of distractions. Encourage employees to create a designated workspace and establish routines to stay focused and productive throughout the day.
The Seventh Level Engagement Framework helps organizations authentically and meaningfully connect with their employees.
Level Four: Enhance Productivity
Help your team members set goals and priorities to ensure tasks are completed efficiently. Establish regular check-ins and provide the necessary resources and support to empower them to work effectively.
Level Five: Promote Work-Life Balance
Encourage your team to set boundaries between work and personal life, taking breaks and practicing self-care. This helps prevent burnout and maintain overall wellbeing.
Level Six: Inspire and Align
Building employee engagement with even partially remote teams is a challenge. At this level, leaders inspire their team members to set goals that will make a difference in their lives. Create a space that gives employees a chance to share their thoughts on improving the company and inspire them to set goals for themselves and the organization.
Level Seven: Maintain Authentic Connections
The seventh level is all about fostering authentic connections and having real talks when you can't hang out in real life. Reaching this level starts by doing the work of the previous six levels. Organizations that achieve this level enjoy higher achievement across the board, a workforce united around a mission, and a deeper level of connection with customers.
By following the Seventh Level Engagement Framework, leaders can effectively navigate the challenges of remote work and create a more connected and engaged workforce, regardless of the industry or organization size.