In my recent article, I shed some light on the significance of high-quality connections and the cost for its absence from a hybrid working environment perspective. High-quality connections, or let's go with HQCs just to make it easier for all of us, are short interactions that can stimulate the whole environment. They are essential for workplaces as they uplift productivity, efficiency, and employees’ motivation to work.
In the physical workplaces that we have become accustomed to, creating high-quality connections is a no-brainer. However, when it comes to hybrid working, building HQCs needs quite an effort and a different approach. Below I’ve shared some techniques that could be employed to generate an impact similar to that of energy-boosting short interactions.
To be psychologically available, you have to convey presence. When individuals pay direct attention to each other, they enable an energising sense of mutual connection. Edward Hallowell, who is a renowned psychiatrist, mentioned;
A five-minute conversation can make all the difference in the world if the parties participate actively.
So to help generate positive energy in your work environment, you should act upon conveying presence. You can bring it to your hybrid working routine by ensuring direct interactions on face-to-face workdays. Being digitally connected for work, you can take out time to have a direct conversation with your employees to revive that energy.
Let Employees Have Fun and Express Themselves
Since the whole point here is to keep the spirits high, fun activities like online gaming contests between the workers, playing ice-breakers, solving escape rooms, etc. may be a great energy booster and help to form tighter bonding with employees.
Besides, working in a hectic environment, employees rarely get a chance to express what’s going on in their real lives. Introducing video activities that encourage employees to talk about other parts of their lives can play a vital role in strengthening their association with each other which will also drive up their energy levels - Red Bull not included.
To keep the motivation and liveness of your employees alive in a hybrid working environment, you should also ensure you are communicating some form of affirmation. This is a pretty effective tool that makes the employees realise the significance of their existence in your organisation.
For example, if you are to introduce your employees to one another or someone else, a great way is to take the lead and introduce them like this -
I am lucky to have Martin on our team. His standards are flawless and his integrity is an inspiration to us all.
For your employees who are constantly putting hard yards in during these challenging times, this seemingly minor acknowledgment would restate their importance as well as uplift their motivation.
Encouraging Employees to Contribute and Listening To them Carefully
Giving importance to someone’s opinion also means valuing them. In work particularly virtual work, always urge your employees to voice their opinions about almost every piece of the work. In return, it is your duty to effectively listen to them and appropriately respond to their views.
Valuing doesn’t only mean acting upon their advice. If you have just listened to them with great attention and responded to them with encouraging remarks, it would be good enough to keep them thinking about their work - not in a stressful way - they will be more eager to share their ideas with you and the group.
This whole process could be of great significance for your employee’s. As we know so well, having a positive attitude towards work and feeling a sense of belonging and contribution is without a doubt essential to their working environment both physically and virtually.
Lastly, the ways to create high-quality connections and keep your working environment energised in hybrid are fairly unique. Regardless of the methods you adopt, if you have strong employer-worker relations, good team bonding, interactions beyond just the work, and collective fun activities, you’re certainly going in the right direction.
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