We took a recent survey of 1,000 employees and compiled the top behaviors that hybrid managers can improve (and avoid) to keep their team engaged and productive.
Today’s post is by Alyssa Mertes, Lead Copywriter at Quality Logo Products
Managers face unique challenges leading hybrid teams across multiple work environments. The good news is that many hybrid managers appear to excel at it. A new Quality Logo Products survey on boss habits reveals that over half (51%) of hybrid employees think their bosses manage employees “very well.” On this measure, hybrid managers outperformed both their remote (45%) and on-site (39%) counterparts.
In today’s challenging employment landscape, however, businesses need to do all they can to retain and engage quality employees. This often starts with improving relationships and satisfaction in the workplace. In fact, around 64% of employees surveyed said that their relationship with their boss is their most important one at work.
In this article, we’ll discuss five managerial behaviors to improve and five to avoid to keep your hybrid team happy and productive.
The Top 5 Managerial Behaviors to Improve
- Communicate well
If you want to improve your workplace leadership in a hurry, your communication skills make a great place to start. While nearly half (48%) of employees say that hybrid bosses communicate “very well,” it’s hard to overestimate the importance of this skill. In fact, employees ranked interpersonal communication style as the second most important management quality in a boss.
Your team members need useful information that helps them understand what they are doing and why they are doing it. Good communication requires both clarity and transparency, whether that means explaining your expectations well, providing the necessary context for projects, or owning up to your own mistakes as a manager.
- Listen thoughtfully
Good communication starts with careful listening. If you’ve always thought that strong leadership means doing most of the talking, try to flip the script and spend more time listening. Keeping your ear on the ground not only generates goodwill with your employees, but can also lead to improvements in team productivity and maybe even some innovative ideas for the company.
- Respect your team’s opinion
Make your listening even more meaningful by valuing what team members bring to the table. An overwhelming 83% of employees said that respecting others’ opinions is a key attribute of a good boss. Employees who feel valued are more likely to respond in kind by respecting others, exhibiting honesty, and maybe even going the extra mile for you.
- Treat employees fairly
Full-time employees spend around one-third of their waking hours at work. So, feeling that their boss treats them fairly can make a huge difference in overall satisfaction—in fact, 91% of employees say they want fairness from their boss. Try to delegate tasks equitably, give credit where it’s due, and present any negative feedback privately rather than calling out employees in front of others.
- Give feedback often and positively
Nearly half (46%) of hybrid employees think their bosses give feedback “very well,” but that means over half think otherwise. No one likes to work in a vacuum, but the dangers of disconnection rise for employees working remotely.
Take steps to raise your visibility by regularly acknowledging your employees, encouraging informal check-ins, and letting them know they can contact you with questions or feedback. Always remember to keep it positive: providing actionable feedback in a constructive rather than destructive style can make the difference between demoralizing team members and inspiring them to do their best.
The Top 5 Managerial Habits to Avoid
- Talking down to employees
More than any other attribute, employees dislike condescension in their boss. Around 78% of professionals indicated this as a mark of a bad manager. When a boss exhibits arrogance—whether by acting superior, talking down to employees, or simply wasting people’s time in meetings—workplace morale can suffer.
- Creating a negative work environment
Striving for a competitive edge in business does not mean that your business’s work environment needs to feel competitive. Nearly three-quarters of employees surveyed named “creating a hostile or competitive work environment” as a major negative in a boss.
Just like in sports or any other team environment, infighting weakens the group rather than strengthens it. A great leader knows how to make a team competitive without pitting its members against each other in a negative way.
- Micromanaging your employees
If you think that micromanaging poses less of an issue for remote employees, you are right—but that doesn’t make it any less important. In fact, hybrid bosses may rate more highly with employees because they don’t stand over them telling them what to do. Micromanaging ranked as the number three characteristic of the worst bosses, with 75% of employees saying they dislike it in a manager.
- Appearing out of touch
When describing a bad boss, one of the worst characteristics that employees chose was “out of touch.” Even more than “pushy,” “annoying,” or “inept” bosses, employees don’t like leaders who don’t seem to understand the realities of what they do every day. Listening thoughtfully and respecting your team’s opinion will help you stay in touch with their needs.
- Blaming employees when things go wrong
Good managers give credit to their team. Great managers never take credit themselves, unless they’re taking credit for failures. While it may not always seem fair, part of being a leader is having extra responsibility. Your job involves figuring out how to get the best out of your employees, not blaming them when things go wrong.
If you manage a hybrid team, take heart that hybrid employees are generally more satisfied with their bosses than their remote or in-person counterparts. To make sure your team members feel the same, keep raising your own personal bar with some of the tips suggested in this article. Your employees will appreciate it—and hopefully stick around for the long haul!
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