100% Proven Strategy to Improve Organizational Culture in a Hybrid Work Environment
Building a discipline around collaboration is going to be crucial to developing a productive hybrid operating model and culture.
Overcoming collaboration issues in a hybrid team
If you haven’t already,the best place to start building a culture of collaboration is to focus at the team level and develop Team Agreements.
A team agreement should contain all the things the team members took for granted when everybody worked together in an office.
Well-written Team Agreements develop a sense of shared responsibility and increase team members’ awareness of their own behavior, specifically in relation to the company’s values and behaviours.
One last thing to keep in mind here, writing a team agreement is an iterative process.
What to include in your team agreement
- What’s our preferred way to get in touch with each other?
- What are the expected response times and how should we follow up, when we communicate among us?
- When and how do we engage in which type of communication: what needs to be discussed live, in synchronous communication, and what should we use asynchronous communication for?
- How are we going to give each other feedback?
- How do we measure success?
- How will we show appreciation?
- How do we deal with conflict?
- What are some guidelines for successful meetings?
- What team behaviors do we want to be known for?
- How do we define “working hours” / “business hours” and “close of business”?
- When and how do we expect each other to be available in live mode?
- How do we deal with overtime and how is it encouraged (or discouraged)?
- How are decisions made and who has the authority to make decisions?
- What is the majority needed to make a decision?
- Where is information stored?
- How are project folders managed?
“You can count on me to” Exercise
This collective exercise is a great input to your team agreement.
Each team member writes out their commitments to the team. The commitments start with “You can count on me to _____”. The commitment sentence includes a behavior that they believe should be included in the team agreement, and that they personally commit to.
Optional: if you wish you can turn this into an open conversation during one of your all-hands team meetings. Once the team has completed the commitments exercise, and everybody has read everybody else’s commitments,
- Team members can ask clarifying questions about each commitment so that they can get clarity on what they can count on from their colleagues.
- Each person then votes for the commitments they think should be included in the team agreement.
- If there is consensus across the team then that commitment is accepted.
- If there isn’t consensus then ask the team members who didn’t vote for that commitment if they can support the commitment and if not to explain why. In many cases only a small modification is enough to reach agreement.
- At the end of the session, every team member signs the team agreement document.