How digital tools can help managers strike the right balance

Hybrid working models carry the risk of alienating workers from line managers and colleagues, due to a lack of in-person connection on a regular basis. The impact of this alienation can be vast, knocking into productivity, motivation, and eventually leading to employees slipping through the net and becoming disengaged, which can cause issues further down the line.

Having a happier, more engaged workforce benefits the company but it also benefits company culture, reassuring employees that they are safe in the job they’re in and have the network of support they need to thrive.

Regular meetings, check-ins with teams and one-on-ones with team members should be a priority for all managers at this time. Team meetings, both in person and digitally, ensure teams are updated with correct and up-to-date information on company protocols, ongoing activity and collective goals. Fostering an atmosphere of mutual understanding and support is vital for company culture and improves employee retention in the long run.

One-on-one sessions can be even more valuable for the overall welfare of the team. In these circumstances, people may feel more comfortable discussing more personal views or concerns, often getting right to the heart of the matter. These are also invaluable opportunities to check in with your employee’s mental health and for them to flag any issues they might be experiencing at home or in the office. It’s vital that these personable lines of communication are kept open and utilised regularly. Meetings such as these are a vital opportunity for managers to receive feedback and address any issues that might have been flagged along the way. Using simple digital tools such as recurring meetings in diaries and an effective messaging platform ensures meetings are scheduled, kept to and provide a platform for follow-ups where needed.

Whether at home or in the office, another great way to set the precedent for regular feedback is by using short digital questionnaires, where employees can provide specific, real-time feedback on work processes. A concise survey can help identify and highlight any areas of the business causing blockages, or any procedures that might need tweaking to make them as seamless as possible for teams at home or in the office. It also encourages an “open-door policy” by speaking frequently about potential issues, creating a channel of communication focused specifically on how managers can better cater to their teams.