As the world we live in continues to evolve, it’s becoming more common for people across the country to work from home or on a hybrid schedule. While remote work offers employees countless benefits, including greater flexibility and better work-life balance, you may feel that it’s even more of a challenge to get your message across to your workers to ensure everyone is on the same page. Clear communication is the priority for organizations of all sizes. A significant lack of communication can halter progress in the workplace, making it difficult for employees to work well together and complete assignments on time.

As a recent CNBC survey indicates, far more companies (45% of the total) “expect to lead with a hybrid workforce model” when they reopen their offices than with “in-room first” arrangements (32% of the total).

recent McKinsey survey suggests that 90% of organizations will adopt some combination of virtual and on-site work as they emerge from Covid restrictions. This new model will bring with it a dramatic change in how we meet. A hybrid mix of in-room participants and virtual meeting participants seems an inevitable component of our “new normal.”

 

How Powering Your Virtual or Hybrid Team with Inner Genius Leads to Better Results and Greater Operational Efficiencies

If your employees are virtual or hybrid, and you want to power these team members to boost morale and keep your infrastructure running smoothly, tapping into your Inner Genius is an absolute must. Your Genius Quotient, a term coined by training expert Catherine Mattiske, explains your preferred method of learning and communicating with others. When you understand more about yourself and the learning and communication styles of others, it’s easier to connect with your team members, even when you’re not in the same office building as one another. Check out some of the ways powering your virtual or hybrid team with Inner Genius can lead to greater operational efficiencies and better overall results for your organization.

It Becomes Easier to Communicate, Even When You’re Not Face-to-Face with Workers

Far too many people don’t realize the power within themselves to become effective communicators ready to supercharge their teams and keep them focused on the bigger picture. Tweaking a few daily practices and meeting norms can make a huge difference to virtual and hybrid meetings.

Liz’s story – Business Development Manager

As a business development manager for a large tech company, I work from home and join sales meetings virtually. Some colleagues are also virtual but it’s a hybrid meeting with some of the team in the office. Often, it’s not easy! By the time I join, everyone seems to know what is happening and often the meeting is underway, or the meeting goals are not well articulated. Also, sometimes the in-room participants have documents that haven’t been provided to me by the meeting facilitator. As virtual participants, we feel like we’re down the back of the aircraft in coach, and my colleagues are noshing it up in first-class. Generally, I’m quiet in the meetings. Even when I have something to contribute, I feel like I’m interrupting.

The structure of meetings needs to incorporate answers to questions like:

  • Who needs to be there?
  • What is the optimum time to meet for the entire team, not individuals?
  • When do we need to allow in-room and virtual participants breaks?
  • What pre-work needs to be distributed before the meeting?
  • What is the meeting goal?

By knowing your learning and communication preferences and then using them to your advantage when speaking to others, meetings will become smoother and more productive. If you currently feel like it’s too hard to get the point across or get everyone on your team to understand the end goal, it’s less likely that team members are purposely doing a lousy job and more likely that they don’t have a complete understanding of what you need from them.

If you know how you perceive information and prefer to communicate details to others, you can take a different approach when speaking to your team members to see how much of a positive change it can make. You’ll notice how much easier it becomes to talk with these individuals, even when you’re having discussions over the computer instead of face-to-face in a traditional brick-and-mortar office building.

 

You Can Turn Team Collaboration into a Fun Experience for Everyone Involved

When team members look forward to working with one another and are more accepting of learning and communication differences, it opens the doors to endless possibilities. So, while you need to unlock your Inner Genius as a team leader responsible for empowering and encouraging employees, it’s equally as crucial for your team to unlock their Inner Genius. Your employees can learn more about their Genius Archetype regarding how they take in new information and share ideas with others. Once they know their strengths, collaborations between team members are much more enjoyable and productive. Employees can begin sharing fresh thoughts and innovative ideas while listening to one another. If everyone is having a good time connecting with one another in the workplace, it can lead to better results, with employees feeling excited about logging in for the day to get started on their assigned tasks.


Team Members Will Begin Working Better Together, Boosting Morale and Productivity Rates

Employees play an integral role in the overall success of a business. If they’re not working well together and are wasting more time clearing up miscommunication and discrepancies than getting work done, productivity rates will drop, and morale will fall at an all-time low. You don’t want that for your business because it could lead to a significant drop in profit, putting your organization at risk of failing and shutting its doors. 

Jada’s story – Senior Leader

My team was heading towards dysfunctional. And everyone knew it. And no one said a thing! One by one, I saw each team member starting to lose joy in their work. I get it…Everyone deals with difficult periods. Some people internalize problems and work through them, and some people run from them. Some people may struggle to get through a tough period but can’t help but let it affect them. Others may not even realize that they are struggling and are unaware of how their actions are affecting the team. It’s not always easy to see that your team is heading towards a dysfunctional state. And, to make matters more challenging – I’m in the office and my team is remote, all working from home.

It can take time for the signs to be seen, and then it can take time for the team members to reach a point of realization that they need to act. I wanted to give up and take a nap on the floor, but I knew I was the one that needed to push through. When I realized, I couldn’t keep doing the same thing and get the same results, I knew I needed to make a change. That’s when I found Inner Genius.

The entire team, including me, took the Inner Genius Profile and a workshop. Immediately, on our ‘Inner Genius Team Map’, we saw the disconnect. We each had different learning and communication preferences. Not one team member was the same! Instead of pushing against each other’s differences, which we’d been doing, we started to embrace them. We discovered our own Genius Zone, and importantly each others. The team proactively reworked workflows to make sure everyone was working in their optimum way. Now, two months down the track, I hear laughter in meetings from team members who have reconnected to their projects and our overall goals, and productivity has skyrocketed. Genius!

Keep your infrastructure running smoothly by unlocking your Inner Genius and helping others unlock their fullest potential. You can have some of the most experienced, skilled professionals on your team, but that doesn’t mean things will work out well if these people communicate differently from one another and are experiencing a lot of misunderstandings because of those differences. Consider the approach you take when addressing your team and offering the encouragement needed to keep them productive while boosting morale. When your team works better together, good things happen, and you’ll have a better chance of experiencing tremendous business growth.

CONNECT:  Employees Can Share Knowledge and Provide Peer Feedback That Will Help Your Organization Thrive

 Once you have everyone on the same page, even when working virtually or on a hybrid schedule with some remote workdays and some in-office days, you and your team members can share knowledge and provide positive peer feedback. If team members start to feel like the input received is too critical, they might struggle to feel accepted or appreciated in the workplace. If they’re struggling with those feelings, they may not put their best effort into their assignments, which is bad for business.

 You don’t want to make anyone feel like they’re not doing a good job, even if they need to improve in certain areas. As you discover more about your communication preferences and that of others, you can provide positive, constructive feedback that encourages your team members and makes them want to do even better, not just for themselves but also for everyone else on the team. Shared knowledge and feedback can keep employees on track, enabling your organization to thrive.

 

3 Tips to Connect with your virtual team members

The key to success is CONNECTION. So many virtual meetings are still experiencing cameras off, and some people do not contribute or speak for the entire meeting. Don’t let geography get in your way of facilitating a productive meeting with your team or colleagues!

  1. Imagine they’re with you, which works for in-room AND virtual participants in hybrid. Using a webcam is tricky because your team members are not in front of you. However, you should be able to see at least some of your team on the Zoom/Teams call. Importantly, imagine that your colleagues are in the room with you. This will help you connect to real people and make you more natural and engaging.
  2. The mirror trick: Place a small mirror in front of you for delivery. Try to speak to the camera rather than yourself or team members. Place a small mirror just below the camera so that you can look at one friendly face while speaking. If your mirror is just below the webcam, it will look like you’re making eye contact with the participants. If you don’t have a mini-mirror, use a post-it note with a hand-drawn smiley face. It will help redirect your eye line to the camera.
  3. Use their names – ‘direct contact’ means making the meeting about them, not the agenda and not you. Start Simple. As soon as people join, say hello to each person. Asking a simple question of “Hi Sally, welcome. How are you?” achieves at least three things. Firstly, you’ve connected with the person, and listening to their response shows them that you are interested in them. Secondly, when they respond, they’ve turned on their microphone later, and they are more likely to get involved in discussions. And lastly, you’ve broken the ice, which helps them to feel important, so they are more likely to contribute.

In Conclusion

Powering virtual and hybrid teams has never been more critical. Even when working remotely, you can inspire, encourage, and ultimately empower your team members to collaborate well and make improvements when necessary. This leads to better productivity rates and a boost in morale.

One of the best ways to power your team members is by unlocking your Inner Genius and determining their Genius Archetypes. Knowing each team member’s Archetype will help you and your team understand the various communication and learning preferences. If you’re unsure how to get started, check out Unlock Inner Genius by Catherine Mattiske and the website, which will help you on this exciting journey of self-discovery.