3 Signs That Your Leadership Needs to Adapt to Meet the Challenge of New Working Arrangements

Image of web conference meeting on a laptop

In this living with COVID world and what appears to be the most commonly adopted practice of hybrid working arrangements, you are probably continuing to learn how to manage your team in new ways. As you learn, you may want to look out for these three signs that you may need to adapt to ensure all employees are treated equitably:
1. Out of sight, out of mind

A simple question, do you distribute opportunities and tasks within your team equably? Now ask yourself again, do you really distribute tasks and opportunities equally between your team? Is there a difference in allocation between those you regularly see in the office, compared to remote and hybrid workers? Don’t assume that you know the availability of your remote and hybrid team members; ask. Keep a record of your task allocations for a month to review just what that allocation looks like. These assignments add up to significant work experience and opportunities that shape team members’ career trajectories.
2. Assumptions about performance

People who are not as visibly present in the office are often judged to work less and to be less productive and committed, an assumption that penalises remote and hybrid workers. Are you applying the same set of standards to your remote employees as you are to your office-based employees that you see regularly? Similarly, we can have different performance-related discussions with employees depending on whether you conduct the review virtually or in person. Availability bias and shifting standards are two common biases that you may be unconsciously applying. 
3. Missing out on diverse input

When meeting virtually, because it’s hard to observe body language and feel the natural flow in a conversation when one would join in without risking speaking over someone else, there is a risk that as the person running the meeting you end up speaking more than you normally would. There is also the temptation to work on ideas with the people around you in the office before a meeting. These situations risk introducing confirmation bias into your meetings because they discourage the generation of alternative ideas and raises the cost of dissent. This is best avoided by supporting divergent thinking through being disciplined in asking all team members to speak before you do once the topic has been framed, asking questions rather than making statements, and encouraging the team to identify what could go wrong and what alternatives exist.
At Cognicity, we enable you and your organisation to champion the positive change that is required to create a diverse, inclusive, and adaptive organisation, including for your remote and hybrid workforce. We do this through our e-learning tools, training, and consulting, wherever you are in the world. You can connect with us at: www.cognicity.com or via e-mail at: [email protected]

Sign up to our mailing list for blog and newsletter updates: