4 ways to ensure team cohesion in a hybrid work environment

By Hans Donckers

In recent years, the way we work has changed dramatically. Working from home and hybrid work were first met with a lot of resistance, but this new way of working is now indispensable. In fact, a recent survey found that 82% of employees now consider this to be the new normal.

Companies themselves have also benefited from this shift, by rearranging the offices, but also by recruiting talent in other countries, for example. The challenge that comes with this for managers and (team)leaders is to ensure team cohesion. Team cohesion is extremely important for team success.

The big question: how can we build strong teams in hybrid working conditions? JiGSO gives you 5 tips:

1. Keep everyone informed

It sounds simple, but with a team that works flexibly in the office and at home, it’s important to keep everyone informed. Maintaining honesty between those who work in the office and those who work remotely means keeping everyone informed of opportunities or events in the company or even within the team. Therefore, organize regular stand-ups, so that everyone is back on board.

2. Encourage informal moments

Friendships often arise naturally in the office. It’s easier to strike up a conversation with the colleague sitting at the desk next to you or meeting at the coffee corner. But with teammates working from home all week, it can be harder to have those social interactions and build a bond.

Managers can encourage their teams to meet informally both virtually and physically. A good way is, for example, to schedule a FIKA break (weekly), or to agree to come to the office on the same day.

3. Take regular pulses of the teams

Stay informed about team cohesion and pscyhological safety in your teams by regularly asking how they are doing. Employees who feel they are being heard are four times more likely to do their best work. With JiGSO Listen,  you can measure how your teams feel in terms of psychological safety, team cohesion, inclusion and you can even use your own questionnaires around various themes.

4. Celebrate successes

In order to maintain the motivation in an organisation, it is good not only to focus on points for improvement or future plans, but also to regularly reflect on what you achieve.

Celebrating successes also means supporting out-of-the-box thinking. You show appreciation for daredevils and initiators.

Important when celebrating successes is to discuss mistakes and also learn from them. If you want things to be like this in the organization, keep in mind that failure is allowed. Maybe it pays to have a “failure session“?

Examples of occasions that deserve a celebration: a cosy snack and drink after meeting a deadline, a homemade cake for a birthday. Relaxing in a team is also important.

Also, compliment each other regularly. You can even actively stimulate giving feedback by, for example, organizing a 360° feedback session.

About the author

Hans is co-founder of JiGSO and also co-founder of Beanmachine, a consultancy firm in the domains of Organizational Development and HR. Before becoming a consultant and entrepreneur he was a doctoral researcher in philosophy and ethics. 

JiGSO - About Us - Hans Donckers - CO-CEO & FOUNDER, VP STRATEGY

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