Quality Progress wants to get your thoughts for a series of “Strengthening Workplace Culture in a Hybrid World” pieces.
Trish Borzon
1422 Posts

Hi Everyone,

Hope you can help us! Please reply to this post with your suggestions and what has worked for you.

Thank you!

Topic 1: Hybrid work models. Today’s new hybrid work model certainly has its benefits, but it also can make it difficult for employees to feel connected.

Comment below with your tips and tricks for cultivating positive culture and a sense of belonging in today’s new hybrid work environment. Your response could be included in the November issue.

5 Replies
Janet Lentz
113 Posts

@Trish Borzon Keeping the lines of communication open is key in a hybrid workspace. Email is not sufficient, and is often open to misinterpretation. Well run video meetings, where everyone is visible, will help maintain a sense of teamwork when some or all employees are absent.

Trish Borzon
1422 Posts

@Janet Lentz:

@Trish Borzon Keeping the lines of communication open is key in a hybrid workspace. Email is not sufficient, and is often open to misinterpretation. Well run video meetings, where everyone is visible, will help maintain a sense of teamwork when some or all employees are absent.

That is a a good one! Thanks for sharing

@Trish Borzon hi. I took the post to mean social connections. So, I'm replying from that perspective. I like to plan virtual lunches or happy hours. Or when there is an opportunity to “go into the office” whatever that looks like. A planned pop up (asking if it's ok to put 15-30 minutes on someone's calendar) to stop by and chat/catch up is a good way to build and maintain collegial connections. In my humble opinion, it boils down to making an effort, particularly for those team members and colleagues who appreciate/need a connection.

I have, sort of, worked in a hybrid model for 17 years. I have worked with teams in Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Italy, and France. One thing that has been constant for me is the need to get together in person for an extended period of time (a week or more) in which we have more interaction than just in-person versions of the meetings we would have remotely. We needed to eat together and otherwise socialize. After every trip it was clear that our remote meetings went MUCH more smoothly. I believe it was because we understood each other better. After about 3 months another trip would be needed.

I've noticed the same thing through the pandemic. Without face to face interaction it is difficult to internalize the nuance of my partners and to understand what vocal inflections actually mean. This cross-cultural technique applies even with people that are local and come from the same cultural background. I even find it true with my parents🤣.

@Trish Borzon
In the era of COVID, meeting physically was not possible. So it was important to find verifiable alignment around the project goals, and some personal cohesiveness with the team. I worked on a project with a team in three different countries and four different locations. Each country and location had its unspoken cultural background, and opinion about the project they had been assigned to. I could not elucidate this remotely without using the DMAIC methodology. Only after the team all agreed, with material that they all looked at together, what the definition of “good” was for the project - the critical quality attributes. Each site was empowered through sending their “user needs” and honing the final version of the critical quality attributes. All project communication could then be based on the attributes. That was great for work alignment, but not necessarily for team cohesiveness. Cohesiveness was accomplished with side meetings (virtual) between myself (the PM) and the virtual groups. I worked to developed a personal connection to all them. Often this was done by identifying one personal issue and keeping up with the “news” - who had COVID, who was locked down, who was trying to travel back to their home country, who was planning a great holiday when travel would be allowed, etc. It was also important to keep up on local site news - how many other big projects they were working on, what the favorites were, etc.