During the coronavirus pandemic, Microsoft conducted a study to determine the impact of remote work on its workforce. The company wanted to see how a lack of informal opportunities for connection affected its employees.
The results of Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index showed that managers played a significant role in improving team connections. Employees whose managers helped them prioritize tasks, be productive, and maintain work-life balance reported feeling more connected to each other.
How effectively managers promoted team connections also was important when the company shifted to hybrid work. Team members whose managers proactively provided support felt closer to each other than other team members.
Discover some tips to maintain team connections while your IT team works a hybrid schedule.
Be Involved in Onboarding
Ensure you are the main source of support for your new hires. Although they also can rely on onboarding partners and teammates, you should be available when needed.
The Microsoft report showed new hires relied on their managers 20% more for virtual onboarding support during the pandemic than before the pandemic. This was because managers significantly increased their involvement in employee onboarding.
In fact, new hires whose managers were actively involved in onboarding were 3.5 times more likely to report being satisfied with their onboarding experience. They also were 1.2 times more likely to feel as though they were contributing to their teams’ success.
For instance, these managers clarified their goals, priorities, and expectations for each employee. They also provided insight into how a role may have changed between the hire date and the start date.
New hires who knew what they needed to do experienced less uncertainty in their roles. This led to a more satisfying onboarding experience. It also developed a stronger connection to their teams.
Focus on Team Priorities
Let your team know which goals and tasks they should work on at a given time. This helps your employees understand which work is most important and should be prioritized.
Working on the most important priorities promotes team connection. It creates a supportive environment that values work-life balance. This results in strong team connections.
The more focused and supported your employees, the higher their engagement and productivity. This elevates feelings of team connections.
Participate in Leadership Training
Engage in ongoing training to provide support for your hybrid team. This helps you more effectively strengthen connections with your team.
For instance, regularly talk with your team about their changing needs. Find out how you can best support them. Implement the most feasible solutions based on their feedback.
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