Hybrid Leadership: Unite Your Team with Specific, Actionable Writing
In the past, employees who worked remotely have historically felt that their in-office counterparts had an advantage when it came to knowing what was going on. The belief was that in-office folks “got the whole story,” while those working at home were left in the dark.
Hybrid is the New Normal
Prior to COVID-19, there may have been some truth to this. However, with more than 85% of the U.S. workforce now looking to work remotely at least some of the time for the foreseeable future, it’s imperative that every employee gets the full story all of the time. It’s necessary to maintain productivity across a distributed team, and it’s the only way to ensure both that everyone is being treated equally and that they feel they’re being treated equally, too.
The key is to be specific and actionable in all of your communications—especially written ones.
Be Specific & Transparent
Particularly with email, it can be easy to slip into business-speak. But stay vigilant, particularly during times of organizational change. An email reading “Our organization’s goals have changed, but leadership is working hard on them” will only raise questions: What goals have changed? What are the new goals? How does this affect me? What are we doing differently now? Those working remotely may fear that they’ve been left out of a more in-depth conversation that was had in-person. Therefore, be as specific as possible. “The organization is shifting from X to Y, and here is how your work will be impacted,” is a much better way to convey the same message. Even if the news is unwelcome, it’s important to be transparent.
Make the Message Actionable
Then, make your message actionable. Use the first line or two of the email to convey not only “what” the reader needs to know but also “why” they need to know it to take action. (And if there’s a deadline, put it in the subject line.) This will ensure that team members feel engaged and that they can move forward quickly and easily.
By keeping your communications specific and actionable, you will instill trust in your team that every member, no matter where they are based, will always get the full picture from you. And a trusting team is a team that performs.