hybrid office Leaders Letter Newsletter

Leaders Letter 151 – The Top 6 Findings & Lessons In Hybrid Culture Consulting & Coaching

Dear leaders, ever wondered how or why hybrid divides so many opinions and is embraced in some companies but failed in others?

Which side has it fallen on with you and your business?

The newer way of working (aka Hybird) is one of the most popular topics to be covered in tech and business press and yet it causes more friction than almost every other topics I can remember in and over my two-decade career.

Many business leads are blaming “disengagement” and ongoing cultural issues on hybrid work and the request for more days from working outside of the office, this is actually missing the point and requires much better analysis and removal of former working styles and leaders’ own biases.

So, this week I wanted to share the top 6 findings and lessons from my coaching and consulting with leadership teams.

The Top 6

  1. No Change To How People Worked Or Were Working – this was shaped around in-person work not incorporating hybrid meetings and working together within documents or systems
    — This is still happening today.
    Hint: Create and have clear working styles for the whole company, agree on how we work while in the office and working from home (remember to rename to workplace home and workplace office to remove such friction with WFH)
    Free Resources: 
    Company Wide Values&Power Half Hours

  2. No Agreed Ways Of Working Or Having Dedicated Working Principles 
    1. Think of: This is how we work when not in the same building 
    2. Think of: This is what success looks like (shouldn’t be different but is currently treated this way) and how often do we check in and celebrate wins
    3. Not embracing working asynchronously with a better store and better flow of information
      — This is still happening and creating wider divides
      Hint: create working principles and ways of working.
      Free Resources:
      Agreed Departmental Principles & Leadership Team Principles,
  3. Did Not Change The Tools To Make Hybrid Work, Work – forced to work in the same tools as in person and they were selected mostly by IT. There was no re-onboarding to the office and this hurt the majority of companies and they are playing catch up to reset expectations and working styles. 
    — This is still happening and many are using non-company or department-wide tools creating friction in editing and centralising data 
    Hint: Review your tools and ensure you are making the most out of company-wide wikis, documentation and creating canvas where people can work collaboratively while in the open (and allowing invite-only spaces)
    Free Resources:
    The Hybrid Software Guide, Full Free Hybrid Guide, & Hybrid Meeting Guide

>> A Good Reminder: In the office, Remote and Hybrid are all very different working styles (aka modes) and approaches and all need to be clearly defined and organised accordingly. You cannot use the same tools and work formats as if nothing has changed. If you did not re-engineer and re-think the office space and how the office is being used, you will always see resistance and struggle with creating workspaces that work for the teams, not just a shell where people put on their headphones and cannot concentrate on delivering their work.

  1. Poor Work Etiquette, Not Being Addressed, ‘meetings’ were called to talk, catch up and provide status updates not to make progress or make important decisions, they defaulted to sloppy, meetings had no agendas, not what success looked like and no accountability. Brainstorms didn’t work as everyone had no idea of how it would work moving forward & miro etc became the new recycling bin
    — This is commonplace today and many employees want more clarity
    Hint: Review your meetings, enforce agendas to meetings (ask why should this be a meeting), create follow on action and template for the team to use
    Free Resources: 
    What Hybrid Isn’t Working For You & 40 Ways To Improve Work For Everyone
  2. Not Listening To Feedback being provided by the teams and forcing decisions without any explanation. Feedback provided suggested: Management didn’t make themselves available, was unclear on decision making were unavailable to discuss why decisions were made.  
    — This goes unaddressed and is likely to continue without centralised understanding and agreement on the one company-wide strategy and filtering into departmental plans
    Hint: Create a decision document to explain your big decisions and take regular Q&A.
    Free Resources:
    The Decision Document & Time For A Calendar Audit
  3. Poor Feedback Loops – feedback was stored rather than given in real-time or just after events when they required better forms of feedback. There was also a fear of delivering feedback over tech tools. 
    — Some have attempted to fix this, while others have got to a point where it is hard to address and created friction in feedback
    Hint: Address feedback within a set window of time, if it needs to be delivered in person or just after the moment, make the time to discuss, don’t be vague and create an open feedback culture.
    Free Resources:
    The Strategy Cheatsheet, The Best Company Culture Books To Read & Is It Time For Management Pods

While we request more office attendance and more regular face-to-face work within the office, you have to consider these six points and concentrate on where you need to improve.

This week’s focus action: find the 3 to 4 actions you need to take from my 6 findings, assign owners and create a plan to make hybrid actually work for you and your business, while you might be behind until you address this you will be losing team members slowly and surely.

Have a good week,


Danny Denhard

» To get in touch around coaching or consulting email me on danny @focus dot business