Latest Research Reveals Hybrid Work as the Least Engaging Work Environment: Strategies for Leader-Led Re-Engagement

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The results are in: hybrid work might not be exactly what it was shaping up to be.

Insights from DDI’s 2023 Global Leadership Forecast have shocked leaders with findings that hybrid work culture is actually the most difficult and least engaging approach.

  • Less than half (49%) of hybrid leaders report being engaged.
  • Only 33% report that their work energizes them.
  • A mere 27% of leaders feel they are effective at leading hybrid or virtual teams.

With remote leaders reporting the highest role satisfaction, many of us are left wondering:

What went wrong with hybrid leadership?

The Challenge of Hybrid Work:

The study's standout revelation is that (contrary to popular belief!) hybrid work may not be the shining beacon companies hoped for. Rather than striking the perfect compromise between in-person and remote work, it seems to present the worst of both worlds. Senior executives, while grappling with concerns about a potential loss of company culture and diminished teamwork, are finding that employees are encountering resistance to flexible work arrangements.

The Struggle for Balance:

In addition to the decreased engagement levels of leaders in hybrid roles, one significant factor contributing to the dissatisfaction among hybrid leaders is the challenge of maintaining a delicate balance between the demands of in-person and remote responsibilities. The study found that hybrid leaders were the least likely to affirm the ease of balancing their work and personal lives, adding an extra layer of complexity to their roles.

So, with all these challenges, how can hybrid leaders re-engage both themselves and their teams?

DDI’s study found four leadership behaviors that consistently stand out for driving higher levels of engagement in hybrid teams:

  • The ability to maintain trust with employees
  • The drive to encourage others to challenge old ways of doing things
  • The desire to lead with an empathetic approach
  • The implementation of opportunities for team members to gain visibility

Notably, the study highlights that hybrid employees were 4.4 times more engaged when their manager consistently maintained trust and 4.6 times more engaged when their manager facilitated opportunities for visibility.

Taking Action:

For hybrid leaders seeking to enhance trust and visibility within their teams, a practical solution is the implementation of Personal User Manuals. These manuals create a space for employees to express their needs, career goals, and optimal working conditions, providing managers with a valuable tool for more visability, engagement, and better check-ins. Best of all, creating Personal User Manuals is quick, easy, and free – taking less than 5 minutes. Create Personal User Manuals with your team here.

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