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Beyond Leadership

119 EpisodesProduced by Mark KalinWebsite

Beyond Leadership is a podcast that connects the business world with academia and provides a platform for entrepreneurs, leaders, managers, students, and everyone willing to learn and share their best practices and life stories about leadership. Going Beyond.Founder and owner: Mark Kalin


Tip of the Week 26 - Did You Get My Slack/Email/Text?

Many of us are in the midst of a major transition from remote to hybrid work, which is affecting how we communicate with our colleagues. Back when we were in the office, we all knew the unwritten rules of communication. As a manager, it’s essential to help your team establish new norms around digital interactions. This should be a collective process so set up a group brainstorm with the explicit goal to document new rules and expectations around how you will communicate in a hybrid environment.

Here are a few key questions to ask:

  1. What’s been the most collaborative experience you’ve      had in each of these channels?
    • IM (Microsoft Teams, Slack, Skype, etc.)
    • Email
    • Video calls
    • Texting (if applicable)
  2. Based on these positive experiences, what are the norms that we want to set up for each channel? (See the right-most column      above for specific examples.) As you set up these guidelines, think about message length, complexity, and response time.
    • How long is too long for an IM message?
    • Do we want to put a limit on the number of people to include in a group IM?
    • When (if ever) is it appropriate to text someone?
    • What is the expected response time for emails?
  3. When we transition to a hybrid office, how will we stay inclusive of our remote employees and avoid potential biases?
  4. Given that many of us are working asynchronously, how will we be sure to communicate when we are working while still respecting everyone’s personal time?

Once you’ve outlined the team’s ground rules, document them and share them in a public place so that people can refer to them when needed. But don’t assume they’re set in stone. Check-in with your team after a few weeks to see if the rules of engagement need to be tweaked.

It’s essential for managers to establish norms around digital communication with their teams. Having a detailed guide will help ensure that everyone on your team is on the same page and has the same expectations — regardless of who is working from where.

Do you have written guides on how to communicate in a hybrid work environment?

What channels do you use the most?

Dhawan, E. (2021, May). Did You Get My Slack/Email/Text? Harvard Business Review.

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