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Only 43% of managers have been trained to manage hybrid teams. We’re putting that right by co-creating a new training programme that will help make hybrid work for everyone.
By Amy Butterworth, Consultancy Director
I’m sure few would disagree that an excellent line manager can make all the difference to an employee’s career. Those who feel supported to do their best work are likely to thrive; those who feel undermined or neglected may struggle (or vote with their feet).
So it seems sensible that, when workplace norms fundamentally change, organisations would make sure their line managers are trained to adapt their practice accordingly. And yet, despite the widespread uptake of hybrid working both during and since the pandemic, this hasn’t been the case.
Research from University of Birmingham has found that only 43% of managers had received any training in how to manage hybrid teams. It’s highly likely that these managers will be struggling to successfully implement hybrid arrangements, particularly more informal ones which they need to design, agree and monitor themselves. And this lack of training could certainly be a factor in the finding that 47% of line managers are finding work more stressful than pre-pandemic.
Both we and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) believe that hybrid working is a hugely valuable tool in the flexible working toolkit, with the potential to support key workplace issues such as talent attraction, retention, diversity and wellbeing. And we both know from experience that, when line managers are supportive of flexible working, and role model it themselves, it makes employees feel significantly more comfortable about requesting it.
So we’ve come together to turn the knowledge gap on its head, by creating a programme of hybrid training that will build managers’ skills and confidence. This will not only enable them to support their teams to work in a hybrid way, but also help them think about how they could work flexibly themselves, which will have an impact across their organisation.
The training will be delivered as a six-week programme, and will focus on three core areas which our hybrid research identified as particular concerns: the role of a manager of a hybrid team; ensuring fairness and inclusion, and enabling connection and cultural cohesion. We’ll provide workshops for each area, supported by group clinics that will give participants the chance to come together and reflect on their learnings and practice.
All the sessions will be run by our expert consultants and will be backed up with helpful resources, case studies, tools and templates from both Timewise and the CMI’s libraries, which participants can take back to their workplaces and put into action.
We’re really excited about this partnership, which brings together two social businesses with a shared determination to make the world of work better for everyone. And because we also share a belief in the value of research, we’re running the first one as a pilot, with robust evaluation in place, so we can assess its impact on managers’ knowledge and confidence before rolling it out more widely.
The first programme will start in the autumn, and we’ll share our learnings from it once it’s complete, with the aim of refining and scaling up the training so that more companies can benefit. We can’t wait to get started and will let you know how we get on – watch this space.
Please click here to register your interest directly with the CMI: https://www.managers.org.uk/campaigns/making-hybrid-work-for-you/
Updated June 2023