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How to successfully transition teams to a hybrid work mode?

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Christophe Routhieau & Bastien Le Lann
Director & Associate Director, Lecko
June 24, 2021

How to work differently? That is the mission of Lecko, which specializes in organizational transformation. While 78% of employees based in France would now look like a hybrid work model, how do they support companies and teams who want to choose this way of working? Christophe Routhieau and Bastien Le Lann, directors of Lecko, tell us about their methodology.

The current situation offers us the opportunity to reconcile the balance between the organization, the team and the individual. This quest for balance allows us to give a voice to teams, to encourage inclusion and co-construction towards this new way of working together.
Christophe Routhieau & Bastien Le Lann

Is hybrid working just a trendy expression? That's what you might think, after a couple of searches on the Internet. For example, the French media Journal du Net describes it as "a new challenge for business and individuals", as Challenges, another well-known media in France, points out that "hybrid work is becoming the norm". The truth is more complex. First of all, there is a growing demand from employees for greater flexibility and convenience in the way they work, and hybrid work can be part of this. But according to Microsoft's latest Work Trend Index Report, there are great expectations for making hybrid work WORK. 

Because this change is no trivial matter, Lecko, a firm specializing in organizational transformation, has made it one of the mainstays of its business, especially since the health crisis. And there are ways to support this change. As guests of a Klaxoon webinar, the firm's directors, Christophe Routhieau and Bastien Le Lann, told us about their method.

A field study that reveals what organizations need

For several years, Lecko, in partnership with specialist institutes, has been conducting field studies to measure and analyze the reality of everyday life for countless teams.

In their latest report1 about how the way we work changed during the health crisis in 2020, one finding was particularly interesting. As Bastien Le Lann explains: "One of the lessons of this survey is that people still work together, using email. While there have never been so many tools to work differently." As working from home has become commonplace everywhere, email is still the preferred collaboration tool, alongside video conferencing. However, in-depth analysis reveals that teams are not satisfied, as Bastien explains. "There was an explosion of emails and video conferences during this period of successive lockdowns, and this trend is continuing to grow. We saw the emergence of back-to-back meetings, straight after each other without a break, all day long."

Using advanced statistics, the panel’s statements make it possible to dig deeper. For example, we find that the meeting attention span decreases as meetings increase in number and get longer. "All this data provides evidence to justify the need for change. From there, we can start the team transformation and support it with continuous monitoring," he says.

1 A study conducted with YouGov, based on a representative panel of 1,000 people working in companies of 500+ employees.

The ways teams collaborate today need to evolve. | Klaxoon
The ways teams collaborate today need to evolve.

Another point raised by the survey was how hard some managers find it to manage their teams remotely. "The increasing number of meetings that teams perceive as inefficient, how difficult it is to facilitate workshops and get in sync are recurring comments from the panel.  Experimenting with widespread working from home has highlighted how hard it is to manage hybrid working."

The question, however, is not whether it’s better to work from home or in the office. For Christophe Routhieau, this is "a fruitless debate". It’s about hybrid work being better organized and helping teams evolve. "We have to take the time, in a structured way, to ask the right questions collectively. Take a look back to see what worked and what didn't work so well. The challenge is to initiate co-designed continuous improvement."

To achieve this, Lecko has developed a methodology called In’Flow.

Co-creating change management

For Lecko, we should be thinking about the "How". Their methodology is inspired by agile methods to mobilize groups. Christophe Routhieau explains: "We believe that everyone can contribute to change, so we work closely with teams on a co-creation process that lasts between 60 and 90 days, which we lead with the help of Klaxoon Board."

This Board consists of four parts, which reflect the four stages of the process.

  • First, the definition phase: often with the manager to put things in context.
  • Second, the initiation phase: in the form of a workshop. The consultants work directly with the teams, to inspire them but also capitalize on their experience, and co-create the action plan with them.
  • Then testing, a phase required to verify the effectiveness of the plan with the teams. Actions are then initiated, tested in real conditions in the team’s everyday life, and monitored using kanban.
  • Finally, the evaluation phase to conclude, and determine the effectiveness of the actions.

As Christophe explains, "This is an iterative process."

Effective application, the example of Eutelsat

Contacted by the French management of Eutelsat, Lecko implemented this method to respond to their request: how to capitalize on the lessons of 2020 and remobilize managers around a new structure that includes remote working. "There was a sense of weariness on the part of managers, especially because of the context in which they were working from home. So it was important to talk about it, to mobilize all of them on the subject. To do this, we capitalized on their experience to identify the right actions to carry out."

1. Definition phase

Lecko launched their In’Flow initiative with nearly 100 managers to get as much information as possible about what they had experienced in 2020. "To initiate conversations, following Klaxoon’s methods, we used a simple question as an icebreaker: "How do you feel about going back to the office? And the results were mixed, with a lot of people wanting to see colleagues in the office again, but at the same time some trepidation."

"How will the balance that I managed to create tie in with this? Will things get back to the same as before lockdown?", these were some of the feelings and questions that were raised.

Is there a need to get back to full open spaces? | Klaxoon
Is there a need to get back to full open spaces?

2. Retrospective phase

Once the definition phase was done, the initiation phase mentioned by Christophe in their In’Flow methodology began. Here, it took the form of a retrospective template, with four questions.

  • What did they like?
  • What did they learn?
  • What difficulties did they encounter?
  • What did they want to happen next?

In practice, the managers met in the workshop to think about the topic. "Everyone suggested ideas, and we used them to start conversations and find some common ground." Feeding on the experience of others is one of the strengths of the method, and the results are indisputable. "The managers recognized that their teams could work remotely. Once we gave them the confidence and they accepted that new ways of working had to be defined, it worked. It’s this momentum that needs to be maintained for the future of the organization."

At the end of these workshops, a meeting was organized to debrief everyone about the outcome of the conversations.

3. An action plan

The next day, the teams met to launch a concrete action plan. "Based on best practices shared the previous day, we had several areas for testing. Once again, our starting point was lived experience. At the end of this new workshop, managers should be able to apply their ideas in their own teams."

It’s a question of sharing best practices in a brainstorming session, but above all identifying concrete actions, because the idea is to leave the workshop with concrete ideas to be applied in the coming weeks, and finally the debriefing.

Benefits of the Klaxoon-Lecko partnership to initiate change

The benefits of this series of workshops are numerous, both from a formal standpoint, in the way the workshops are conducted and the concrete results achieved by the teams. "The inclusive aspect is the spirit of the In’Flow methodology, because we allow time for the conversations required for co-creation. But with Klaxoon, we go one step further, because we can really include everyone in the process. Putting Klaxoon to proper use with our methodology means everyone can get involved."

Whether on site, remotely, or during sync ups, there is a need to rethink our work experience. | Klaxoon
Whether on site, remotely, or during sync ups, there is a need to rethink our work experience.

Thanks to the experience of each participant and the discussions initiated by In’Flow, Eutelsat is in a position to offer a hybrid work experience that works and suits the different teams. Which puts an end to the fruitless debate about working in the office or working from home. For Christophe Routhieau, it is also an opportunity to highlight one of the great strengths of the hybrid model, asynchronous work. "Mobilizing groups, outside the office, is what we do. With the right tools, we can be as effective remotely as if we were all together in one place. Perhaps the real topic, the real innovation lies in our ability to work asynchronously. And I think this affects lots of teams."

"Asynchronous work" could become the new trendy expression.

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