Teams function more effectively when they have a shared set of norms — guidelines, expectations, and standards of behaviour — that frame how they work and interact together. Establishing shared norms that can be revised over time provides consistency and clarity, facilitates more effective communication, enhances collaboration, and creates a structure that can support teams and organizations through periods of change and challenges.
As we shift permanently into a hybrid work environment, the Hybrid Work and Communication Toolkit will enable teams to establish shared norms and come to a shared understanding about how to communicate and collaborate in this new way of working. Engaging with the Toolkit will create opportunities to explicitly discuss ways of working and collaborating, and will help managers facilitate conversations and decisions with your teams.
There is no right or wrong way to use the three parts of the Toolkit. They can be put into use in any combination or order, and managers can pick and choose elements that are most useful to your team’s specific context. The tools can be used in a variety of contexts (collaborative, asynchronous, formal, informal) and delivery formats (in person, hybrid, or remote). The approach is entirely up to you depending on what suits your team and how you collaborate.
No matter your team’s purpose, size, location, or approach to hybrid work, there will be something in these materials that will be useful and can help you and your team work more effectively and efficiently in a hybrid work environment.
The Guide for Hybrid Work
The Guide for Hybrid Work will help managers with the most important considerations around where, how, and when work is done. The Guide contains key questions to help you prepare your teams for hybrid work.
The Team Norms Discussion
The Team Norms Discussion is a customizable, flexible conversation managers can have with their teams to explore and understand team members’ work styles and generate, define, and/or reinforce desired team norms. Review how to approach the Team Norms Discussion. Use the editable PowerPoint slide template when developing a Team Norms Discussion for your team.
The Team Norms Checklist
The Team Norms Checklist is a customizable document to help managers document and reinforce team norms. The customizable Team Norms Checklist template provides examples and an ideas bank that you can draw from when developing your unique Team Norms Checklists.
Apply the Toolkit to your unique setting
We encourage you to explore the opportunities these tools offer, even if your team has a unique arrangement or constraints. These tools have something to offer to all teams.
+ Using the Toolkit in a variety of work contexts
Your team may not look like other teams at FoM. For example, your team may have a mix of employees from UBC and other institutions, or it may be a distributed team with members in completely different work locations or cities. While the requirements for on-site work may vary across employers, and your team members’ locations will influence considerations for where and how you work most effectively, these materials can still help your team establish norms and understanding that will be valuable.
+ Customize your approach to the Toolkit
Different approaches to using the toolkit with your team:
- Collaboratively: Complete the Team Norms Discussion and Checklist as a team.
- Asynchronously: Complete the Team Norms Discussion as a team, but each team member completes their own Checklist. Meet to compare and create a consolidated team Checklist.
- Formally: Draft a Checklist for your team. Create time to address any questions or concerns.
- Informally: Use the Team Norms Discussion and/or the Checklist as informal tools to support a more general team conversation.
+ Using the Toolkit in more complex team structures
The teams you work closely with may not be ready to take on this work at the same time. You do not need to wait on others before tackling these discussions with your team. Consider how to get started, and use an iterative approach to adjust to your collaborators’ approaches.
- Cascade: The Team Norms Discussion is held with all managers, and each manager completes the Checklist with their direct reports. The managers compare and consolidate Checklists to facilitate alignment across teams.
- Funnel up: Each manager conducts the Team Norms Discussion and completes the Checklist with their team. All the managers compare and consolidate the Checklists to facilitate alignment across teams.
- Collaborative: Connect with managers of teams your team works closely with and conduct a shared Team Norms Discussion and/or develop a shared Checklist.
Implementation Support for the Toolkit
We are here to support you in understanding and engaging with the Toolkit in the way that best suits your team. The FoM Organizational Development Team is offering options for 1:1 support and workshops for managers.
Please email the FoM Organizational Development team at FoM.OrgDev@ubc.ca with any questions that you may have or to arrange a 30-minute support session.
Workshops for Managers
We offer periodic one-hour workshops where managers can familiarize themselves with the Toolkit and work through difficult questions and issues they may encounter.
At this time, there are no workshops scheduled. Please complete the Workshop Request Form to be added to the notification list once a new workshop date is planned.
We are happy to offer a workshop specific to your department/unit/team needs. For example, this may be particularly useful if you have several managers that you would like to bring together prior to having them complete the Toolkit with their respective teams.
To request a workshop, please complete the Workshop Request Form.
Whether your team is newly formed or has worked together for some time, taking the time to discuss and develop a set of shared norms is vital to building a team that thrives.
Teams that engage with the Toolkit are eligible to enter a draw to win a lunch sponsored by the Faculty of Medicine. Draws will be conducted monthly from November 2023 to June 2024.
- Submission forms should be completed and submitted by the manager.
- Only one submission per team.
- Any team that does not have their name drawn will move onto the next months’ draw.
- The budget for the prize draw will be $25/person.
- Each month the winning team will be sent an email confirmation authorizing the team lunch with further directions.
To enter the draw, please complete the Toolkit Challenge Submission Form.