Inclusive Culture in a Hybrid Environment
Hybrid work environments are here to stay. But how can we adjust to the new team dynamics that result from mixing remote and in-person work?
At the March ‘23 American Banker’s Association (ABA) Washington Summit, we presented a unique and dynamic Interactive Theater session to help teams address hybrid workplace challenges through the portrayal of a workplace scenario familiar to many organizations.
The scene serves as a starting point for an interactive discussion on creating an inclusive culture as we navigate a new way of working. IBIS’s Interactive Theater is an insightful and powerful modality to help individuals start to recognize how their behavior affects others– and learn to develop actions that encourage inclusion.
In this special Women and Allies Forum, the ABA chose to highlight the challenges of being a caregiver at work. In our scene, actor Jenny Mollet played Ann, an employee who is pursuing a promotion after years of diligent remote work. Her supervisor, Trevor, played by Michael Tow, assumed that the promotion would go to someone with a different leadership style and in-person work format. They go on to have a conversation that addresses a range of diversity issues: gender, leadership styles, work location and more.
As part of the conversation, Ann tells Trevor, “I am fully able to commit to the requirements of the role, Trevor.” He responds: “But, not by working remotely, Ann.” She says, “Especially working hybrid, and now remotely. That’s how I’ve been able to manage current projects, work full time and still take care of my kid.”
“Well, yes,” says Trevor, “but it also means that you would not available when things pop up on-site, which they do all the time for our Dallas-based portfolios.”
“In fact,” replies Ann, “most of the team works remotely, or hybrid, and it hasn’t been a problem.”
As these two navigate a challenging conversation, the audience is given the opportunity to ask questions, learn new details, and consider their own challenges balancing their caregiving responsibilities at home with business priorities in the workplace. As always, our goal is to help learners understand the difference between intention and impact when they interact with others in the workplace.
We hope attendees walk away with deeper awareness, self-reflection, and ultimately, equipped with enough tools for action to make change in their own lives.