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Navigating the Expectation Sandwich: A Balancing Act for Leadership

Updated: Nov 19, 2023

In the evolving landscape of hybrid work, leaders find themselves in a unique and challenging position. Leaders are the linchpin connecting employees to the broader company culture, yet they face the daunting task of reconciling the expectations of their teams with the performance demands of senior leadership. This delicate balancing act has given rise to what's being termed the 'Expectation Sandwich.'

Question 1: How can leaders effectively bridge the gap between the expectations of their employees and the performance metrics set by senior leaders?

Question 2: What strategies can organizations implement to support managers in developing the necessary skills to thrive in this dual role?

Possible Solutions:

Empower with Training: Organizations must invest in comprehensive training programs that equip managers with the skills to navigate the complexities of hybrid work environments. This includes conflict resolution, effective communication, and digital proficiency.

Clarify Priorities: Companies should clearly define and communicate managerial priorities, ensuring that managers understand how to allocate their time and resources effectively between meeting leadership expectations and supporting their teams.

Redesign Leadership Roles: It may be time to rethink the traditional role of a leader. This could involve redistributing certain responsibilities to allow leaders to focus more on team development and less on administrative tasks.

Foster Open Dialogue: Encourage a culture of transparency where leaders can discuss their challenges with senior leaders, seeking solutions that align with both employee well-being and company objectives.

Implement Support Systems: Create peer networks and mentoring opportunities where leaders can share best practices and learn from each other's experiences.

Recognize and Reward: Acknowledge the critical role leaders play in the hybrid work model and reward their efforts in maintaining a cohesive company culture and meeting business goals.

By addressing these questions and implementing these solutions, organizations can help leaders navigate their roles more effectively, ensuring that both employee satisfaction and company performance are optimized.


Full article 9 trends that will shape work …located at

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An image illustrating leaders tackling hybrid work leadership challenges, with a diverse team collaborating both in-person and virtually.


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