|Over lockdown businesses I had worked with before and new ones came to me to help them connect with their team while working remotely.|
It was a pleasure to be able to facilitate the connection that is so important for teams to have. They are used to rocking up to the workplace and interreacting everyday.
Then all of a sudden it’s taken away. For some this can be very disconcerting and have an impact on their over all health particularly mental.
Others will breeze through it no problem and adapt on the fly. To maintain that connection there are some easy wins you can get to maintain that connection and keep people engaged and motivated during testing and uncertain times.
Here’s my hit list:
1. Lead by example and prioritise your wellbeing
Although you are working from home that doesn’t mean it has to be all work and no play. Try and find that cut off for each day so that you don’t have a blending of activities and you shut the office door until the next day.
Eat well, keep active and do some things you enjoy as you may well do in the office or wherever work normally is for you. Bottom line – you can’t look after your team if you’re not looking after you.
2. Be Flexible
Expecting things to be a little out of sorts to begin with is realistic and normal. Technology, childcare and other items will be a challenge for people as they settle into their new routine. You’ll need to be patient and accommodating as this process works itself out. Brain storm workable solutions together is a great way to move forwards.
3. Create achievable wins
Small achievable goals that can be knocked over easily is a great starting point to boost confidence. They set people up for more success. Both accomplishment and control over this gives people a reason to celebrate that get that dopamine hit along the way, too which is a positive thing.
4. Check in regularly
Keeping that connection going is important. Gives people that chance to raise concerns or speak out while they have your ear. Leverage technology here. Instant messaging and video conferencing software makes an effective way to collaborate and reduce isolation for many.
5. Be adaptable
Review what’s working and what’s not. Things may need to change. If the team is working well in one way but not in another then adapt on the fly – to the best situation you can. Talk to individuals to see if there are any new stressors on their radar as you may not have seen these coming and they will need to be accommodated.
6. Have FUN!!!
One of the companies I worked with had an online quiz night on a Friday after work. There was always a dress up theme and a winner was announced for the best dress up! Using technology (Houseparty & Kahoot!) everyone was connected away from their day job and chatting to colleagues in small teams and completing against each other. Use this technology to dedicate time for the fun stuff and ongoing connection. A great lead into the weekend.
7. Encourage self care
That’s where I came in. We connected on Zoom 3 times a week and for the first 15 mins we chatted, asked how everyone was and I’d do an education session on all things health that I hope were useful to the team. This was a ‘seed sowing’ type approach so that it didn’t feel like it was being rammed down their throat’s. We would then move into an different zoom room and move for 30 minutes to get the heart rate up, those endorphins pumping and cool down with a short stretching routine before they got in with their days = happy connected team.