Connection is very different for all of us right now. No longer can we see our friends and extended family over a meal or drink at the bar, we can’t hug, we can’t even shake hands. Our connection has become about video calls, text messages and waving from a safe six feet distance.
Yet we all know connection is more important than ever, and as leaders connecting with our employees has become particularly hard as we settle in to working from home (WFH) life.
We have shared tips on WFH for employees and managers and how to create certainty but what about connection? What can leaders do to connect their teams right now? Here are three ways that we think will get you off to a good start:
Every time a new member joins the wattsnext Group team, I spend at least an hour with that individual sharing my life journey that led me to creating the business they have chosen to join. The feedback I get from this session that I deliver in their first week of starting is always amazing!
Our story as leaders is one of the most valuable tools we can share with our teams. Taking time amongst the workflow meetings, to share your story of why you started your business, or why you chose this career or industry and what the journey was to get you to here is more powerful than you can imagine. Connect your team to the place they chose to work for and why what you do for the world is so important.
I must admit that I have never felt less productive in my life! Yes I have a lot to juggle with homeschooling 3 children and feeding them and cleaning up for them constantly (well it feels like it never stops), whilst I try to work and get some exercise in. But I still feel that no matter how my day goes, I should be doing more now that we have ‘so much time on our hands’. I don’t have to spend time commuting or going out so why can’t I get more done? Because this is a crazy weird time that no one understands or is used to.
A conversation with your team about what productive and effective looks like right now (especially for those who have kids at home too) will go a long way in reducing any anxiety your employees may be having and connect with them on a human level. How can we possibly perform like we did? So what does good performance look like right now? Share the new expectations!
Money is tight for everyone and there may not be much left over to be philanthropic right now but if there is a way that your team could help a cause, a family, or someone in need during this time, you will be creating a team connection that will stick well beyond Covid-19.
Whether it be offering some of your services or products for free, donating work time to help a neighbor with buying groceries or making masks (if you are a creative bunch), helping others connects us all and we all need a little help right now.
What I find most interesting about this time is that we are ALL going through it. Everyone in the world, no matter where you are, how much money you have or what your background is. That alone has created a global connection which I really appreciate.
What we need to do as leaders right now is be human and connect with our people on a human level. I hope these ideas may help you to create further connection with your team.
Keep healthy and keep connected (safely).
The wattsnext team and I here to support you. Please reach out anytime.
Sel (Sue-Ellen) Watts
Founder wattsnext Group