For the past two years, we’ve been leading teams via Zoom – watching kids and pets come and go in the background. And now we’re going back to the office – whether full-time or in some “hybrid” configuration.
But what about that personal connection we forged through these turbulent COVID times?
It won’t happen in quite the same way, but you can impose a bit of intentionality in sustaining those personal connections with your team:
- Walk through the office/plant/floor and stop for a quick chat if they seem amenable to doing so at that time. (You’ll get a sense about timing….some people are more productive in the morning vs. the afternoon and vice versa).
- Start with an “attitude of gratitude” in your morning huddles. Share what you are thankful for or thank someone on the team.
- Start with a team icebreaker before every meeting.
- Host a “Did You Know?” brown bag lunch where team members can share a skill/craft/idea that is completely unrelated to the team!
- Bring a team member a cup of coffee/favorite beverage and have a quick one-on-one chat.
- Have a walk meeting to reconnect or fuel deeper conversation. Terri Sjodin, one of my absolutely brilliant speaker colleagues says: “Instead of an indoor office meeting or virtual call, why not step outside and change the view? Invite somebody you want to visit with to meet you for a beach walk, nature walk, power walk, whatever.”
- And the list goes on!
One final idea that may be a little controversial: Should you follow your people on social media?
Chris Tuff, the Millenial Whisperer says, “Absolutely! Consider it to be a ‘fly-by’ so that you can take a vested interest in their lives. And if you’re concerned about them looking into your account, set up a separate account that follows your employees.” The idea here is not that you are stalking them, but you can then strike up casual conversations while you are on your walk, grabbing a cup of coffee, or serendipitously bumping into them in the hallway (or on Slack!).