Enhancing workplace connections in a Pandemic

 It is no secret that we are living in a different world right now and we may feel disconnected from one another. These disconnections can come in many forms, whether it is in the workplace, among friends and family, or just feeling the need to go out and be social again. As we continue to navigate this evolving pandemic, it is critical to stay connected and transparent, especially in the workplace. Remember, everyone’s lives are shifting right now and as leaders it is important that we are communicating, reaching out, and offering support to our team. The tips below were created to be simple for anyone to implement to enhance connectedness in the workplace. Have fun with this and challenge your Executives and Managers to also come up with ideas to make sure your teams are staying connected! You can also put these ideas into practice in your personal life with friends and family. There is no wrong way to stay connected right now, just do it and enjoy!

  • Pick up the phone and check in with your team. A personalized phone call can go a long way and you can even split all your employees between management. If you have a large team you can use an app such as Slybroadcast and send weekly messages and updates. 
  • Technology provides so many ways to stay connected. A few great apps include:
    • The Marco Polo app. This is a great way to exchange fun videos with individuals or groups.
    • The Houseparty app. Houseparty is a live video chat that is much more casual than Zoom, and you can have a video call with up to eight people. Your friends can even see when you are “In the House” and in seconds jump on to talk with you. 
  • Go back to a personal handwritten note, as this can be a meaningful surprise, especially when mailed.  
  • Host a weekly or bi-weekly Zoom meeting by creating themes for each week to keep your team engaged, connected, and excited. As a leader you can host a few social events which could include:
    • Recreating those morning coffee breaks 
    • Guest appearances;
      • Learning a new culinary plate from a Chef
    • Happy Hour
    • Host a Trivia Night for some friendly competition
    • Host a yoga or meditation session
  • Set up a drive thru where your employees can pick up a homemade family meal or essential household items. This will allow you to not only see your team, but potentially see their family, share a quick chat, and keep the lines of communication open – letting them know that you are there for them. 
  • Many of your team members may also have children. Explore if someone within your group is passionate about teaching; they could host tutoring sessions for a group – this could also allow for children to have more social interaction during this time and give the parents a much-needed break.

What about for those of us that are still going into the office, or have employees that are working onsite? 

  • Walk around your workplace so you can truly get to know your team. Check in with them to see how they are, ask them if they need anything, what else can we do to help? Get to know them on a personal level, too. What is their WHY for being there? 
  • Continue to show gratitude and treat your employees that are working extremely hard under these ever changing circumstances. This can be as simple as buying them coffee or ice cream as the weather is heating up, or just giving them an extra long break to get some fresh air.
  • Make sure your team is properly trained for what has changed. Make sure they feel safe in their work environment and are provided with the tools to keep them successful and safe. 

As companies, we can also create a database, or some type of social media tool that each team member can be added to. Within this network you can offer many different outreach programs to keep them engaged on a personal level. This is the part that makes all of this so cool! As humans we want to get to know those around us; so take advantage of this opportunity now to show them YOU, while also getting to know them!  

  • Create learning opportunities where you can share what you are passionate about, share hobbies, and tips to colleagues: 
    • Learn how to knit from a colleague.
    • The weather is beautiful, someone may give gardening tips.
    • Learn how to give yourself the best manicure while salons are closed.
    • Need help grooming your pet? Your team members might have tips. 
    • Have a favorite cocktail? Share your favorite at home cocktail & mocktails for everyone to enjoy!
    • Your company can also host training/learning resources within your industry and teach new skills. 
  • Mental Health Resources. Given the challenges of this time, it is important that each of us take a step back, find our balance, and focus on our health and wellbeing. Put together a guide to inspire self-care, this guide could include:
    • Webinars and chat services focused on health and wellness related topics such as:
      • Telehealth, managing your emotional and physical health, and support for parents. 
  • Volunteer Opportunities. Many cities need volunteers to assist with Covid-19 outreach. For example, the state of California has launched “Californians For All” where you can volunteer within your community by:
    • Handing out meals or assisting in food banks
    • Online Tutoring
    • Checking on neighbors that could use assistance with groceries and essential items
  • Covid-19 Updates. Share the latest updates surrounding your community and work location. 

I hope each of you take the opportunity to show compassion and empathy to your employees through these actions. Remember, many of your employees are stressed, overwhelmed, struggling financially, potentially sick, and taking care of others unexpectedly. Your teams need to know that they have your support and someone to turn to. Make sure your company is doing the right thing and showing your team that we are in this together! It’s About the Details is a Human Resources Consulting Team that offers support and resources to businesses and individuals. If you need help implementing any of these practices or need assistance on any of your People relations, Training, Service, or just need impartial advice, please visit our website at www.itsaboutthedetails.com or email [email protected].

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