After months out of the office due to COVID-19, businesses are trying to reconnect their teams and maintain relationships after much time out of the office.
We asked eight thought leaders how they are going about rekindling their team’s workflow now that places are re-opening.
Their answers will inspire you to do the same.
Feel Out the New Normal
As eager as everyone will be to get back into the office and get back into the swing of things, it is imperative that businesses take a few days to breathe and feel out the new normal. As a team, when you enter the office again, take the first few days to just sit and talk. Allow space for people to flush out their feelings, frustrations or any other concerns they might have about coming back to work. Once that is done, allow your team time to bond and reconnect. There shouldn’t be a huge rush straight back into work.
Meet With Everyone One-on-One
Even the most effective team is only as strong as its members. That’s why one of the most important things you can do to reconnect your team after this period of isolation is to check in with everyone individually. Talk to everyone and address any concerns about their health (mental or otherwise), as well as the process of returning to work. Meeting with your team is also a great way of catching up with them and rebuilding relationships.
After businesses have reopened and people are allowed to work in the office again, you may organize activities that can help reconnect your team after months of being away from each other. Just make sure that in the execution of these activities, the proper physical distancing would continue to be observed and everyone will be wearing their facemasks to avoid possible contraction of the virus.
Lewis Keegan, SkillScouter.com
Embrace the Change
Understand that things have changed for both yourself and your team, whether you like it or not. The way that you react and lead in this time will bring your team closer together or push them farther apart. Be sure that you are promoting an open environment where everyone is free to speak their mind and how they are feeling in private or in meetings. With all of the changes and differences, some people are going to feel uncomfortable and it is important that they feel safe enough to talk about it free of judgement.
Be Observant of Feelings
One of the most important ways to connect with people is to listen to them, and reflect back what you heard so they know you are listening. Schedule meetings to make sure your staff has what they need to get going, because things may have changed with the way you do business. Needless to say, the world has changed, people have varied feelings and emotions and will need time to adjust to being back to work when things are different in their lives. When people know you care, and they feel safe, they will be much more motivated to get back to work.
Lynell Ross, Zivadream
The sudden shift to telecommuting and mandated social distancing has thrown a wrench in peoples’ fitness routines. Set a company fitness goal together and engage in weekly group activities together to help achieve those fitness goals. You can start running groups, office yoga sessions, after-work hikes, train for a marathon, or even join a recreational sports team.
Create a Vision Statement
My advice for how you may reconnect with your team after reopening your business is take some time to collectively discuss creating a vision statement for your business. A vision statement is not the same concept as a mission statement. Mission statements state what the business is/does and what they have to offer today. A vision statement, however, seeks what the business hopes to become and aspires to accomplish on an ongoing basis. Time spent away will allow your team to return with fresh ideas and thoughts about your business can act as a catalyst for change. Start by crafting a vision statement that is transparent and inclusive to one and all.
Retreat From the Office
Depending on the size of your staff, and making sure you are following social distancing guidelines, a team retreat is a great idea to reconnect. It could be a day trip to the lake or even an overnight campout –just something away from the stress of the office. Before rushing back into work, employees need a chance to debrief and feel comfortable around one another.