Team Leaders - It's time to lead!

As a result of COVID-19, we find ourselves working from home. For some, this is new territory. A number of Clients I’ve been speaking to have been wondering how they can continue to keep their employees engaged and help them to feel like they’re still a part of the team. There’s no one answer, in fact, there are a number of things you could do to ensure your team remain engaged and connected.
 
The main and perhaps most powerful thing here is to make your team feel valued and remind them that they’re still a crucial part of your team and the higher purpose of the business. Your team are more likely to remain engaged, focused and committed if they know they’re receiving the same energy back from their employer.
 
Check in on your team members over the phone or a video call to find out how they’re getting on, how they’re feeling and whether they need any support from you at the moment.
 
Continuously share the business vision, this is a really positive conversation with your team and allows them to focus on the long terms goals you mutually share and the success they’ll see from working hard and focusing during this period.
 
Link your employees’ roles to a higher purpose – use this time to figure out what really motivates them and why they’re working – what is it they’re looking to achieve? What’s in it for them? We have some really useful exercises that you might want to use for this. Here, you could get them to create their “WHY” which is a really positive exercise that would be useful to both them and you as their Manager. Then, remind them to revisit their “WHY” daily.
 
Share positive business news. In a time where there’s a lot of negativity out there, share positive news with your team, even the smallest business achievements will not only bring positivity but will reassure the team that your business is still doing well.
 
Give recognition. We do this through “Feedback Friday” and share a couple of things that each team member has achieved throughout the week that didn’t go unnoticed and thank them for the value they’ve added during the week. You can tie in your teams’ pain points here – the tasks that they’re finding more difficult to do in the current climate and then thank them for their efforts.
 
Keep your team informed and offer reassurance, you’re likely to be the person they’re looking to right now. Sharing even the seemingly trivial updates may give your team the reassurance they need.
 
Be conscious of how you communicate with your team and use positive, togetherness language such as “we”, “one team”, “united”, “we can do this”, “we have done this before”, “we have seen success by…”
 
Here are a few fun things that our team are currently using that you may find useful when looking at how you can keep employee engagement and boost morale:
 

  • Monday Morning Catch Up – set your intentions for the week and what you plan to achieve as individuals and also as a team.
     
  • Friday Successes of the Week – at 4pm on a Friday, we hop on a Zoom call and share the successes we’ve seen in the week, big and small. You can use it to share recognition and give kudos to your team and colleagues. We’ll also have a virtual drink together and chat about how we plan to spend our weekend, giving each other suggestions on what we’ve found useful and fun.
     
  • Themed Team Meetings – if you’re catching up with your team over a video call, try doing them with different themes! Give everyone a day or twos notice to get their outfit (and props if you’re committed enough!) together. It’s a really small, simple thing that gives you a great boost.
     
  • Kahoot Quiz – Kahoot is a great interactive platform for having some fun and doing a quiz with colleagues. You can include work and non-work related rounds and battle it out to be crowned champion!
     
  • Share Tips – one way to really build a collaborative environment and let your team know that you’re working through it with them is to share tips that you’ve found useful and have helped you to adapt to the current climate. If you have a shared platform that you communicate through, start a new section in there so your team can continuously add new tips and discoveries to it that others can access.
     
  • Art – you can be as creative with this as you like! Draw pictures of each other (caricatures), build something out of household items or create something that you think best describes you / your business.
     
  • Book Club – take it in turns to choose a book and you can each read it and share your thoughts, or you could all read different books and share what you’ve learnt or enjoyed about it in your Friday catch up calls. These could be fiction or non-fiction books.
     
  • Home Working Bingo – create bingo cards (and be as inventive as you like!), first to get bingo wins.
     
  • Drop in Hour – if you’re a Manager and have found yourself busier whilst working from home and need that focused working time without distractions, you could set ‘drop in hours’. Notify your team of when they’re running, and they’ll know these are the times that they can send you a Zoom video invitation or give you a call to discuss something they need your support with.
     
  • Play online games! House Party is a popular app. We also like skribble.io which has had us all laughing a lot.
     
  • Host a Virtual Talent Show – you can even make it {Company Name}’s Got Talent edition.
     
  • “Your Turn to Host” – take it in turns to host a workshop or activity each week. If it’s your turn, you could host a yoga class, mini workout class, dance class, cooking class, how to juggle class… the list goes on!

 
The truth is, there are so many ways to boost morale, encourage conversation and keep your employees onboard. You can be as creative as you like and there are so many simple resources out there that will help you. Perhaps your colleagues have already got some ideas, include them and I’m sure you’ll all find yourselves in a much better mood.
 

Zoe Southwell, Client Development Manager at BlockRecruit

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