Yesterday I talked about planning for the holidays, and how that has to happen not only for yourself, but for your employees. As we focus on the last few months how are you staying connected to your team?
You know it was easy to focus on everyone in March, April, and May. We assumed this working from home stuff was going to end by then. But when we hit July, we realized it was going to continue. We settled into it. Now, instead of purposeful team building and connection, most leaders are simply pushing forward into the business. The connectivity has been lost.
So think about rebuilding the connection now, and then as you move through the holidays. In the spirit of being empathetic to your team, send each of them a gift card for lunch, or a pizza for the family if they are doing virtual learning with their kids. Maybe they can join you for a Zoom lunch and everyone can reconnect. (Note: I’m not talking about asking them to stay after hours to spend even more time in front of the computer. No one wants that.)
Maybe they can’t do that because of the kids, and you need to see that for what it is. Still send the food, still appreciate them. Find another way that works for everyone to connect, like asking them to share photos of their kids or pets or selves for Halloween, and you do the same.
For Thanksgiving or Christmas, you can’t do the typical potlucks or parties. But you can ask everyone to share their favorite recipe for a Thanksgiving dish as a virtual potluck. Maybe a little note about why it’s their favorite so you get to know them as well. If you have the time for it, you could have everyone send a recipe to you. You make it, then do taste testing in your family to see what everyone likes the best, and then the top voted dish wins a gift card. Something fun, simple, a contest, etc.
If you normally have a Christmas party, maybe you send out drink recipes and a little box of ingredients so they can make the drinks and join you in an afternoon holiday celebration. Instead of drink mixes, you could send holiday decor, a new technology support item like a headset or a lift for their desks, something that shows your appreciation but is also work-related and appropriate.
The point is this. Think outside of the box. Be creative. What did you do in the past? How can you do something similar but do it virtually and do it in a way that SUPPORTS your team; that shows you know them, you care about them, and you are still there supporting them. Don’t forget to ask them what they want to do too!
You planned your holiday schedule out yesterday. Go add 1 or 2 team holiday events to your schedule now as well. Have fun! Show you care!