Connect: Get creative with your team rhythm
Finding your team rhythm is about designing, experimenting and committing to the weekly and monthly practices that will get your team talking and working well together. For some organisations we work with this is a ‘fortnightly all-in’ meeting for all employees and weekly meetings for core teams. As you boost up your workforce into the festive season, finding ways to regularly connect (without adding unnecessary meetups) will really help to bring your groups together. Get creative – make your rhythm simple to follow, engaging and all about giving your people the space to ask questions, contribute and shine. Short, sweet and relevant are the keys to success.
Know your team
We are all unique and this applies to what makes work really great for each of us. This has never been truer than in 2020. Sure, we’ve had a lot of shared lessons, but it’s also been unique for each of us. Take a moment to quickly check in with all of your team members to find out how ‘the year that was’ has been for them.
Even in a normal year, the festive season brings up different feelings for everyone. While it can be the highlight of the year for some, it can also be an anxiety-provoking time for others. Try to take a quick inventory across your team to think about what this time of year might mean for your different team members, and especially what it means after the experience of 2020. So many people are still unable to visit their families due to COVID, more than ever the festive season might be tough for lots of people.
Say ‘thank you’
Is it a tea or coffee at morning tea or the occasional ice-cream in the afternoon? Is it a simple ‘Thanks’ at the end of a big day or week? You may well find that there could be something small you do each week that makes a huge cumulative positive impact on your team or can be used as a pick me up when your colleague is having a tough day. In the words of Tony Hsieh, visionary co-founder of Zappos, “You can’t deliver good services from unhappy employees”.
Appreciating every person and being grateful is where it starts.
Ask big questions and listen
Sofia has been on the team for five years. Factual? Yes. Interesting? Moderately. But what’s really going on in her life right now?
Respecting and connecting deeply with your team is about creating the space to learn about what really makes them tick. Their ‘real story’. How they see themselves.
This is the stuff you will learn over time as you build trust and show interest. You might find Sofia is a pro motorbike rider. Or a wine collector. Getting to know the full person will add to the richness of the relationship and help you understand her better.
This often then extends to finding out about the important players in their life. Friends? Partner? Kids?Pets? Who do they go home to? Who do they like to spend time with? Who gives them energy? This is not about prying into a person’s personal life, rather it’s about knowing more about their story.
A quick tip: It’s super easy to understand a person’s real story. Show (genuine) interest. Listen. Ask a few thoughtful questions. No other ‘hacks’ or ‘tricks’ required.
Make work festive
It’s easy to underestimate the significant positive impact that fun, joy and laughter can have on work. It increases creativity, openness and your customers and clients will want to pick up the phone to visit or speak to you. This attitude centres around the notion that you can do serious work, without taking yourself to seriously.
2020 has been full of emotions and one that many of us are now craving is to relax, laugh and have a good time. When tempers get high and things get busy as they will, try to find small ways that you can bring festivity and joy into your team. For some it’s sending GIFFS around the office or for others it is taking that extra 5 minutes in the meeting to tell a joke – whatever your humour – make the space to laugh and be festive together.
Build up your team and you will build up your business
If you are a leader, it’s likely that 2020 has been a huge year for you as well. You are probably tired and feeling more like a long siesta than entering a busy season in 2021. We hear you and please know that you’re not alone. If you’re tired and struggling, give yourself some credit. This year has been big and you’ve made it!
All of these little things are about creating a work environment and culture in which your people want to turn up to every day and believe they are part of something bigger than themselves. Don’t underestimate the importance of taking a moment to relax, breathe and have a good laugh together. This year, more than ever, wellbeing is at the front of everyone’s minds and as a team you have the opportunity to make this festive season great for each other – so start building up your team, because this is what ultimately fuels your business.