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10 Things You Can Do To Keep Your Team Connected During A Pandemic

The remote transformation was happening before the pandemic, but it was dramatically accelerated over the last year. Not only are we confronting the challenge of remote work, we are doing so at a time when our personal and social lives are flipped upside down, and work-life balance is an ever-retreating aspiration.

Help Your Company Culture Thrive In These Unprecedented Times

The remote transformation was happening before the pandemic, but it was dramatically accelerated over the last year. Not only are we confronting the challenge of remote work, we are doing so at a time when our personal and social lives are flipped upside down, and work-life balance is an ever-retreating aspiration.

Although some people may feel they thrive in a remote environment, it is still important to keep your team connected — especially when normal human interaction is becoming a special occasion.

How do you do that? We’ve got you covered. Check out 10 easy ways to help your team stay connected.

1. Meme of the Week

It seems the newest form of communication and camaraderie is through our love of memes. Why not incorporate this cultural touchstone into your workplace? Setting up a day where you’re able to share your favourite meme in either a designated “meme” slack channel, or simply voting on the best meme in your department to share to the entire company can be a nice light hearted way to share in a laugh. Let’s face it, your team is already sharing their favorite anyway. Now the company can get it in on the fun.

2. Birthday Shout-Outs!

Ok, there’s always that one person who doesn’t want you to know it’s their birthday, but for the rest of us, a little ‘happy birthday’ sure doesn’t hurt. Sharing birthday shout-outs monthly is a great way to connect your team. Plus, it gives members of your team something to share, even if it’s as simple as their birthday month.

3. Fun Fact Friday

TGIF! Everyone is ready to finish up and start their weekend, but what better way to kick off the weekend than with a fun fact about a member of the team? Having some simple questions or even game of “guess who” can be a fun and interactive way to get to know your team even better.

Can you guess which member of the sales team climbed MT. Everest? Which executive is a charter member of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan club?

Who knows what you’ll discover on fun Fact Fridays. 

4. Celebrations of Success

Celebrating even the smallest wins across the organization can really help reignite your team’s fire and get everyone involved in the work they do everyday. With 79% of US employees leaving their jobs feeling under-appreciated, this small effort can really help individuals and teams stay connected in this new normal.

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5. Water Cooler Meet and Greet Over Zoom

For some this can sound like just another zoom meeting to attend but for others this is something to look forward to every day. Having time set aside for a 15-min “coffee break” gives your team the chance to hang out and brag about their weekend, share something funny or talk about the dog or the kids. These micro-interactions are missing from our days with everyone remote working. Having time allotted that your employees know is ‘company approved’ can really help with employee connection, creating a more positive and inclusive work day.

6. The Buddy System

Who doesn’t want to go back to kindergarten? Nap time anyone? Welcome to the new corporate kindergarten where work buddies are encouraged! Having a rotational work buddy can help build new relationships across different departments and who doesn’t want more friends? We all have that favourite colleague we can shoot ideas off of or share a funny story with but a rotational work buddy is a great way to push employees to steps outside of their typical comfort zone, creating more interconnected work relationships  across the organization.  

7. Video ON During Meetings

Now that Zoom and other video conferencing platforms have makeup and beard filters you no longer have any excuse not to turn on your video and let the team see your wonderful face. Without social cues and body language it can be quite easy to be misinterpreted. Having your video on can help teammates to learn your facial expressions and better understand you. Some friendly “you had your video on” shout-outs at the end of every meeting is a great way to encourage your team to start using video in all your meetings.

8. Pandemic Skill Share Contest

A pandemic skill-share contest is a fun way to show off that newly learned hobby, trick or just plain weird habit you picked up during the pandemic. It also helps team members know what the heck you’re up too when you’re not working.

9. Shout-Out Wednesdays

Wednesday–the dreaded humpday. What better way to keep your team motivated and feeling good about themselves than by having a slack channel or a company submission thread where everyone can share shout-outs big and small. Not only does this promote positive team feedback but it encourages everyone to look around and see what their teammates are doing. And really, who doesn’t love a good shout-out?

10. Stretch and Reset

Sometimes you just need a little nudge. Setting up reminders for your team to take a moment together to stretch, drink some water and mentally reset can help you feel connected, even when you’re apart. Knowing your team is supporting you and participating in the same activity can help you maintain healthy habits. It’s a great way to remind everyone that they are not alone and that we all need a little break now and then.

Bonus - Participation Awards!

Do you have a team member that is nervous to participate in company activities? Does it seem like the same few people speaking up in every meeting? Try out a participation award. Showing your employees that participation is something that is encouraged, accepted and acknowledged can help push them to test their boundaries and get more involved. We all like to receive awards and getting noticed for something we might not feel we’re good at encourages us to keep trying. 

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