As workers return to the workplace in dribs and drabs, some feel a bit disoriented.
Gone are the days of working at the kitchen table or taking the dog for a walk in between Zoom calls. Gone are the days of wearing slippers all day or doing the laundry while working.
In addition, many workers claim they've lost that "human" connection, despite working via Zoom or other online channels. Even when they return to the office, people separate into their own spaces and only interact online.
Liz Fosslien has an interesting take on Harvard Business Review: That it's time to "re-onboard" everyone.
Fosslien says that it's important to be more intentional about bringing teams back together. She suggests leaders need to:
1. Make an emotional connection through random 30-minute, one-on-one meetings between members. Start in-person meetings with lighthearted prompts ("What food is underrated?") and let each person talk about a personal highlight for the week.
2. Recognize unique contributions. Encourage people to use the special talents or gifts they have and then share how those talents lead to great ideas.
3. Set short-term goals for immediate success. Let people share successes for attainable 30-day goals. This helps re-establish confidence and motivation.
4. Set clear expectations. How will team members working remotely still have a voice? How will progress be tracked? How will feedback be offered?
5. Celebrate. Offer recognition for those who meet the team values. Let team members recognize one another or win prizes for meeting goals or helping others.
While none of these suggestions are earth-shattering, they are important. That's because many of us feel out of sorts while trying to navigate a return to "normal" and any support from leadership will be critical during this transition.