Dear Dr. Jim,
Our team used to thrive off of each other’s energy and the ability to work closely together. But now, with a hybrid workforce, I’m finding it challenging to foster that same collaboration and inspired environment. What can I do?
We see this all the time when there is a major shift of some kind. This is a major shift for many people (when they go from working in the office to working remotely). You’ll notice behavior changes, some people may have been really good at what they were doing before, but are maybe not so good now. Check in with them and ask them how it’s going.
I also recommend, at least three times a week, at an appointed time, get together online and do a check-in. Everybody goes around and first says what they are working on. You do another round of what your stuck points are, or what you’re frustrated about. And then you do a final round where everybody shares a “win” they’ve recently had. This way your employees are engaged with one another and maintain connection. At Vivo Team, we call this a D.O.S.E.—a direct, ongoing, swift, encounter.
Another thing, it’s a bit radical, but you could for 1 hour in the morning and one in the afternoon, have everyone come up on screen and work together at the same time. You can see everyone moving around and doing their thing, and you can have a little chat—just like in the office. There’s not much difference in many respects, except it’s virtual and some people may need time to get used to that. Again, it increases the connection and it can really help people in terms of stress and anxiety just to know people are there with them, even if it’s virtually.
Give it a shot—watch for changes in behavior, respond to help team members get better, and encourage those who are doing well.
– Dr. Jim
*names have been changed