While many organizations did not expect to still be in a state of influx with the “return to office” discussion, one thing is clear—hybrid workforces are here to stay for the foreseeable future. While many employees don’t miss commuting to and from the office, they do miss the human connection an office environment brings. Couple that with employees feeling Zoomed out, and it becomes difficult to find ways to connect. So what can leaders do to recreate a semblance of connection in a Zoomed out world?
Digitally Empower and Support Your Team
Utilize technology for more than just getting the job done. With so many collaboration tools at our fingertips, teams can come together and work together. Not only is it a meeting ground for everyone to come in and see what is going on, where projects stand, what their role is, but it also allows for one-to-one interactions that mimic those of talking by the water cooler.
Another great use of technology to empower and support your teams is a message board (like many found in a break room). But with the digital board, we can use it to give shout-outs and recognition, messages of support, anything to let your team know that they are not alone and that you see them.
Support Connection Personal and Professional Development
Another factor is that employees feel detached from while working from home is training and development. Many employees are feeling like without being seen, their ability to learn and grow from their coworkers and leaders within the company is diminishing—the whole out of sight, out of mind theory.
Leaders need to make sure they are offering their employees ways to grow and learn outside of their daily job through development.
If possible, send your team to a training and development course where your team can come together and interact and learn. Or try a fun virtual monthly club where your team reads the same book or article or watches a show relating to a particular business topic and then join together for a Zoom to discuss what everyone learned. No matter what it looks like, the important thing is to make sure you are offering your team a way to connect through development.
Make Your Team’s Well-Being a Top Priority
There is no better way to support human connection than to let others know you care about their well-being.
It is no secret that the work-life balance lines have been muddled since working from home became the norm. We all can feel the pressure to “always be on” since we are no longer leaving our work at the office, which is why leaders need to prioritize employee well-being. Ensure that your employees know you trust them. Offer them flexibility with their schedules to make work-life balance a priority so they can be present in all areas of their lives, remind them that just because their offices are in their living spaces does not mean they have to forego office hours. When you close your computer at the end of your workday, leave it closed.
As humans, we thrive on connection, and it is important to make sure we are finding ways to connect in new ways during these hybrid times.
“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.” –Dale Carnegie