While the last year has impacted businesses and individuals in a million ways, there’s something in the undercurrent we’re all starting to realize – the pandemic has helped us get back to seeing people as people. They’re not numbers. They’re not cogs. They’re individuals with their own motivations, successes, challenges, strengths, weaknesses and needs. As we get to whatever our new normal is going to be, treating those people as individuals is more important to employee engagement, retention and the bottom line than ever. So how do you help everyone be their best? Here are four ways to get started:
The Thank You: In the fast-paced world of business, we sometimes forget to say thank you to our managers, teams, employees and partners. Sure, they are doing the work you’re paying them to do, but if you show your appreciation, chances are that they’ll do that job even better. When was the last time you took someone to a (safe) lunch not for a business meeting, but just as a genuine thank you? When was the last time you thanked someone openly in a meeting for something great they did? Taking the time to say thank you makes a big difference.
The Note: While a verbal thank you is awesome, taking the time to create a handwritten thank you note can go even further. Write it yourself – don’t have your assistant do it – and call out the specific things you are thankful for. A simple “thank you for all you do” is great, but it gets old quickly. Sometime like, “thank you for the work you did to make our campaign a success” is much stronger and, if you can call out specific tasks that your team member did, that’s even better.
The Team Gathering: Depending on your individual company, you might not be ready to have a company party – and your team members could be spread around the world – but what can you do to get them together for something more than a meeting? Could you or your managers host small group parties or get everyone together for a happy hour, even on Zoom? Many companies have been doing this throughout the pandemic, but as we return to a more regular working environment, it’s important not to lose out on the togetherness our teams have built while we were apart.
The Conversations: This often goes unnoticed, but as we see more of each other, take time to truly talk to people. How are they doing? How is their work going? How is their family? How are they doing with coming back to work? Is there anything the company can do to make the new normal feel, well, normal? The conversation between leadership and employees is a three-way success story – you’ll get to know your team members better, they might give you some great ideas for improving the workplace and they’ll appreciate that you took the time to have a real conversation that’s not just about the next project.
If you need more ways to connect with your team or your culture is struggling post pandemic, we can help. Find your local Growth Coach at https://www.thegrowthcoach.com/find-a-coach.