Taking care of my team
There was shock, there was denial, there were anger and bargaining, but eventually, we started settling into working from home. It has truly become the new normal.
As we move past the initial stages and start focusing on other things, the questions begin anew. How do we keep our teams motivated? How do we lead remotely? How do we onboard new staff?
As the weeks stretched into months, and the lockdown prevented us from going anywhere, we worked and worked. I could feel the stress building up, and I could hear the fatigue in my team’s voices. I started wondering how I can make it better for them, even if just a little bit.
So, with the help of my excellent Change Manager Melanie, we arranged various team events. I have to say, I was surprised about how much fun it was.
The first event was storytelling around a campfire. Each person had to bring a tea candle, biscuits, chocolate, a toothpick, a candle, and a ghost story. We switched on our cameras and lit our little fires and told our stories. Who knew almost everyone could tell a story of a weird encounter!
We have since played 30 seconds, a guessing game, and completed some brain teasers. Two weeks ago, I worked my way through more ideas when I saw a meme, and it sparked an idea. It took some time to get it all together, but I finally shipped my team's surprise packages on Thursday. I asked the group to let me know if something happened.
The surprise package consisted of a custom cup celebrating how great each person in my team is. I put a thank you note in the mug and added some commendations sent to each person by another team member. I added some sweeties and a game of ‘never have I ever’ that we will play at our next team session.
It was so much fun putting together each special individual gift, but what was even better than that was the amazing messages I received from the team. The genuine surprise and appreciation that such a small gesture can bring were unexpected and gratifying. I realized that no matter how big or small the gesture is, your team will feel appreciated, valued, and motivated. We ended the afternoon off on a video call with everyone reading the compliments they received and sharing about their day. Not only do I know I put a smile on my team’s faces, but also, we are stronger for it.
What are you doing for your team? I would love to hear your ideas.