As some of you may recall, we did a webinar recently entitled ‘Out of Sight, Out of Mind – No! Your team is still there, and they need you.’ At the time, we were pretty much at the beginning of the ‘we are forced to work remotely so what are we going to do about it?’ stage of this COVID – 19 Pandemic.
The original intent of our webinar was to support our leader community in not only managing their teams from a distance, but also to engage them amid this seemingly ‘newest normal.’
We shared best practices on how to continue to run the ship from afar through a different twist on meeting themes for each day of the week. For example…instead of just holding a Monday Morning Meeting, what if we tweaked it to be something like ‘Motivating Mondays’? There are no shortages of inspirational quotes, memes and video challenges out there to be highlighted as the week starts. Then there are ‘Take a breath Tuesdays,’ an idea that encourages something calming to focus on to get through the remainder of the week. And what about ‘Where’s the team Wednesdays’ and then ‘Thankful Thursdays.’ Or ‘Freaky Fridays,’ a day to switch a couple of roles so folks temporarily walk in each other’s shoes (ok figuratively, not literally!). You get the point.
Our idea – maybe not a novel one, but perhaps a timely one – Let’s encourage our communities to think outside the box during this time of uncertainty and potential downtime. Let’s build on the all-important cornerstone of productive remote work through consistent communications. Communication is always important – but right now – in this environment – it is essential. But wait, what we began to realize was that we were opening a real ‘can of words.’
The webinar unleashed the very creativity that we were hoping to help managers tap into! We received a barrage of ideas about how people were continuing to take this forward. What about ‘Me-Time Monday’ – a time when the team has a chance to share something they did for themselves over the weekend. Or ‘Training Tuesday’- a time for folks to share a LinkedIn Learning or other article or resource that they are leveraging during this perceived slump.
Then there was ‘Wine-Storming Wednesdays’ – another twist on the virtual happy hour where major brainstorming occurs. (Just make sure to take good notes in case the memory fails to recall what great ideas were discussed.)
Another favorite suggestion was ‘Thread THIS needle Thursday’ where team members propose a challenge they are facing and ask for help – (this one, coupled with Wine Storming Wednesday could be VERY interesting).
Then there was the ‘Friday Feast’ where teams share their virtual lunch and maybe trade recipes that they are trying during this interesting time. We quickly found that there was an abundance of creative ideas on how to turn regular meetings into something new and different once we opened the floodgates. During this time of virtual and remote existence, work life as we knew it has morphed into sharing the dining room table, competitions for bandwidth and office mates that look surprisingly like our school aged children.
And, I don’t know about you, but these weeks have turned into one long day; something that feels strangely like a 24/7 operation. No sooner do we start the week on Monday morning than we turn around and it is Friday afternoon. Not a bad thing, unless and until you must ask yourself ‘what did I do with my time?’ But let’s face it, we will be coming out the other side of all this at some point. And we hope that we will have a story to tell on how we made a difference. What do you want your story to be? Not only for you, but for the teams you are looking to engage, develop and retain. How about reimagining one of the age-old cornerstones of the workplace – the daily meetings? Give it your own twist and maybe add a little more fun and anticipation into something that was becoming old and stodgy anyway. There WILL be light at the end of this tunnel, but only if we flip the switch now. Think about it Thursday!
You can view the original webcast here: ‘Out of Sight, Out of Mind – No! Your team is still there, and they need you.’