Recently, my team had the pleasure of attending an emotional intelligence seminar with Deborah Biddle, chief consultant at The People Company. During the session, Biddle emphasized something I’ve made central to the success of my agency: Business isn’t just numbers-based. It’s emotions-based.
During Covid-19, leaders across industries have had to learn how to get real and get connected with the people who work for them. It’s no longer as simple as having an open-door policy or curating amazing talent to foster organic company morale. In order to survive these difficult times, leaders need the emotional health of their organization to be top-notch.
Doing so in a remote working environment is especially challenging. However, I’ve implemented several practices in our new digital office to keep company spirit, employee output and company success high.
Share the wins.
Every Monday, my team kicks off the week with an all-staff meeting that serves two purposes. First, it lets team members see one another’s’ faces, collectively, at least once every week. Additionally, it gives the perfect opportunity for our leadership team to recognize company wins and share them across departments.
From successfully executing a new campaign to onboarding a client, taking the time to celebrate these victories — big and small — brings efforts that could easily go unseen (given our remote offices) to the forefront. Expressing appreciation for all that each employee does to uphold the company behind the scenes motivates them to hustle even harder in the future.
Get their insight.
Additionally, employees have been thrown into the completely new challenge of working remotely while navigating a pandemic and the difficult conversation on racism in our country. So, of course, each member has thoughts and opinions that deserve to be expressed. However, without the proper time or space for these conversations, employees might say little and hold on to a lot.
Establishing what I call an Employee Experience Committee can provide companies with an outlet to welcome and implement change. Members from each internal department meet to gather feedback on work procedures, internal protocols and more. Then leadership signals their good faith by hearing them out and making changes accordingly. Now more than ever is the time to listen to the chatter happening behind closed doors (or in Slack messages) and be proactive about finding solutions for your team.
Finally, leaders can help employees feel connected even while separated by encouraging conversation and connection that’s unrelated to work. You heard me right: Among all of the focus on preserving our bottom line and adjusting our infrastructure to suit the state of the world, we have to remember that our employees are human.
Allowing — and even encouraging — weekly happy hours, Zoom lunches, coffee connects and opportunities to catch up on personal life in between meetings creates brief moments of connection that prioritize the well-being of team members and speaks volumes to your priority as a leader.
Part of being a successful businessperson is knowing how to read the room, and in 2020, tensions have been high. Rather than pushing for “business as usual (but behind a screen),” jump at the opportunity to empower your teams with new platforms and processes. By anticipating their needs in these difficult times, you’re able to preserve your talent and the success of your company at once.