How to create a culture that cares in a hybrid world
Posted on 12th May 2022 at 09:22
When I was working in offices, creating a culture that cares seemed far less complicated than it does now. Checking in on people and asking how their evening was as they came into the office, impromptu chats around the water cooler and picking up on those little signs in behaviour when people were having off days.
But now that people are working here, there and everywhere and most catch ups being held over Zoom, it can feel like these little moments that connect us and create opportunities for maintaining that caring culture are few and far between.
Arranging a virtual coffee over Zoom just doesn’t seem to have the same open and spontaneous feel to it.
So, is there a way to maintain a caring culture in your organisation where most people are hybrid or remote working?
Here’s a few ways to keep your team feeling connected…
Boost your team's ‘feel-good’ feelings and confidence by reminding staff of what they have achieved so far. Make sure that everyone feels valued and remind them that they are not alone if they’re struggling to adapt to the new ‘normal’. One to one staff meetings are also a great opportunity to check in and just ask ‘how are you’ ‘Are you ok’? If the reply is ’yes’ but their appearance suggests they are tired, stressed, not themselves then just ask again, ‘Are you really ok?’ It's often the second time around that people tell you what they are really feeling and for some it can really make a difference.
There could even be an item on the agenda or a specific channel on your communication platform for sharing tips, recommending books, videos, meditation or breathing exercises to help overcome the challenges of remote working.
Managers could encourage employees to maintain quality self-care with exercise, get quality sleep, drink lots of water and even set alarms on their phones or computer diaries to ensure they get up and stretch regularly. They could provide a self-help book and video for managing anxiety for staff to use like the one I have on True Freedom’s website. Men often find it particularly difficult to open up to someone as they don’t want to be a burden but an alternative might be an alternative business gift e.g Mindful Journal For Men
Arrange some off the clock, fun activities like virtual pizza parties (in which pizza is delivered to all team members at the time of a video conference), or virtual office parties (in which party “care packages” can be posted in advance to be opened and enjoyed simultaneously). Or a Weekly walk in some greenery at lunchtimes which is known to reduce stress levels and improve focus in the afternoon.
Organise your own COVID-safe team-building event. Basic rules: remember to keep a minimum distance from each other, keep the windows open, and provide hygiene products for everyone! Outdoors activities like Boules, skittles and or giant Jenga.
Could any of these work in your organisation?
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