- Ned Schaut
Fostering Unity in your WFH Team
Are you struggling to keep a sense of unity with your team as you work from home?
Our team made the transition to working from home over two years ago and we learned a few things in the process. One being how to maintain a sense of culture and community by virtually meeting together weekly on Mondays. We refer to these meetings as our Monday Connection Meeting (MCM).
During the first year our MCM was at noon. After a year we realized that this meeting would be far more valuable if we moved it to first thing in the morning. What we found was by noon we were already in the depths of our work groove. Now that we have moved our meeting to 8:30 a.m. we are far more fresh and in more of a "Let's connect" mood, and not so much a "Let's get this done" mood.
Be About Your People
Our MCM does not focus on our business, we focus on our people! This is a relational meeting to keep us connected as human beings. It sets the tone for the work week ahead of us. We are a team, we care about each other, and we have each others backs. To create this type of culture it is important that you do not see each other only as 'other employees' but as people. By getting to know those on your team you are more likely to choose grace, empathy, and trust as you work as a team in a virtual setting.
We are a team of 7 members. Our meetings typically require 45-60 minutes. The structure of our meetings could work for up to 8-10 team members. Depending on the size of your organization I would suggest keeping the groups small. I would not organize these connection meetings by department, I suggest creating inter-departmental groups of 5-10, then shuffling them every 3-6 months.
Here are the three things we do during our virtual Monday Connection Meetings
Each member of the team takes 3-5 minutes to share what they did over the weekend, how their family is doing, and provides updates on anything they have shared over the past couple of weeks. We laugh, ask questions, and listen intentionally.
2) Share One Thing
Each member of the team shares the One Thing that is important for their work this week. We do not get into details, only say out loud the One Thing that is most important to accomplish.
3) Teach and Learn
Team members take turns weekly to share something new that they’ve learned recently. This can be about anything they are learning or have learned. Our team has learned everything from obscure yoga techniques to how city of Boston was built. This may seem like a strange piece to have as part of our MCM but there are several significant reasons why we do this. First, as a learning person you are more likely to retain the new knowledge by teaching others about it. Second, if you’re not growing then you’re dying. I want our team work from a growth mindset. By starting our week off being stretched to teach and learn it primes our minds to be ready to have a growth mindset. Third, it’s simply fun and creates a deeper connection with each other. When someone teaches you something it matters to them. You get to better understanding of that person. Lastly, to teach something to someone requires a degree of vulnerability.; causing you to step out of your comfort zone. This is helpful to each of us as humans because when we are vulnerable we are in a position to grow.
All in all, I have found that working from home is a great way to run your business. It is important that you keep building a culture of connection with your team. Remember, your most valuable business asset are your people. Make sure you find ways to let them know they are valuable...