Virtual working and learning are not the norms for those of us in education. We’re used to seeing students face-to-face. We’re also used to seeing what our team is doing each day to support the organization and its learners. As the normalcy of being virtual grows and continues to exist in many ways, how well are you keeping the team connected in a virtual world?
Huddle Up to Keep the Team Connected
A daily huddle is one of the most effective ways to check in with your team and to give them “face” time with each other. Huddles are quick meetings that gather the entire team together to review priorities, metrics and what’s happening in the next 24 hours. Depending on the size of your team, the huddle will be between 10 – 30 minutes.
How our team has used daily huddles to keep the team connected:
- We meet at the same time every day for 30 minutes and use a recurring calendar appointment
- Team leaders are scheduled to report out on specific days of the week, to ensure all teams provide an update
- Reports are focused on critical outcomes
- Priorities in the next 24 hours
- Daily metrics
- Any barriers
- If barriers are reported, a next action for discussing and solving is determined
Connect to Team Members with Virtual Monthly Meetings
Monthly meetings are designed to help leaders build relationships with team members and to keep them connected to their goals. When working virtually, they are even more important. During these conversations, start by reviewing goals and progress. Then, dive deeper into wins, challenges and support needed.
Use the monthly meeting as an opportunity for team members to ask questions, as well. We all know priorities and actions shift throughout the month, sometimes very fast. Providing a few minutes during your monthly meeting for questions related to shifts will increase clarity and support for changes.
How our team has used monthly meetings to keep the team connected in a virtual world:
- We keep monthly meetings with each employee scheduled on the calendar
- Every employee must share a win (or more than one) during the meeting. This has become even more important for fostering a positive mindset and connection to the greater purpose of the organization.
- When we talk about barriers, we connect team members to each other to resolve. This is also where listening to priorities reported out during the daily huddle comes into play. Leaders can help the team network for solutions and progress.
- We follow up! The loop is closed on every action noted during the monthly meeting, especially recognition of others who have been helpful.
Keeping Yourself Connected
In the quest to keep the team connected, it can be easy to overlook your own need for connection. If you don’t already, find one or a few other leaders to connect with on a monthly basis. Think about leaders within or outside of your organization. This practice can reduce the “on an island” feeling and give your brain a break from the grind.
Also, consider scheduling 15 minutes a month for connecting to your purpose. During this time, write down something that happened this month that made you feel like you were making a difference.
Have Some Virtual Fun
At least once a quarter, schedule a fun connection opportunity for your team. As one Forbes contributor reports, 63 percent of virtual employees have not been able to socialize with their colleagues in the last year. Host a virtual happy hour or coffee hour. Turn a Friday into a costume day and vote on the best costume. Even better, ask your team what would be fun for them!
Connect with Us
We want to connect, too. Another great way to keep the team connected in a virtual world is to learn together. Check out our events page to find the opportunity that’s right for you and your team.