COVID-19 has dramatically changed the way we work. Most business teams no longer have the ability to connect in-person during the workday and build our relationships. Yet the goal of the leader to build a high-performance team has not changed. An effective and dynamic leader can still create that high-performance team by building trust among all team members. The leader needs to adapt to the changing circumstances and find ways to build trust that don’t require daily personal contact.

So how do we build those connections across our teams?  Here are some best practices:

Check-Ins & Huddles

One way to build frequent communication that leads to trust is to do a short daily huddle meeting with the team. The check-in can be first-thing in the morning to boost morale or triage the work of the coming day, or later in the day to gauge progress and clear roadblocks.  The meeting provides time to interact and to brainstorm or ideate solutions. The key is to make the check-in time short and interactive. There is nothing that feels more unproductive than a day of long, back-to-back meetings which can cause employees’ to disengage and get behind on their work. But short, focused check-ins that spur positive feelings, connection and creativity can set the pace for a productive day.

Pop-Up Zoom

We all feel anxious about what’s going on these days. Are you informally connecting with your teammates to see how they are doing? A leader can send a pop-up message that says, “Hey, I’ve got a few minutes. Can you chat?” then use that time to sincerely and authentically connect with that individual. The leader builds trust by being fully present and engaging deeply with that team member for even a few minutes.

Adapt and Pivot

The work environment is constantly changing. Most companies are unlikely to ever return to a system where all the team is present in the same office every day. Hybrid office/home systems will be widespread and here to stay after the pandemic. To be effective, leaders must be able to forge and develop connections with the team and to help team members connect, regardless of where team members are physically located.

Keep Learning

Dynamic and successful leaders never stop learning and growing. They learn new skills and continue to develop their gifts. They challenge themselves to learn about new areas, to take risks and try new things. They develop emotional intelligence and communication skills to connect with others. They learn to use technology more effectively to support their team and achieve goals. Use this remarkable opportunity to learn and grow and focus additional energy on the ability to connect with others and your TEAM. Engage a leadership coach to guide you on this journey as a catalyst of your growth and to create accountability.

Let’s Recap

  • COVID-19 has changed how we work and the tools we use for leading.
  • The expectation of a leader to build high-functioning teams has not changed.
  • A short daily team check-in or huddle can keep projects on track, team members aligned, and provide ways for team members to interact with each other and build trust.
  • Leaders can use short pop-up Zoom interactions to check on the wellbeing of teammates. 
  • Leaders need to adapt to a rapidly changing environment.
  • Leaders should be engaged in learning and personal growth, especially in challenging times. Coaching can assist leaders to evolve in their roles.

Strong leadership is the key to overcoming COVID-19-related challenges that threaten the success of our businesses and business teams. The Leader’s Evolution will develop you into a stronger leader to rise to this challenge. We’ll help you learn new skills and adapt so that you and your team can achieve your goals. Contact us to discuss leadership and teamwork today!