As we hunker down for Pandemic Winter, the ability to communicate with family and friends will be strained. Connecting with others has become as novel as the virus itself – families on FaceTime, companies Zooming and classrooms on tablets have become the norm.
This lack of human interaction is having a real impact on employees, teachers, grandparents and yes, customers. So how do we keep businesses running smoothly, children learning, and families bonding, while remaining safe and distanced?
Recently, the Baltimore Business Journal featured an executive facing this difficult time with grace and creativity. Stacie Tobin became partner-in-charge of Venable LLP’s Baltimore office at the height of the pandemic. In order to keep in touch with Venable’s attorneys and staff, Tobin sends a note each Friday with “nuggets of good news, recent successes and sometimes a bad joke.” The weekly note also includes a positive, uplifting song. Tobin believes that her weekly notes help keep Venable’s culture intact and encourages attorneys to stay in touch with each other.
Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.
As companies continue to operate remotely, keeping everyone on the same page can be challenging. I believe what worked at Venable, with 193 local attorneys, will work for any size firm. It’s not hard to do something that boosts morale once a week – just make it a habit.
As the leader of your company, take the time to communicate on a personal level with your most important asset – your team.
Here’s a few tips to get started:
- Make the weekly commitment
- Give the communication a “name”
- Write conversationally, not corporately
- Don’t be afraid to show your human side
- Invite “guest” contributions
- Make it fun, informative and uplifting
And remember – this doesn’t need to be perfect or look special – just the fact that you reach out consistently, and enthusiastically, is what will do the most good.