Now, perhaps more than ever, and especially during times of crisis, it is critical for managers to focus on sustaining a healthy team culture. And with COVID-19 still looming, team members need to feel connected not only to the company’s mission, but to each other. And this approach to management is achievable. Leaders need to find opportunities to engage and inspire their teams around a purpose. And we all have one. In order to promote the right culture, managers should look at setting time aside for their employees and add bright spots to their day or work week. Examples might include asking team members to share success stories or “wins”. Other examples could include an update on a process or procedure they are working on; a breakthrough with a client; finishing a long-term project and how completing it makes them feel empowered, successful and important. These “spotlights” on team members enriches team spirit. For laughs, because we all know humor is important, simply asking people to share a meme or a photo at the start of a meeting fosters friendship. During your one-on-ones, try asking how things are going with an employee or what challenges they might be facing? Spin the question back to the manager. How can I help?” Taking these steps inject positivity into your team and it also can make them more productive, too.

In-person meetings may no longer be an option for many businesses and organizations. Face-to-Face meetings won’t to go away forever, yet having worked during the Covid-19 crisis, it did provide an opportunity to reflect on how some of the best leaders succeeded in virtual environment. There is no going back to exactly where we were. Just as we didn’t get a heads up soon enough at the start of COVID-19, doesn’t mean new opportunities won’t open and virtual workforces may be on a level we’ve never seen before. That’s exciting! What that means is we have accepted change; we have embraced new technology and we can keep an open mind to new suggestions and processes.

The leadership skills we are building today can continue to work for us after Covid-19. Let’s continue our culture but let’s also look deeply at how resetting roles and responsibilities can help our employees to succeed.

                                                                                                           Cathy Drzal for the Align Team