For many of us working remotely, the gratitude of keeping a job and staying safe at home mixes with anxiety, lethargy…and too many Zoom meetings. Business owners have the added challenge of keeping employees engaged, connected and motivated through an office hiatus continuing far longer than we could have fathomed. Here are a few ways to carry on in good spirits with your team, knowing they are likely feeling the very real effects of Zoom fatigue.
Tools like Google Forms, Asana Surveys and many others make it easy to create simple, streamlined surveys online. Use them to not only monitor employee engagement, but also to rally it. When you keep the questions focused, make the answer choices fun, and leave room for feedback, surveys take on a more approachable and enjoyable form, as opposed to the heavy, corporate questionnaires you might be picturing.
As a busy leader, you are creating important news for your team by the minute. At some point each day, stop and jot down the little things worth noting. When you share these updates, it may feel like you are giving long-winded reports. There might be times when you hear yourself talking and wonder if the people on the screen are listening. They are, and they appreciate the information. The more you report, the less you have to rely on rah-rah to generate productivity.
Thirty seconds of collective laughter in a Zoom meeting can feel like pure therapy. Even the most stoic of leaders are learning the importance of lightening the mood. Whether through banter, bingo, trivia or any other team-building exercise, let a little bit of silliness into the picture and remind employees that they don’t always have to be so buttoned up just because they’re on camera. It doesn’t matter how you do it; it just matters that you do it.
To consistently be an uplifting and encouraging presence for others, you need to feel healthy and resilient yourself. Your busiest, back-to-back-to-back days still lend small pockets of time to fill your battery. Hit a quick workout. Take a short walk. Slowly and safely, resume some of the simple pleasures you’ve been missing. Your self-care and personal strides toward normalcy enable your strength as a leader, trickling down to your team in both how you treat them and how they respond to you.
Powering through the pandemic will only take a team so far. As much as the current times call for grit and perseverance, they also require patience and finesse. Sometimes, you need to motivate. Then, congratulate. Other times, commiserate. It’s a delicate balance called emotional intelligence.
You don’t have to be a psychologist to read and respond to people’s feelings. In fact, you can practice emotional intelligence in two simple steps. The ultimate goal is to keep positive and personal front and center by finding the better part of yourself that your team already knows and loves, and letting it shine. They will recognize the effort, and you will all enjoy the effect.
By Dawn Ovrom, VP/Culture & Communication, Exit Consulting Group