As the COVID pandemic drags on, leaders are now facing the reality of driving and sustaining the company culture while the team are working remotely or a combination of and living in constant fear, uncertainty and doubt. COVID Fatigue is a real problem. Zoom Fatigue is also the challenge leaders are facing.
Lack of Connection
Humans need to ‘connect’ in order to feel like they ‘belong’ to a cause or purpose that is bigger than themselves. Lack of connection is the real issue that people are suffering from in these times and COVID Fatigue and Zoom Fatigue are the symptoms of that issue.
We already know (or you should know) that a functional culture drives employee engagement, retention of top talent, alignment of goals and higher profitability.
So… when our people are craving connection, and under the conditions we currently have, how do we as leaders effectively on-board, develop, coach and mentor our team members?
Here is a list of best practices I am leading, seeing and hearing about from other leaders:
- Zoom One-to-One’s. If you are not doing 1-2-1 meetings with team members, why not? People have generally become more OK with Zoom (and I use that as a verb to include all the other video call platforms). I have had some very intimate coaching sessions with my clients over video calls. Do not resist it. Schedule regular calls with every individual. Change things up and have your team member create the agenda.
- Coaching vs Mentoring. It is important to mention here the difference. Both focus on the individual not the leader. When coaching, all you do is ask ‘What’ and ‘How’ questions to uncover issues, challenges and opportunities and to drive accountability and commitment from the individual being coached. With mentoring, you are offering your advice to the situation the individual finds themselves in based on your experience and driving towards a clear action plan.
- Online Training. Yes, there is lots of online training programs and facilitators out there and some are very good. Do your homework and find a facilitator that brings a high level of energy to the ‘Zoom’ screen and most importantly, presents real information that your team can put into action right away.
- Book-of-the-Month Club. There are some very good books out there that you can prescribe to your team (least expensive way to run a training program). At the end of a prescribe time – say one month – bring the team together to talk about the learnings and, most importantly, what elements of the learnings you are going to implement. As a sample, here’s a list of five books I have read during the pandemic which I think are brilliant for your team:
- “Never Split the Difference” by Chris Voss. (A very different way of looking at negotiation from a former FBI Hostage Negotiator that changed completely the way I negotiate).
- “Men, Women and Worthiness” by Brené Brown. (Leadership today is largely about inclusion and understanding old paradigms that we need to break and needs to be added to your tool kit).
- “The Culture Code” by Daniel Coyle. (Culture is everything and this takes readers on a journey to building a great culture by examining stories of other cultures).
- “Screw Business As Usual” by Richard Branson. (Yes, these are unusual times so why would we try to lead the same old way).
- “Nine Lies About Work” by Marcus Buckingham. (Again, these are unusual times and this is another fresh look at our old thinking).
Robert Murray is a Vancouver, BC based Business Strategy Consultant, #1 Best Selling Author, International Keynote Speaker, and TEC Top Speaker of the Year for 2018. For further advice, insight and inspiration on how to unlock your inner leader, follow Robert on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
Click here to get his weekly Tuesday Tune Up blog posts straight to your inbox.
, Business Culture
, It's Already Inside
, Life Lessons
, Robert Murray
, Robert S. Murray