I’ve decided to close the year with a different style of letter.  I am certain that, like me, you are feeling the strain of managing and motivating your teams in the midst of the continued COVID challenges.   The rising pandemic outbreaks, coupled with many states implementing fresh restrictions and school closures, are causing so much stress.  Our employees are having to deal with children at home, elder care, social isolation, health concerns, and yes, work.

The Harvard Business Review recommends a simple schedule that you can adopt with your team:

  • Monday:  Have a team performance cycle meeting to review what was learned from the prior week, what’s planned for this week, and what help associates need to cross the finish line.

  • Tuesday through Thursday: Hold one-on-one meetings with at least one member of your team for status reviews.

  • Friday:  Use this day to wrap up the week with your team and check in on their level of motivation.  I recommend taking this one step further by encouraging managers to spend a few minutes during their one-on-ones discussing non-work-related items.  (Water cooler chats now have to happen via Zoom, unfortunately.)  Managers should really focus on making sure they understand how employees are feeling and their struggles.  Remember that you may not be able to provide solutions, but sometimes all people need is to know that their managers are listening, and genuinely care.

At HINGE, we are also trying to leverage technology to bolster our team culture.  For example, a few months ago, we kicked off our HINGE Fitness Challenge, where employees who voluntarily participated in the daily company workout could post their selfies after their workout on a group Snapchat.  Before Halloween, we had an online competition to see who could correctly identify the most employees from their childhood Halloween photos.  We even have a Slack channel devoted to non-work-related interactions, such a recipe sharing, and sports team heckling. I’m fortunate to have so many creative people at HINGE who help make work fun, even in these times!

As leaders, I think the most important things that we need to do during these times are to demonstrate empathy, show patience, over-communicate, and really take time to listen to our teams.  In these moments, we are reminded of the important things in life.

I’d love to hear what you are doing with your teams to continue to motivate your organization and help people get through these times.  Reach out to me at fred@hingeglobal.com.

BRING ON 2021!

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