Lately, the only thing that is certain is uncertainty. The world is changing and all we can do is attempt to keep up and look for the growth opportunities that can be found in this challenge. One of the best lessons to learn from this pandemic is how to adjust and adapt our professional routines and goals without sacrificing or neglecting our relationships between team members.
Millwood’s corporate office, which houses just under 100 people, has a pod-based system that allows team members to rotate coverage to limit traffic in the building. Other than that small group, the building is mostly barebones. Those few in-house team members take care of everyone else by watering desk plants or sending photos of physically filed notes to help prevent anyone else from needing to come to the office.
As a Christian-based company, Millwood’s first line of defense is prayer. On top of our weekly prayer circle, additional prayers are sent via executive team members and leaders. Our accounting office starts each morning with a department call to discuss their projects and start the week in prayer; if your company is uncomfortable or unable to use that approach, a few minutes of mindful silence may be an appropriate alternative.
In the small marketing office, we start our mornings by sending one thing we are grateful for. We also send periodic “levity breaks” over email or informal weekly updates about our lives outside of work to maintain and grow our personal relationships
Companies can also adjust programs or events with a few creative updates. This year was to be our first company Easter egg hunt, but instead Millwood is sending goodie bags with Easter crafts, activities and candy for employees to take home to their children. Take-home activities can be a great way to help team members struggling to work from home while also watching their children.
Looking for ways to stay connected with team members outside the office? This is the perfect opportunity to be intentional on knowing and supporting your coworkers in a more personal basis. Hopefully a few of our adaptations benefit other companies looking for solutions, and we would love to hear the ways your company is caring for its team members remotely!
These are just a few suggestions, but we’d love for you to add more in the comments!
- Weekly video/phone “check ins” to catch up with your team to continue facilitating personal and not just professional relationship- this time should be spent discussing each other, not work.
- Send cards or coupons for free grocery delivery so TMs won’t need to leave the house.
- Offer services to connect TMs with online resources for books, movies and media.
- Use the opportunity to bond over hobbies, not roles; asking coworkers for cake recipes or exercise routines enhances relationships that were formerly work-related requests only.
- Offer grace and flexibility as everyone adapts to new schedules, limitations, distractions and locations to work from. Team members and management are at risk of making mistakes due to the complications created in focusing when stressed.
- Shoot an email letting you know you’re thinking of them or just check in to see how you can help- and it’s always fun to see photos of your new coworkers.
We’re all in this together, and at Millwood we know we can’t help you until we help our employees; which is why we make it a priority to take care of both.