pink mug

How do I stay connected to the team and get to know them better?

A coworker of mine (not naming any names but rhymes with “baron sleigh turn”) mentioned she once had a job where they exchanged secret Santa gifts.  She received a pink coffee mug filled with chocolates that said “I love chocolate” on the side. Sounds nice eh?

My coworker hates pink and barely likes chocolate.  

So what does this little parable teach us?   

It’s nice to be known.  Even just a little bit.

While the faupaux of my coworker’s misinformed colleagues left her feeling a bit bummed out, this was the turning point at which she swore to always know people.  Like really KNOW them.  

If you are like me, you’ve been inundated with content on how to successfully work from home.  While these posts are helpful, I think what most people are really missing is human connection.

If you are used to working in an office with your team, this is an extra struggle right now.  The friendly comradery that comes from pleasant hellos as you walk through the office doors has been taken from you.  You can’t collectively roll your eyes as that one problem client calls yet again.

That is a loss.

And it’s okay to grief those losses (no matter how small).  

So how do we stay connected to people when we can’t be closer than 6 feet apart?

The opportunity set before you as a business owner is to get to know your employees.  In such a time as this (are we all sick of hearing this phrase yet?) your team needs to know you care about more than just getting work done.  Here’s a bunch of practical ideas on how you can do that.

Beyond learning individual values and talking about struggles and victories, here are a few things we’ve heard our accountants are doing to help their teams.

Sharon from Kinder Pocock mentioned how she is setting challenges for her team each day/week.  Not “be productive” challenges, but more like “what can you think of to replace the time you would normally spend at the gym” sort of challenges.  

Amy and her team were planning on doing some online quizzes together (here’s a shoutout to learn which Hogwarts house you’re in if you haven’t already).

Others are mentioning doing virtual happy hours, more check-in calls and sending good ol’ fashioned cards in the mail.  

Being the incredibly creatively-minded entrepreneurial accountants that you are, I’ve no doubt in my mind that you can come up with even more ways to get to know your team.  And #positivitypillar, at the end of this you’ll all be better for it. On the other side of this whole thing, you and your team will feel closer, even though you’ve been forced to be farther apart.

And hey, when Christmas rolls around, maybe you won’t get stuck with the pink “I love chocolate” mug.  Unless you like that sort of thing. 🙂

Carry on friends!