The Key to Keeping Your Team Connected
Studies show that small talk helps people feel emotionally connected and boosts collaboration and creativity. This critical element of connection can easily get pushed aside on hybrid teams. Here are strategies to ensure your team has a healthy culture of small talk, no matter where employees are working from.
Celebrate during meetings. I start every coaching session and staff meeting with, “What can we celebrate?” The answers can be either personal or professional, and they help create an atmosphere of fun and connection.
Encourage new social rituals. Some teams find regular, virtual coffee hours where employees can hang out and chat every week or two essential to staying connected.
Re-create “casual collisions.” Use virtual tools to facilitate internal networking events that pair up employees who don’t already know one another for real-time social interactions.
Keep it light. No matter where small talk is happening in your virtual workplace, steer your team away from serious topics and gossip.
Emphasize the importance. Publicly tout the benefits of informal social interactions to encourage participation. Small talk, especially over Teams or Zoom, may be uncomfortable for introverts.