How to Foster Team Unity in a Pandemic
At BYX, having our entire staff in one place doesn’t happen every day. In addition to managing multiple departments, our drivers spend most of their workday out of the office and on the road.
Because of this, we’ve been taking deliberate steps to develop a sense of team unity since day one. It’s just part of how we operate. Now that COVID-19 has changed how many companies function, leaders are dealing with the same obstacles that our team has been dealing with for decades. Fortunately, reconnecting your company’s team is an achievable goal if you know where to start. Just take it from us!
Hold team meetings regularly.
Large companies often find that each department feels like a separate entity altogether. When that occurs, it becomes more challenging to work together to meet company goals. At BYX, we make a point of holding monthly meetings between drivers, dispatcher teams, and management to review safety protocols and field questions, comments, and concerns. In our experience, this monthly routine helps everyone stay on the same page.
Every week, we also hold group meetings with our entire staff, giving members of every department a sense of how they contribute to a larger team. For those managing teams remotely, regular meetings are more important, not less. Participating in a group call reminds team members that even if they’re doing their job from their couch, they’re not working alone.
Communication encourages team unity.
Working together isn’t possible without communication. To facilitate effortless communication, think strategically. For example, we place our dispatch and customer service teams near each other. This makes real-time communication a breeze! When a driver isn’t going to make it to a scheduled appointment on time, dispatch can pass along the message to customer service in seconds.
Our office is also designed with an open floor plan. Everyone has enough space to work independently with easy access to team resources. Different layouts like these can help a lot, but organizing a team can be done virtually, too! Apps like Asana and Trello allow smaller teams to collaborate on projects and connect with other departments as needed. Not all apps are created equal, so check out some of the top-rated task management apps of 2020 for some vetted options.
To further encourage open communication and a team-driven mindset, a culture of transparency is highly recommended. We share general revenue numbers openly and set goals for the team to work towards together. At the end of the day, everyone knows where we stand and what we need to work on.
Recognize your team’s efforts.
We often use sporting analogies to emphasize the importance of team unity. Leading a team also means recognizing the contributions of each team member. We do our best to give a shoutout to our staff members to let them know they’re an important part of the BYX team. For an extra dose of team-boosting encouragement, we’ve created KPIs, or key performance indicators, for them to strive for. When these goals are met or exceeded, we show our appreciation by providing lunch for the entire office.
Micromanaging is a common pitfall that we try to avoid. Constantly checking up on employees to make sure they’re not wasting time is a surefire way to kill the team spirit. Instead, set goals and trust that your team will do their best to meet them. It may seem counterintuitive, but knowing that you trust them to manage their own time will motivate them to take initiative and make you proud.
At the end of the day, team unity is about connection.
Whether you’re meeting in an office or on Zoom, creating a cohesive team dynamic is about authentic connection. Encourage feedback, listen, and show empathy to let your staff know that they are valued not just as an employee, but as a person. At BYX, we routinely email all staff to share announcements, encouragements, and gratitude for their hard work. For additional ideas on improving company morale (even in 2020!), read more here!
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