If you are a team leader, you might be a bit nervous about going back into the office. For the last two months (or more), you have been managing your team remotely. You have only had to check-in via phone or video conference. Now you are about to see them again face to face.
I am sure many of you are wondering what to do on day one to reconnect and start leading in person again. Here are some of my ideas:
This is not business as usual
You should not expect your staff to walk in the door, head straight to their desk and start working. Let people chat. Let them share what they did during the last few months. Complain about their kids/partners/families/pets. These are the conversations you don’t have on video calls. It’s the chat you have when making your cup of tea in the morning. It’s also how your team bonds.
Do something fun
Don’t get all serious on day one. You may be frustrated about the lack of progress or stressed about what hasn’t been delivered over the past few months. Right now, your job is to bring your team back together as a group. Have a team lunch, run a team building activity, do something to bring everyone together and have a laugh. Get some ideas from my free team-building guide .
This is a great time to reset your expectations. What people were able to deliver when they were at home is different from what they can do in the office – more or less. Your priorities may have changed. Your staff may still have kids at home a few days a week. Now tell your staff what your expectations are! You need to be clear about what you expect and how you want your team to work now they are back in the office but also be empathetic to individuals situations.
Be open about what you know and what you don’t know
Your staff will have questions about the organisation, priorities and budget. You don’t need to know everything, but you do need to be honest about what you do and don’t know. Your staff won’t hate you for saying ‘I don’t know’ but they will for not engaging with them at all. If you don’t know, commit to trying to find an answer for them that you can share with the whole team. If one person is asking chances are others have the same question.
Don’t hide away in your office (even if you are missing the solitude of home) get out and talk to your staff. The most important thing you can do during the first day, week and month is to be there with your team. Let them see you for the first time in months!
Need some help coming up with ideas? Reach out, I would love to talk about your plan for day one.