When the pandemic started, HR pros and talent managers learned very quickly how to use platforms such as Zoom, Teams, Skype, etc. The ramp-up was quite remarkable, really, and comfort levels were soon realized because after all, that was all that we could do. That was then and this is now. As the shutdowns stretch into the winter months, we are beginning to see that there are certain tactics that are missing.
Based on what I have heard from leaders in North America, Europe, and Latin America the piece that is missing is that two-minute conversation that you have when you’re walking down the hall. As all HR leaders know, those unplanned, spur-of-the-moment meetings are critical to leadership opportunities, team building, and coaching. Gone are the days of ducking your head into somebody’s office and saying, “hey, great job on that account,” or, “let’s take a couple minutes to just talk about another approach.”
What is the solution? Let’s get old-school and pick up the phone. Dropping a text or making a short phone call to say “good job” is where leaders need to be right now. The issue is that leaders need to remember to do this because these outreaches can easily fall to the backburner and then become old news or forgotten. These communications take little effort, but they are important. I recommend adding some structure to that. Having a list that you keep beside your computer that helps remind you to call a certain employee to say, “Thank you,” tell them they’ve done a good job, give them some feedback on something that maybe they could have done better. Make it a point to have that coaching moment.
To be sure, it is important for managers to find impactful ways to talk with their direct reports and manger during the pandemic, however, let’s remember that leaders should also do a good job of communicating frequently with his and her peers. Check in to let them know what your team is working on, your priorities, and of course, explore how you can support their priorities.