Zoom Happy Hour Anyone?

Video conferencing has become the norm these days. With all of us working from home, it has become the primary way to communicate with our colleagues. The purpose is to stay connected, engaged, and most importantly, promote togetherness. Regardless of the size of your team, or what industry you are in, we all need each other right now.

Our firm believes in the power of cultivating relationships. We have a distinct connection with our clients. One that includes transparency, consistency, and loyalty. We cater our services to the unique brand and culture of our clients. Because ultimately, it’s about people; how we work together and the relationships that we form. It’s what sets us apart. We genuinely care about people and their well-being. There really is no other way to say it. Relationships are essential.

What we have learned during this crisis is that connection matters now more than ever. We have always shared the belief of putting others before ourselves. After all, that is what togetherness and relationships are all about.

Having participated in many, and I mean MANY Zoom meetings over the years, I’ve picked up a few tips on how to make a meeting more engaging. We’ve done this with our assessment and coaching work, and I encourage you to put the same practices into place.

  1. Have Video Conferences Regularly: Getting to see your colleagues is important right now. There is just something special about seeing the people that you work with; the people that you have come to trust and value. I recommend setting up weekly team meetings with your people. Encourage them to do the same with their teams. Promote togetherness. Check-in with how people are doing. How are they feeling right now? How are they balancing work and home responsibilities? What ways can you support them? How can they support and provide guidance to one another?
  2. Keep it Simple: Have agendas for your meetings. Prepare a PowerPoint, but don’t have too many slides or content. Put together 3-4 points that you want to get across and stick to them. Some meetings have to be more serious than others. You may need to discuss financials, customers, and what your team and organization is doing in response to the crisis. Communicate what you can. Answer questions and concerns of your people. Make sure to spend some time focused on the team. What are you doing to further promote the cultural norms of the group? How are you promoting the vision and mission of the company? Make things up-lifting.
  3. Make it Fun: One of my long-time clients made it a practice a few weeks ago to have Friday Zoom Happy Hours. Each team member is invited to make a drink of their choice and share their favorite beverages with others. The meetings are low key and more about building camaraderie and community. It’s not about work. Other clients have created themes for their meetings. One client had a destination theme. They leveraged the Zoom virtual background and had to tell a story as to why they chose their background. Other ideas we have seen include: a) holding meetings in different rooms of your house. Showcase, your favorite book collection in the background; b) introduce a family member. Connect your work colleagues with your family; and c) have different members serve as the hosts for the meeting. They get to set up the agenda and focus for the time to share together. Personally, I’m a sneakerhead, so I regularly have my freshest new kicks on display on the shelves behind me. Most of my clients get a kick out of my kicks (pun intended).

Video conferencing is our way to connect right now. Make sure you’re doing it with your people and teams on a consistent basis. It will promote togetherness and keep the team focused on what’s most important. We may be navigating through these challenging waters for a while, so make the best of it. We will all come out of this better than beforehand. Stay positive. Stay focused. Most importantly, stay connected. Your people will stay engaged and committed to the course you’ve charted for them.

Adam C. Bandelli, Ph.D. is the Managing Director of Bandelli & Associates, a boutique consulting firm focusing on leadership development and organizational effectiveness.

For more information about this or other leadership topics, visit our website at www.bandelliandassociates.com.

Leadership Matters. Without It, People Fail.