Many companies and teams are now using the hybrid schedule to get work done. Essentially, this means working half the week in the office, and the other half at home. For those who prefer this type of environment, they often credit the flexibility of being remote, while also getting to socialize and talk face-to-face with their colleagues.

However, it can still be difficult to stay connected with your team, even if you’re at the office a couple days a week. Daily lunches and walks to get coffee together no longer exist. Maintaining relationships among your team is not as easy as it used to be. Fortunately, there are ways to resolve this issue and create strong bonds among teammates, which ultimately leads to more efficiency and less stress.

Team outings

Make it a point to schedule team get-togethers outside of work hours. Whether it be a sporting event, happy hour, or community service project, a team outing is a perfect way for everyone to relax and spend quality time with each other.

Lisa Figgucio, Principal at Green Key, has recently been on several team outings with the Accounting + Finance team. She says, “The pandemic taught us that, regardless of whether or not we’re physically together, we can build a strong team bond. However, there is no substitute for spending some “in person” quality time with the people you love to work with! Since we were unable to see each other during the pandemic, we appreciate our team outings a lot more!”

Coffee and break chats

Many teams find it beneficial to set aside time in the week to decompress over coffee and discuss non-work related topics. In fact, the Marketing team and Talent Acquisition team at Green Key meet up every Friday morning to discuss an episode of a recruiting podcast they’ve previously listened to.

Allison Vogt, Internal Recruiter, reiterates, “Our Friday morning coffee chats are one of my favorite parts of the week. The five us all live in different states, so we don’t have typical team bonding outings and this is a great way to connect and learn about each other. We focus on open and fruitful conversations where we share tips on recruiting, work/life balance, and productivity. There’s always a lot of laughter and it’s such a refreshing and positive way to start each Friday!”

Lunch and learns

These are a great way to get the team together, while also keeping productive and staying focused. Lunch and learns take training programs and hold them during everyone’s lunch break. The Pharma team at Green Key attends these virtually and credits them for maintaining the workflow and strengthening their team bond.

Parties and contests

Whether in-person or virtually, holding parties around holidays is a great way to increase company culture. Green Key has a yearly Halloween and Holiday party where we have costume contests, trivia, and awards. Everyone is able to get together for a fun time and maintain a company tradition.

Do You Really Want to Be a Manager?

It’s flattering to be offered a management promotion. It shows the confidence your boss has in you, and the bump in your paycheck would certainly be welcome.

But before you say yes, take a deep breath and think about what it means. Not everyone wants to be a manager. Not everyone who is a manager should be one.

Being a manager comes with dramatically different responsibilities. Instead of being responsible only for yourself, as a manager you’re responsible for the work of a team. You’ll be dealing with different personalities and styles. You’ll face pressure from your boss to meet a whole range of new measures. Besides getting projects done on deadline, there will be budget considerations and quality standards. At the same time, you’ll hear from your reports about being pushed too hard or not getting the resources they insist they need.

You’ll be expected to coach your team, supporting them and giving them the feedback they need and want. At times, that means delivering feedback about poor performance. As a CNN Business article points out, you have to sometimes be willing to be seen as the guy delivering bad news.

Says Leigh Steere, co-founder of research group Managing People Better, “The No. 1 task that managers shy away from is confronting poor performance.

“They may be conflict avoidant. Some say ‘I’m not comfortable judging others.’ Or they want to be viewed as a nice manager. [But] it is not nice to withhold feedback from somebody that they need to learn and grow.”

The skills it takes to be a great manager are far different from those of being a great worker. Too often companies promote great workers because they perform at the top of the curve, only to discover that as a manager their performance is lacking at which point their rise in the organization halts — or worse.

While management training can make a difference, too often this training is limited to legal issues and administrative procedures. Even when the training includes coaching and feedback and similar matters, it takes constant reinforcement and personal commitment to be effective.

So when the opportunity comes along, think it through. Ask managers you respect for advice. Discuss with your boss the changes you’ll need to make. Then ask yourself, are you willing to give up what you do in order to manage others? Is that you?

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash