Let’s face it, most of us are juggling a lot of balls right now and are focused on the essentials to keep our businesses running. We are working to care for our people by asking them to work from home and making sure they self isolate if they are feeling sick.

Sometimes the processes attached to caring become mechanical and we become human doings rather than human beings.

Connecting to your team as people is one of the most important things you can do right now. A few small things can make all the difference.

Make your team check-ins count

Asking, “how are you guys doing today” is good, but the question is generally brushed off with a one- or two-word answer. Instead, frame your check-ins like this:

Today we are going to do a bit of a different check-in. I want everyone to frame how they are doing based on the following questions.

  • What are you worried about today?
  • What are you sad about today?
  • What are you angry about today?
  • What are you glad/happy about today?
  • What can the team help with today?

It’s ok if each team member doesn’t address or have a response for each question. Allow for 2-3 minutes a person to answer these questions.

Express gratitude and recognition

Set aside time when you connect with your team or colleague for a gratitude/recognition moment.

It may seem trivial, but when we express and receive gratitude, our brain releases dopamine and serotonin. These two chemicals are responsible for making us feel good and enhance our mood. And we can all use a little pick me up.

Have fun!

Yes, business is important. You need to know what is going on, who is doing what, and when things are going to happen.

Having fun is also essential. It helps to relieve tension, pressure, and stress and remind everyone you’re human.

Take time to share a funny story, a picture, or a video. Or plan a little time for the team to connect in a virtual team challenge like word bingo (create a card with “overused” words and check off the ones you hear in a meeting).

People keep saying, we’re in this together. We are. We all need to feel like we are connected and part of something. By supporting each other, we will get through this together.