At the beginning of 2021 in the midst of the pandemic, HACE’s team doubled in size. While excited by the expansion of our team as well as our programs, the virtual/remote-only workplace that had been established forced us to find new ways to meet, get to know one another and to build the same rapport that normally would have been a challenge.
As many people are now facing similar scenarios, our team has a few tips on how to stay connected no matter where you are.
Are you stepping back into the old team?
The relationships we once had made our work lives a whole lot easier. For many of us, it’s what motivated us to put our best foot forward. We also felt like we weren’t doing it all on our own. Having confidence and trust in others in our workspaces is what drives engagement on all sides. Before reaching out to that old friend and continuing where you left off, do a quick health check-in to make sure they are good and in no compromising situations that would hinder their output on reconnecting with you.
Perhaps you are joining a whole new team?
If new faces in the company have only been seen in virtual settings, take the initiative to suggest meeting in person to get better acquainted. If meeting face-to-face is not an option because of distance or personal preference, you can also achieve this by scheduling a personal meeting. Ask questions and get to know who they are on a more personal level. You can create a bond that will not only build your connections but help to foster friendships.
Whether you’re building new work relationships or refreshing old ones, establishing a successful relationship at work is worth every effort.
Put Yourself Out There. Go the extra mile and set up introductory 1-1 meetings and regular check ins with your new coworkers.
Be A Reliable Source. If a co-worker is stuck on a project that could use some help, don’t hesitate.
Embrace Differences. Since we all have unique ways in how we identify, show your interest in getting to know who they are and learn something from them.
How to Get Started
- If you are in a position in your company or organization to lead or initiate a professional social event (whether in-person or virtual), this can help set the opportunity for networking as well as building interpersonal relationships with others in attendance.
- Collaborate on group projects and be willing to seek out a co-workers help.
- Make an effort outside of work. In HACE’s case, we have an ongoing text thread for quick check-ins and “water cooler” conversations. This is where we debate about our favorite sports teams or give up our go-to vacation spots. If you are looking for ideas on great “water cooler” topics, check out this resource.
- Maximize some of your down time during meetings. Take a few minutes immediately after a virtual meeting ends (or starts early) to do a quick catch up with colleagues who you wouldn’t normally run into.
No matter how you pursue the connection, remember that it is worth the continual effort for creating valuable relationships and a better workplace for all.