During this global pandemic, it’s so hard to stay in touch as team members within an organization. Virtual connections often lack a personal touch. Here are some practices that Gladiator Consulting has implemented to support human connection and integrate new team members during the pandemic.

Daily Goals, Priorities and Human Connection

Gladiator’s 10-at-10 writing activity has become a daily tradition for the Gladiator team. 10-at-10 was inspired by Kiterocket’s Deborah Knuckey. Knuckey implemented a 9 at 9 meeting for her team. Switching to fully remote had already increased the number of meetings we were having, so the 9 at 9 practice was adjusted slightly to use Slack as our venue instead of an actual meeting. In an effort to lift our spirits during a very uncertain time, we opted  to include a daily victory – bringing the total to 10, instead of 9. We also wanted to be mindful of the natural working hours of our team, so rather than starting at 9am, we adjusted the time to match our revised 10 items – thus, creating our own version, the 10-at-10. 

All Gladiators set aside up to twenty minutes of their time daily to post the following content in a special 10-at-10 Slack channel: 

  • 3 things they want the team to know, which can include a sudden realization or epiphany
  • 3 priorities that represent the main goals to focus on for the day
  • 3 needs, for example, more rest, sleep or water
  • 1 victory, either personal or work related

10-at-10 is a great way to stay connected and bond as a team by sharing personal insights and business goals.

Digital Collaboration

Digital platforms like G Suite, Wrike, and Slack are now necessary to carry out daily business for remote teams. These platforms allow Gladiator to collaborate remotely and help with prioritization, task management, and fostering better communication.

G Suite

We use many of the available Google business tools to stay connected and get work done. 

  • Google Calendar: share each other’s calendars so that we can more easily schedule meetings and know what each team member has on their plate for the week
  • Google Docs: collaborate on almost all writing tasks from marketing collateral and blogs to meeting notes
  • Google Drive: organize and maintain digital files, videos, and images for our clients and our team
  • Google Sheets: track and organize data to collaborate on projects

G Suite is a great way to facilitate collaboration and cut down on emails by eliminating the need for meetings and file coordination emails.

Wrike

Gladiator uses the project management tool Wrike for tracking tasks, scope, and timelines. It allows the team to stay on the same page by  communicating in the context of the project, making the project history and details accessible by documenting deadlines, specific team member assignments, and upcoming projects.

Slack

This messaging platform allows the Gladiator team the ability to organize our conversations based on client, project, topic, etc. Ensuring that all of the appropriate stakeholders are included and have the opportunity to chime in. Here are some of the channels we have:

  • 10 at 10 – as discussed earlier
  • Channel for each client
  • Wrike – to discuss Wrike functionality and procedures
  • Random – for random memes, news, thoughts
  • General – for general team related items
  • Events – for events that might interest a team member
  • Goodreads – for sharing articles, book recommendations, etc.

Slack facilitates quick collaboration and problem solving to help make sure that our projects are moving forward. We set the expectation that team members can be reached easiest through Slack and are required to check it regularly.

Video Work Sessions

Each week Gladiator has OPTIONAL video work sessions on Wednesdays and Fridays from 2-4 pm. This idea came from a team meeting where we discussed missing seeing everyone’s faces and cultivating conversations that naturally happen when we’re in the same room. Virtual Work sessions allow everyone to work with the camera and audio on to enable the quick question and answer response times that happen from working in close proximity.

Conclusion

During these uncertain times, Gladiator’s team members are making concerted efforts to stay in touch. Even though we cannot celebrate through hugs or high fives, our new virtual routines promote closeness. Continuous digital collaboration and video work sessions promote connectivity, creativity and productivity as we all work from home. We are constantly brainstorming new ways to foster a strong remote team.

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