It is 2015. Face it, our customer-facing teams are on the road, distributed, highly stressed, and in need of (sorry guys) a hug. This HBR Article* speaks to your left – guy brains to explain why our human organism sees disconnectedness as ‘trouble’ or worse ‘physical pain’.
My favorite part of the article is that is refers to a strategy to resolve this lack of relatedness by using the word, ‘together’. I will go one step further and say, a leader just using the word and not putting the word ‘together’ into action could appear disingenuous. Solution? Schedule 15 or 30 min 1:1 calls with team members at least every other week and suggest your team members do the same on key projects. Limit the monstrous team conference calls to disseminating key information to the team. These large team conference calls only promote togetherness for those who muscle in to speak.
Limit the email traffic. This takes major discipline to train your team to ‘make a list’. I’d rather have a quick 30 minute call to review several topics; send me a summary email for the call to allow me to prepare my questions and/or decisions ahead of time.
Invest in your team and have one or two ‘together’ events each year. Face to face interactions cannot be replaced, and as humans, we develop compassion for each other during non-work events.
Celebrate the value of your team, together.