How do you regroup after Summer in hybrid conditions?

Hi, I’m Jamie Davidoff, founder, and CEO of Spark Success, where we work with leaders who want to make a positive impact on themselves, their teams, their organization, and the world.

Even in full-time employment, the summer seems like a school summer holiday or the Christmas period where September often feels like a new year! With many employees taking turns in having time off and indulging in summer activities, anything that involves teams usually gets pushed off until the team is whole again.

Many leaders look to September as the time to start new initiatives, and when we’re coming back from the somewhat lighter days of Summer and back to hybrid workspace, there is some re-integration to do and perhaps some ramping backup. How do we do this in a hybrid environment where we’re not physically back together, but now back as a team or department?

Connection is so critical in these times. Connection supports the building of relationships and trust. As physical beings, we tend to do best with these when meeting in person. However, it is possible to build connections virtually and in hybrid conditions.

This could take a few facilitation skills on the part of your connectors, be it you as a formal leader or as an informal leader. Bringing people together can involve leaders and connection champions.

Here are some ideas:
1. Have some sort of Summer reconnect – share highlights from the Summer
2. Have a Fall intention-setting meeting – share your intentions and vision for the next horizon line you’re looking at and for the next month. You could collectively create an overarching intention of the team and/or organization for a shorter timeline to support people to find purpose and meaning in the work they are doing.
3. Ensure opportunities are being shared with all people, not just those with whom you are in closest contact or proximity to. It can be easy to lose sight of everybody when some are working in person while others are working virtually.
4. Have one-on-ones with all of your team members, so they stay in the loop and vice versa. This also creates a sense of continuity, purpose, and connection. It also minimizes surprises.
5. Do something that is slightly vulnerable at the beginning of your meetings – for example, take a minute of silence, do a deep-breathing exercise together, what a motivational video, share a quote or article that has some meaning – take turns doing this at each meeting.
6. Have monthly meetings that share how you are all practicing your shared values and how that is contributing to a shared purpose. It is an acknowledgment and supports co-learning.

Some organizations have other ways of connection – sharing posts of self-care activities like “out for a walk”, playing catch with their dog, and having groups for people to sign up for that are social and supportive in nature.

These are just a few ideas of how to regroup after Summer in hybrid conditions. I’d love to hear your ideas! Let me know in the comments what you do to help with returning to work after summer.

If you’d like to explore how you can create something specifically for your context, I would be happy to have an exploration call to see what might support you and your team on a longer-term basis. Book with me for a complimentary 30-minute call the link is in the comments.

 If you have additional contributions to the topic, I’d love to hear your comments! Until next time, keep up the great work!