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      In today’s workplace environment, it’s increasingly more important to keep connected to one another. As human beings, we have an innate need to be with other people – Neuroscientists have repeatedly found that there is activation in the reward center of our brains during social interaction, which does not happen on our own without social engagement. Since that isn’t always possible in-person, here are some ideas to help stay connected to our colleagues and employees during these unprecedented times.

      Schedule regular virtual meetings with video

      Seeing people’s’ faces reminds us of who they are and helps us get to know one another better. It’s easy to forget that we are a part of a team and can get stuck in our own silos when working remotely. Seeing each other smile, laugh, and generally be engaged reminds us of the big picture – that we are all connected and on the same team.

      Take time to reach out to colleagues

      Since we aren’t running into our colleagues in the hallway and kitchen, casually touch base with one another in order to stay connected. This isn’t as easy as it would be in the office, but it’s still very important and demonstrates your interest and efficacy.

      Discover new ways to coach employees virtually

      After any training, be sure to schedule a time to review takeaways and discuss any questions. Find out if the training was helpful for them and have an in-depth discussion to find out what type of additional training they might need.

      Pick up the phone instead of sending an email

      While email has its place, there’s no substitution for the human voice and the connection and bond that occurs with live interactions. Email can be misunderstood because you cannot hear each other’s tones or senses of humor, and too often it can cause unnecessary miscommunications. Especially with difficult conversations or topics, it is much more likely that you’ll have a positive experience and outcome by picking up the phone.

      Let employees know how well they’re doing

      More than ever, let employees and teammates know that you notice when they’re thriving. Once again, in these unprecedented times, there have been additional stressors on everyone and a lot of changes to endure as businesses are having to change and adjust rapidly. Acknowledge and recognize when your employees and team are doing a great job, as they might not realize that their hard work is being noticed. In an office setting, interactions of acknowledgement are more natural because you’re there together, but all it takes is a simple phone call to let people know that you notice a job well done.

      By Patty Simpson.

      D.W. Simpson can help you with your Actuarial hiring needs. Find us at http://www.DWSimpson.com.

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