Five tips for leaders for a championship year

The year 2020 changed the world like none other. It disrupted the way people interact, how schools function and the way we do business. Not surprisingly, this dramatic paradigm shift forced us to look at what we were doing, reassess and find new ways of doing everything—all in a tight timeframe.

We learned so much about ourselves. We realized we could be productive, collaborative, and social from great distances. Organizations realized that individuals and teams continue to work toward common goals – no matter where they were or how widely disbursed they were. We’ll carry these lessons learned last year for the rest of our lives.

But where do we go from here? The new normal IS business as usual, how do we maintain relevance in this new landscape?


Start with a plan.


Now it’s time to strengthen your team as you look toward a better 2021. While individual and collective goals may have changed dramatically over the past year, you all went through something big together. Now it’s time to take the lessons learned and apply them to your new goals in the new year.

As a leader, your job is to keep everyone’s eye on the prize or the collective goal you’re trying to achieve. Create a buzz around that goal to build momentum and support the team as they work toward it. Lead your team as they work together toward that goal like a coach leads an athletic team to win a game or a championship – and create bonds that transcend the workday.

But a leader’s job is twofold. While you shepherd your cohesive team, you also need to keep your finger on the pulse of the world at large. According to the University of Queensland, building a positive culture with remote teams, adopting a change mindset, incorporating wellbeing leadership and avoiding ethical blind spots will drive leaders in 2021. As a leader, this is your year to be the change.


Take advantage of the new remote workplace


By now, we know how to use technology to connect and collaborate from anywhere in the world. Leaders who embrace this new culture will find it’s easier to recruit and retain talent because remote work eliminates the barrier of the physical office.

Organizations large and small are leveraging technology and workflows to help them do their best work no matter where they’re located. Teams can use the technology after hours too.

Events like happy hours or team lunches – where your team can connect, socialize, and network with one another outside of the workday can still happen with a remote office model. And they’ll go a long way to keeping employees connected and feeling like part of the team.


Embrace the changing culture.


When the pandemic hit last year, it forced many companies to accomplish their three-year technology plan in three months. Technology at these companies is taking on a new role – and it’s changing so fast, it’s hard to keep up.

Offices will always have individuals who embrace change at varying rates. But, when a change mindset comes from the top-down, employees will be more adaptable to the change.


Incorporate wellbeing leadership.


Today’s leaders take a holistic look at what their business is doing – and even reevaluate their brand to express values like sustainability, and diversity and inclusion. Initiatives like corporate wellness have been around for a while, but 2020 showed us just how crucial those elements are at work and home.

The great thing is, even with a remote workforce, wellbeing leadership is possible. Bu allowing employees to continue to work from home, companies are reducing greenhouse emissions. Having open conversations about how employees are feeling is improving mental health. Taking a good hard look at where their company is in terms of diversity and inclusion is ushering in a more diverse talent pool that delivers a better product. And, providing online fitness classes to a remote workforce helps with physical health and improves overall morale.


Say goodbye to ethical blind spots.


Underscoring all of this is a shift in attitude from “you’re our employee” to “we care about you.” And they’re finding that by investing in the whole employee, they’re getting a better employee.

By focusing on overall culture rather than a product, leaders can better avoid ethical blind spots. When leaders establish a set of values around doing what is good and right – and center that set of values around the employee, it inspires employees to do good – not just meet quotas or save the company money. And that’s ON Point.

At ON Point, we’re here to help leaders like you take 2021 by storm. Whether it’s wellness leadership, navigating the remote landscape or cultivating a change mindset in your organization, our coaches can help you navigate those challenges. If you’d like to learn more about building a strategic action plan that works, reach out today.

We don’t know a single person who isn’t looking forward to 2021. A new year, a clean slate, a chance to reflect on the past and work toward the future. People take this time to set goals for themselves – whether they’re personal goals or professional goals. And businesses often take the time to reflect on the past year and prioritize to ensure continued success or reprioritize goals for a better year ahead.

Typically, the new year is a time of growth and change. Of course, last year brought us growth and change beyond our wildest imagination. Despite that, leaders continue to strive for new learning opportunities. ON Point leaders read a lot about self-improvement. Because we know that by improving ourselves, we can improve our teams.

Leading by example, let’s take a look at five ways you can sharpen your leadership skills in 2021.


  1. Improve your connections.

We don’t mean networking here. As a leader, you know what needs to get done and when it needs to be done. Getting to know the workers who will actually do the work can help you get your tasks done more efficiently and effectively.

Work on your mentorship skills by meeting with each of your team members individually to get a sense of their goals, give regular feedback and challenge them with new opportunities. Collaborate across teams to build connections with other stakeholders in your organization. Sharpen your listening skills. Effective communication often involves more listening than talking. Think about what your team is telling you and work with them to deliver the best results.


  1. Sharpen your administration

Think about your work style and processes, is it efficient? Does your team understand it? Where can you improve it? Are you setting a good example by using your own time efficiently?

Call on your team to help you find an effective way to produce work more effectively – each time you make a decision. Remember, each of your team members is a stakeholder in the projects they’re tackling. Take some time to think about how you can meet your own deadlines better. Think about how your team can get more work done with less effort.

Trust your team members and delegate tasks accordingly. If you see that someone has a particular talent, call on that talent – when people are called upon to use skills they’re confident in, they’ll work harder and contribute more.


  1. Know yourself.

At ON Point, we’ve touched on this in the past. Continue to be a student of yourself. Self-knowledge and self-awareness give you more confidence to showcase the leadership skills you do have. And the confidence you do have will help you accept responsibility when a decision you make doesn’t go according to plan.


  1. Think about your company.

We all have individual hopes, dreams and visions. And they don’t always align with what’s best for the company. Practice the self-discipline required to make decisions in the company’s best interest. Always strive to choose what’s right over what’s favorable.

Your example will help your team to also choose company interests over their own when appropriate.


  1. Think about who you are leading.

Are you leading the next leaders? The skill-sets overlap. Leaders take initiative and execute strategy. Managers deal with people. In all organizations, effective managers have to be effective leaders.

Lead by supporting – each team member must know their position and growth. To do that, leaders need to be transparent about company goals. Give individuals on your team the right training and resources to grow in their career – because chances are if they can’t grow with your company, they’ll find an organization where they can grow.

At ON Point, we know nothing went according to plan in 2020. While so many things changed, the need for strong leadership never wavered. Being self-aware enough to continue your leadership development will go a long way, no matter what 2021 brings.

If you’d like to see how ON Point can help you take your leadership skills to the NextLevel in 2021, contact us. We’re all about mentoring people and making new connections.

Kindness benefits the giver too. Teams who are kind to one another grow strong together. And let’s face it – as the pandemic drags on – and we wait patiently for a vaccine kindness takes on a whole new meaning. It just feels good to be kind and show appreciation for those who matter to us – because they matter now more than ever.

In a normal year, your team would probably be planning the final details for your holiday party. Or maybe it would already be on the calendar. Leaders typically use holiday parties to show their appreciation for their team. And while it may look profoundly different this year, there is no reason why you can’t do that this year. Here are four creative ideas for taking your show of appreciation to the next level this year. All they take is some creativity. And maybe Zoom.

1. Start a shoutout thread. Send a shoutout to a team member over a group email or via group chat or Slack. Instead of props for a job well done, shout out an act of kindness. Maybe they helped you figure out one of the dozens of technical hiccups we’ve all encountered this year. Or perhaps, they listened to you vent about the perils of working from home. Shout it out – and then encourage your team to follow suit.

2. Schedule a Zoom happy hour or lunch for your team – your treat. Surprise them with lunch delivery or have them expense their favorite take-out. Relax as a team and enjoy the meal together. And don’t talk about work.

If you choose a happy hour, consider sending a “Happy Hour Care Package” using a service like Sendoso.

3. Keep your team motivated by sending your favorite leadership book. It’s a nice way to show your appreciation and also let them know that you already recognize their leadership skills.

4. Teams that show thanks together, stay and grow together. Our communities are in great need during this time which means there are plentiful volunteering opportunities! Get together as a team and give back. Check out your local United Way for local volunteering opportunities. If you’d like to keep it virtual create a virtual fundraiser and work together as a team to get the word out. If you’re feeling competitive, the person who raises the most gets an additional PTO day!

At ON Point, we know we’re all in this together. 2020 is an unforgettable year. Amid all of the darkness, we’ve had a chance to see what matters. We know you matter – and we’re grateful to have the chance to lead you during this time. And we’ll stay here – supporting you through it all, whether it’s coaching, leadership seminars, or just by giving you something inspiring to read.

October is Emotional Wellness Month and World Mental Health Day was on October 10th. Here’s how ON Point is recognizing mental health challenges and providing solutions.

Some call it “the other pandemic of 2020.” We retreated to our homes – isolating ourselves from friends and family, we felt the stress. As we pivoted from office work to remote work, we felt the anxiety. Disruptions do that – that’s why we’ve talked about it so much here at ON Point. We know that recognizing these challenges can help us all move forward.

We hear about COVID every day for about eight months. But, what about the other challenges. What about the mental health challenges that are affecting so many of us right now?

According to a study published in July by the Kaiser Family Foundation


  • 53% of adults report that worry and stress over COVID has negatively affected their mental health
  • 36% of adults reported difficulty sleeping
  • 32% reported difficulty eating
  • 12% reported an increase in alcohol or substance use
  • 12% reported an increase in chronic conditions


Mental health crises are another pandemic. It’s not surprising. We all experienced a major shift in our lives. They’ve changed forever. So what do we do about it? How do we take care of our mental health as well as we’re attending to our physical health right now?

There are simple things you can do each day to improve your mental health and maintain a positive outlook – before things get serious. Exercise, meditation and hobbies are all good choices for your well-being. Many people choose to work with health and wellness coaches. These professionals can help you put together a playbook to tackle stress and anxiety.


Here at ON Point, CEO Pam Borton is a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach who’s worked with organizations and teams to help develop the resiliency necessary to face tough opponents and tough times.

The National Board Certification credential (NBC-HWC), in collaboration with the National Board of Medical Examiners, represents this profession’s highest standard and is based on extensive research and specialized training, education, and assessment of the coaches who have met NBHWC’s specific criteria and standards. As a certified Health & Wellness coach, Pam provides a game plan that guides her clients, teams and companies through change, crisis, succession planning, mergers and acquisitions, resiliency, well-being, emotional intelligence and mental wellness. Pam has worked closely with first responders, law enforcement commands and managers, and the military where they experience unique pressures, stress, fear, anxiety, and PTSD based on their roles.

For individuals, our approach is customized to each client including a personalized strategic action plan, clear goals and objectives, accountability, transparency, communication, and practical tools to improve overall health and well-being.

Team success is directly linked to the resilience, well-being, empathy, and cohesion of the individuals. The healthier the individuals, the stronger and more successful the team. We help leaders develop high-value, high-performing teams and motivated and engaged employees.

Fully leveraging the health of an organization requires on-going focus, discipline, strategy and effort by CEO’s and their teams. Our team coaches design and lead a unique and proven process that will ensure the long-term establishment of culture, team, and organizational health.

Let’s face it. 2020 has been tough. Perhaps our toughest foe ever. It’s going to affect our mental health – and the health of those around us. But there are resources available to us when the going gets really tough. And we’ve got coaches like Pam Borton to help us build resilience to get through them too.

If you’re interested in building resilience by working with a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach, contact us today.

If you’re concerned about a serious mental health problem, the CDC has a list of resources. If stress and anxiety are significantly impacting your routine and ability to function, reach out to your regular health care provider. They can prescribe medication, refer you to a psychologist or counselor who specializes in mental health conditions.

Individuals, teams, and organizations continue to face numerous challenges due to the pandemic while living in a world of unknowns and crises. As a leader, you are most likely navigating individuals who are still adjusting to working from home, some while also overseeing distance learning, teams nervous about the future, a limited workforce, and moving business targets, to name a few. If you want to continue to be effective this year, you need to empathize with your employees – but that doesn’t mean that you have to let everyone off the hook. You can give grace and still push the business forward. Remember, as a leader you are still responsible for producing results.

So, how do you do both? How do you support your team looking to you in this time of uncertainty for support, guidance, and insight while also staying focused on business results? As with most things in life, balance is essential. If you’re communicating well, employees should have no problem coming to you when they have extenuating circumstances. At the same time, if you’re clear about deliverables, they’ll continue to know your expectations of them despite their new situation. Swinging the pendulum too far toward empathy risks your bottom line, and too far towards business puts relationships and culture at risk.

Here are our 5 top tips for maintaining a healthy balance between empathy and accountability to keep your team and organization ON Point.



Continue to communicate with your team about significant business changes due to COVID that impact them. How long will they be working from home? Are they still launching this product or service they have been working on for months? Is there a new team member they need to onboard? You may not always have the answer – and it is okay to say you don’t know at this time. Your team will appreciate hearing from you directly, maintaining an open level of communication while creating space for empathy. Express to your team that you understand how challenging this time is and how the internal changes affect them.


Redirect the Energy

Reminding your team, and yourself, of the long-term vision is a great way to redirect the energy. It’s often not the actual goal that is changing, but the steps to get there and the timeline. Your team must continue to understand their work’s value and how it plays into the bigger picture to stay motivated.



It’s easier to hold people accountable when they know what they responsible for. Now is the time to ensure project requests, tasks, and goals are SMART. When you have specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound goals, your team not only has a clear picture of what is expected of them, but it also gives you a straightforward, unbiased platform to provide feedback on – whether positive or negative.


Be Human

Not all communication is a conversation. Humans naturally crave connection, which is hard to come by during a pandemic – a time when we need it most. Set aside time to connect human-to-human with your team members. Ask how they are and how you can help support them in a judgment-free zone. Share your own vulnerabilities. Remember, we are all going through this together.


Set the Pace

As a leader, you set the pace for your team. If your team sees you pivoting with intent and problem-solving during this time, they are likely to mirror you. Unfortunately, the same happens when you are rattled, distracted, and indecisive. If your team sees you extending empathy to others, they will likely extend the same compassion to their peers and direct reports. By setting the pace, you are modeling what you expect of your team and cultivating culture.

Finding the balance between empathy and accountability can be tricky and will not happen overnight, but it is essential to move your business forward.

This is a marathon, not a sprint. When COVID shut everything down in March, employers and workers alike looked ahead in two-week segments, recognizing the fluidity of the situation. And here we are in month five with no end in sight. When you tell yourself that a drastic change will only last two weeks, it’s easy to stomach. But eventually, you end up wondering how much longer you can look forward two weeks.

The reality that COVID isn’t leaving anytime soon is hitting hard. COVID fatigue has settled in. And along with it, work from home fatigue. According to CNBC, 69% of employees are experiencing work-from-home burnout symptoms. Yet, 59% of them are taking less time off and, 42% are not setting aside any time to decompress.

Parents, once accustomed to sending their children to daycare or school before commuting to work, now find themselves juggling work, child care, and distance learning in one place. And while we all hoped that things would go back to normal by the fall, it’s crystal clear that that is not going to happen.

We’re experiencing a paradigm shift. And we must adapt. But first, we need to combat work-from-home burnout and COVID fatigue. Forbes has a few suggestions to help you get started.

Create a routine and stick with it.

Structure your work-from-home day in much the same way as you did when you worked at the office. Get up at the same time, have your meals at the same time and exercise at the same time. If you had a commute, consider going for a walk during that time to create a feeling of transition from home to the office or from the office back home. Establish a definite start and stop time for your workday.

Define your role.

Using the same tools you used to define your role in the office, take time to assess your role in this new environment. You may have the same responsibilities to your team, but you might also be juggling those tasks with your role as a parent, spouse or caregiver. How do these dynamics affect how you work remotely?

Setting clear expectations for yourself and your role in this new setting will help alleviate the stress that comes with uncertainty.

Take breaks.

Chances are you didn’t work the whole time you were at the office. You took breaks to chat with co-workers or simply to let your mind rest. Taking breaks while working from home is just as important. Watch a fun video or listen to something funny. Read something unrelated to your job.

If your role requires you to have a lot of meetings on Zoom, schedule them with a 10-15 minute break between them. The short break will give you time to prepare for the next meeting. And if you can, choose phone meetings over Zoom to prevent screen fatigue.

Use break time for a quick check-in and connection with your family members. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s a good break – so you go back to work feeling refreshed.

And make your weekends “weekends” again. When you work from home, it’s easy for days to lose their meaning. When you give yourself a couple of days away from work and technology each week, you’ll be more productive in the long run.

Stay informed.

According to the University of California at Davis, it’s important to say informed about difficult situations and also be mindful of overwhelm. UC Davis recommends focusing on the numbers because that helps us focus on what we can control. At the same time, you want to limit triggers – limit the amount of news you listen to – and make sure it comes from trusted sources.

Stay away from social media arguments. Often, contrary information comes from people experiencing COVID fatigue themselves. Remind loved ones that this will be over soon if we all follow the guidelines. And if that doesn’t work, model good behavior and be kind.

Always remember, you can’t control anyone but yourself.

These are challenging times for everyone – perhaps the most challenging we’ve seen in our lifetimes. But we’re in this together. We can get through this together. And our team at ON Point is here to help you finish the marathon.

Tips you and your team can carry with you after the pandemic is over.

When we learned the gravity of the coronavirus pandemic back in March, there was no way to gauge how long it would last. We focused on what we had to do in the present, weighed the worst-case scenarios and waited for it all to unfold. And we waited. And waited.

And here we are, in July – still waiting. Most businesses have started back up, though many of us are working from home. Meetings over Zoom, Google Teams, or FaceTime punctuate our daily lives, and we struggle to fit childcare and family obligations into the new normal. Meanwhile, our teams still look to us to lead. We face the difficult task of keeping our teams focused while maintaining our own.

Here at ON Point, we know the struggle is real. This month, we’ll focus on maintaining focus in our own lives, as business leaders, and in our teams.


Maintain your focus.


Focusing on work can be difficult when you’re working remotely. Companies pivoted quickly to an online format, and teams got into the groove of Zoom calls. But, now we’re in it for the long haul. Parents wonder what school will look like this fall and check the daily news to see where the pandemic will spike next. Distractions are everywhere.

As a leader, it’s your job to keep your team ON Point. But first, you need to take care of your focus. Keep a regular work schedule so that you have time for relaxation. Set small daily goals and give yourself some grace if your productivity is down. Take care of your mental health. It’s normal to be stressed out. Acknowledge that so that you can take steps to relieve the stress.

Divert your attention to other things. Focus on the present by filling your day with meaningful activities. Now is a great time to learn a new language or a new hobby. Find new ways to connect with family and friends. And, if you’ve got a seemingly impossible task before you, focus on the upsides of completing the task.


Maintain your team’s focus.


Leaders strike a balance between acknowledging team members’ anxieties while motivating them to stay focused on their work. Accepting the uncertainty, keeping lines of communication open, paring down meetings to keep them focused and productive, and directing your teams focus on the company’s future all help to cultivate team focus.

And, even though it’s the first time we’ve all been through something like this, it’s not the first time humanity has been through something like this. Often, times of isolation and uncertainty blossom into periods of creativity and innovation, just as the Bubonic Plague gave birth to the Italian Renaissance.  Think about making space in your organization for more creativity and innovation.

As Next Level leaders, you can carry the skills cultivated during this time into a more certain future. By focusing on the benefits of these unprecedented times and leading your team to do so as well, you’ll keep everyone ON Point. And, if you need direction, check out our past blogs and the wealth of resources available here at ON Point Next Level.

Human Resources and diversity and inclusion expert, Josh Bersin says, “Companies that embrace diversity and inclusion in all aspects of their business statistically outperform their peers.”

In fact, according to Talentlyft, diverse workplaces experience higher creativity levels, faster problem solving, higher employee engagement, more innovation, and a better company reputation.

Greenhouse reports that diverse workplaces attract better candidates and have higher revenues than their less diverse peers.

While it’s the right thing for every business to do, impactful Diversity and Inclusion practices go beyond recruiting and hiring. Your company must ensure that all employees feel like they’re a part of the team. This month, ON Point tackles diversity and inclusion by sharing some benefits and unique ideas for cultivating an inclusive workplace.


  1. Write results-based job descriptions. Men apply for a job when they meet 60% of the job requirements while women only apply when they meet 100% of the requirements. Rather than list out what the requirements are, frame your job descriptions to illustrate the results you expect from the candidate 6 months to a year from their hire date rather than everything they should have going into the job. After all, learning a new job is a growth experience even for the most qualified candidate.
  2. Blind screen resumés. Research shows that people with ethnic-sounding names need to send out more resumes before getting hired and that resumes coming from women tend to rank lower than their male peers during HR review. Have your HR team review resumes without the names attached to avoid bias.
  3. Check your bathroom stock. Go beyond toilet paper and paper towels– make sure you offer tampons and other feminine hygiene products. Provide them at no cost. Include signage that identifies your bathrooms as inclusive – simply add a sign on each bathroom door that says “For those who identify as.”
  4. Put dish duty on rotation. Studies show that women clean up the breakroom more often than their male counterparts. And this task and those like it cut into their productivity. Put breakroom cleaning on rotation and make all employees responsible for keeping the breakroom clean. When someone steps up and goes outside of the rotation to keep it clean, recognize them for their efforts.
  5. Celebrate holidays and events of underrepresented minorities. Offices always have a Holiday Party in December why not celebrate Pride in June? Or Black History Month in February? Invite employees from those communities to incorporate their traditions into the celebration. You’ll learn more about one another and it’ll be fun.
  6. Check your office temperature. Did you know that office thermostats are calibrated to keep men comfortable? Check your thermostat. Is everyone comfortable? Are women running around in heavy “office sweaters” in July? Get input from your employees and find an office temperature that’s suitable for the majority.
  7. Offer company swag in women’s and extended sizes. Whether folks wear swag to trade shows or simply to show their company pride, when it fits well and looks good on them, you look good too.
  8. Start blogging. Invite diverse employees from each department to write about your company from their perspective. You’ll learn how those employees feel about the company and you’ll reach a more diverse market.
  9. Think about work-life balance. Employers who offer flex-time, work-from-home, and flexible PTO have higher employee retention and more productive employees. Trust that your employees will make the right decisions. They’ll prioritize appropriately. Schedule some team-building events during the workday so that employees who have family obligations can attend.
  10. Rethink your meeting style. Distribute meeting agendas and talking points ahead of time to accommodate different working styles. Then, structure those meetings round-robin style to give everyone a chance to talk. Studies show that women who speak up during meetings are more likely to be interrupted than their male counterparts under the traditional model. By restructuring your meetings, you’ll allow for a more diverse input leading to more creativity and innovation.


Empathetic leadership is good leadership. But leaders must do some work themselves. Think about who your employees are now and who you’d like them to be in the future. Company diversity is more than a hashtag or a public statement. At ON Point, we’re here to help you do the work you need to do take Diversity and Inclusion to the Next Level.

We expect leaders to lead regardless of circumstances. That’s why they’re leaders – they know how to lead. And now that we find ourselves in uncharted waters – we still expect leaders to lead. So how do we, as leaders, lead our teams through unprecedented crises? What is quarantine teaching us about leadership? And how do we move forward?

Here at ON Point, we know even during crises, the fundamentals of good leadership remain. People look to leaders for consistency in the face of uncertainty. The good news is the leadership skills you’ve been developing throughout your career, you can implement them in a crisis. Here’s what we’ve learned over the past several weeks.


Step up your communication.

Communication is the cornerstone of good leadership. During uncertain times, teams turn to their leaders to show them how to move forward. Make sure they get all the information they need about organizational changes promptly. And be available for questions. When changes happen as rapidly as they are right now, there are bound to be plenty of questions.

You probably already have some workplace protocols in place for extenuating circumstances. Now’s the time to update those protocols. Meet with fellow leaders, reflect on your new circumstances, update your protocols. Compile a list of resources to share with your employees. Include mental health resources, technology resources, and identify key people within your organization who can assist people as they navigate these new times.


Be patient.

Change is stressful. Sudden change is even more stressful. The uncertainty that comes with a situation as fluid as this one is unimaginably stressful. Keep in mind that every person on your team feels the stress – even you. While you can’t expect to eliminate the anxiety, acknowledging the anxiety goes a long way – and patience plays a big role in this.

Everyone has their coping strategies. People will have a hard time managing their feelings, and some folks are overcoming steep learning curves as we move to remote and digital work.

Those leaders who recognize that the changes are affecting everyone, empathize with frustrated team members, and provide resources and solutions when problems arise will be better equipped to move their organizations forward. And it’s always comforting to know that you’re sharing circumstances, don’t be afraid to tell your team that you share their anxieties – without seeming hysterical.


Keep building community.

More than anything, people want a sense of connection. Even folks who enjoy working in solitude. When people work together in an office environment, that sense of connection is automatic. Remote work brings with it a new set of challenges.

But, thanks to technology and apps like Zoom, we’re finding new ways to connect – and we’re using them. As a leader, you can continue to facilitate the connections that build great teams. Set up those Zoom calls. Help folks out who struggle with technology and check in with everyone.


Don’t forget self-care.

Even if you didn’t expect to lead during a time like this, and who did? Your team will continue to look to you for leadership. If you’re working from home, set a schedule for yourself and boundaries for your family so everyone in your household knows when you’re available and when you’re working. Keep to that schedule. As leaders, it’s tempting to “be there” for your team at all hours. Remote work blurs the lines between work time and family time. Your schedule should honor both times – and you should stick to it.

ON Point Next Level Leaders know that a key characteristic of a strong leader is adaptability. By adapting your leadership skills to fit the changing times, and taking the lessons learned during quarantine, you’ll be able to lead your teams through this new situation.

Remote working isn’t new. It has continued to increase in popularity and statistics each year as it allows more flexibility, better work/life balance, and less time spent commuting. The amount of people who work remotely at least once per week has grown by 400% since 2010. (GetApp) As of 2019, more than half of full-time in-office employees want to work remotely. (Owl Labs)

So, why does this feel so hard? Lack of human connection. Even for those who previously worked remotely full-time, they had natural human connections through coffee shops, running errands, visiting friends, going to the gym, and meetings with clients. Those catapulted into full-time remote working not only lost all of those instances of human connection, but also their workplace environment, office culture, and face-to-face interaction with their teammates.

But that doesn’t have to be the case. Whether working remotely is a regular occurrence for you, or a whole new world, staying connected with your team through this time is vital professionally – and personally. Here are our top 8 tips to keep you ON Point and connected:

  1. Mix It Up: Every communication doesn’t have to be an email or a zoom session. Picking up the phone for a call can get you to a resolution more quickly while feeling (almost) like you went over to someone’s desk for a quick chat.
  2. Honor Your Culture: What makes your team or office unique? Why do people enjoy working there? Take your answers and translate them into our virtual world. Do you often eat lunch together? Block off lunch for a team zoom session. Not only will this keep you connected, but it creates a forced break in the day, which often goes by the wayside while working remotely.
  3. Create Space for Encouragement: It isn’t until it’s gone that we realize how many simple words and actions of encouragement happen throughout the day. Start your next zoom meeting with 5 minutes of shout outs. Create a Slack channel for giving praise. Start an email chain where if you receive an email of recognition, you send one.
  4. Use Technology Wisely: There is a bountiful amount of applications for remote project management and team communication. You don’t need to use them all. Using too many tools or springing new processes on your team while adjusting to working remotely can do more harm than good. Pick what works best for your organization and create a training session, clearly defining how you will be using these new tools.
  5. Emphasis on Communication: Don’t let the isolation of working remotely alter your regular communication. Have a question? Communicate. Have an issue? Communicate. Have an idea? Communicate. Have a win? Communicate!
  6. Be Supportive: This unprecedented time isn’t business as usual. People on your team may be juggling kids, homeschooling, grocery delivery to elderly parents, pets, and more – not to mention the general anxiety that comes with a global crisis. Be supportive and be flexible. Everyone is doing the best they can.
  7. Plan It Out: With everyone juggling multiple things every day, it is more important than ever to maintain your team calendar platform. Send out meeting planners in advance so people can coordinate with spouses or plan to set up in a quieter area of the house.
  8. Don’t Forget to Have Fun! Meetings don’t have to be all business all of the time. Taking time to check in with each other will protect your team morale and keep you connected.