Early in the Covid-19 lockdown, I was invited to run a 90-minute session for a department of 75 people located around the world, in countries with different levels of travel restrictions.
The leadership team wanted to invest in the wellbeing of their people, keeping them connected even when they couldn’t be together.
Before the day, I had a one-to-one with each member of the leadership team to find out how their people were doing, and what the organisation needed holistically and collectively.
Overwhelmingly, their people were needing support and reassurance from their leadership team, particularly those who were juggling productivity with young children at home. Speaking to the leaders in advance helped them think through the opening talk that would be needed to land their key messages.
We also posed questions in advance so people could contribute their ideas about:
- How to manage childcare with work
- How to separate work and home life when working from home
- How to look after physical and mental health during lockdown
- What they have learned about themselves during this crisis
On the day, I delivered a 15-minute presentation giving guidance about how to look after yourself at this time, with advice, tips and reassurance. Key points included:
- Fear is natural, but there are things you can do to handle it. Don’t let this situation control you; you control it.
- You shouldn’t be expected to achieve something onerous or amazing during this time. Be kind to yourself.
- Decide what you would like to learn or experience while you have the chance. Think about your personal development or career or a new hobby, or the opportunity to catch up with reading or old friends. That way, when we all come out of this, you’ll feel you have accomplished something you might not otherwise have had time for.
We then used Jamboard as a place where people could post their advice and pictures, and encouraged them to speak about their truth and reality. They contributed a range of amazing suggestions.
The result was a real team spirit and sense of community. People felt supported by the leadership team and each other. They came away with tangible and practical advice on how to look after themselves. They felt proud of working for this organisation.