Human Flourishing
Nine Micro Moments to Build Team Culture with Michelle Hartley
Helen Attia
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For distributed teams, building a strong team culture is more important than ever. Creating meaningful connections among remote and in-office employees can seem challenging, but it’s achievable through small, intentional actions.

I recently sat down with Managing Director of People Sorted, Michelle Hartley. She’s a HR wiz and has supported hybrid companies in different sectors connect and build a resilient company culture. Check out our full conversation where she offers some tips on what HR Managers can implement to support their teams.

One of her key recommendations was to look past grand gestures like company away days to bring people together. The best leaders are those who implement small and frequent displays of appreciation and connection that makes employees feel like they are acknowledged and belong to the company. These “micro moments”, as she calls them, are simple yet powerful ways to foster a positive and inclusive team culture.

Here, we’ll explore nine micro moments that can transform your team’s dynamics and strengthen your company’s culture.

1. Half Agendas

Half agendas are an innovative approach to meetings that can significantly enhance team culture. Traditional meetings often have packed agendas, leaving little room for spontaneous discussion. By intentionally leaving half of the agenda open, you create space for creativity, brainstorming, and addressing unforeseen issues. This approach not only makes meetings more engaging, but also empowers team members to contribute their ideas and feel heard.

For instance, imagine a product development meeting where the first half is dedicated to updates and the second half is open for discussing new ideas or solving current challenges. This flexibility can lead to more dynamic and productive discussions, fostering a sense of collaboration and shared ownership among team members.

2. Unstructured Time

In a remote or hybrid work setting, unstructured time can be a valuable opportunity for team members to connect on a personal level. Unlike structured meetings, unstructured time allows for spontaneous interactions, much like the casual conversations that happen in office break rooms.

Encourage your team to schedule “virtual coffee breaks” or “water cooler chats” where there’s no set agenda. These informal gatherings can help build relationships, reduce feelings of isolation, and create a sense of camaraderie. For example, a 15-minute virtual coffee chat once a week can provide a much-needed break and a chance to catch up with colleagues in a relaxed setting.

3. Thank You Notes

Never underestimate the power of a simple postcard or thank you note. In our digital age, receiving a physical note can be a delightful surprise and a tangible reminder that someone appreciates you. Sending personalized thank you notes to team members for their hard work, achievements, or just to say thank you can make a significant impact.

For example, a manager might send a handwritten note to a team member who went above and beyond on a project. This small gesture can boost morale, reinforce positive behavior, and show that you value their contributions.

4. Social Media Shoutouts

Social media shoutouts are a modern way to recognize and celebrate your team’s achievements publicly. Highlighting individual or team successes on your company’s social media platforms not only acknowledges their hard work but also showcases your company culture to a wider audience.

Imagine posting a shoutout on LinkedIn for a team that completed a major project ahead of schedule. This public recognition can boost team morale, enhance your company’s reputation, and encourage other employees to strive for excellence.

5. Surprise Deliveries

Everyone loves surprises, especially when they come in the form of surprise deliveries. Sending unexpected gifts to your team members’ homes can create a sense of excitement and appreciation. These can be anything from a box of gourmet cookies to a personalized gift that reflects their interests.

For instance, a surprise delivery of a wellness kit including a scented candle, herbal tea, and a stress ball can show that you care about your team members’ well-being. These thoughtful gestures can enhance team spirit and show your employees that they are valued.

6. Virtual Celebrations

Celebrating milestones and achievements is crucial for maintaining a positive team culture. Virtual celebrations can be just as effective as in-person ones when done right. Whether it’s a birthday, work anniversary, or a project completion, taking the time to celebrate can strengthen team bonds.

Host a virtual party with fun activities like trivia games, virtual happy hours, or themed dress-up days. For example, you could organize a virtual celebration for a team member’s birthday, complete with a digital birthday card signed by the whole team and a cake delivered to their door. These celebrations create memorable moments and reinforce a sense of community.

7. Digital Badges

Digital badges are a modern and effective way to recognize and reward employees for their achievements. These badges can be displayed on internal communication platforms or professional networks like LinkedIn. They serve as a visible acknowledgment of skills, accomplishments, and contributions.

For example, awarding a “Project Management Pro” badge to a team member who successfully led a challenging project can boost their confidence and encourage others to aspire to similar achievements. Digital badges not only provide recognition, but also motivate continuous learning and development.

8. Professional Development

Investing in professional development shows your team that you care about their growth and future. Offering opportunities for training, attending conferences, or taking online courses can enhance their skills and career prospects.

Consider setting up a professional development fund that employees can use for courses or certifications relevant to their roles. For instance, a marketing professional might use the fund to take an advanced digital marketing course. Supporting professional development not only improves individual performance, but also contributes to the overall success of the team and company.

9. Mental Health Support

Supporting your team’s mental health is crucial, especially in a hybrid work environment where stress and isolation can be prevalent. Offering mental health support can make a significant difference in their well-being and productivity.

Provide access to resources such as counseling services, mental health days, and stress management workshops. For example, organizing a monthly webinar on mindfulness and stress reduction techniques can help your team manage their mental health effectively. Showing empathy and understanding towards mental health challenges creates a supportive and caring work environment.

Coordinate Team Time with Kadence

Building a strong team culture in a hybrid work environment doesn’t have to be daunting. By incorporating these nine micro moments into your routine, you can create a positive, inclusive, and dynamic team culture. These gestures not only enhance team morale and productivity, but also foster a sense of belonging and community.

Remember, it’s the small, consistent actions that build a strong and resilient team culture. Start implementing these micro moments today and watch your team thrive. Offset these all with regular in person team days. With Kadence, you can reserve days and spaces for teams together. And with our Smart Suggestions tool, you can find out when your colleagues are going into the office so you can book a desk nearby. Find out more about Kadence by seeing what it can do for your team.

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