The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed significant amounts of change on our working environments and much of that change had been embedded successfully, even in areas we thought would struggle to adapt. Whether it’s been the ability of organisations to quickly adapt to remote working, or the speed at which they have adopted new technologies to communicate and run virtual meetings, teams have found lots of new and creative ways of keeping the show on the road.
For many of the teams that our faculty and coaches have been working with, we’ve seen some interesting psychological consequences start to evolve. On the one hand, being forced to reinvent many aspects of our traditional operating models has brought many teams much closer together in the way only a crisis can. On the other, we talked to many team members who have missed the basic social interactions and banter that can only really be enjoyed around the coffee machine while working face-to-face.
We are also hearing team members describe the physical exhaustion that seems to accompany a full day of back-to-back virtual calls, as well a sense that although people are doing their best, there only seems to be room in the working day for the priorities at the moment. Some of the basics have fallen by the wayside and it feels like there is little room for things such as, personal development, career progression discussions or for basic planning and forecasting. Everything is knee jerk, urgent and now!
Some of the organisations we are talking to are also holding on to the idea that everything will go back to normal once a viable Covid-19 vaccine has been developed. But what if that isn’t the way things unfold? What if all this fire fighting and crisis driven focus on the urgent things is as good as it gets? Is the way in which teams are currently operating actually sustainable?
Maybe what organisations, and their newly remote teams, need right now is to stop, pause and move forward with confidence in a way that is sustainable.
As coaches we know how to help teams to breakthrough into the next level of performance, release more of their true potential and unlock the synergies that exist, even in a heavily disrupted environment. So we’ve taken some time to consider what these teams need right now:-
- Revisit a shared purpose. What has changed during the pandemic? How have the perspectives of the team purpose changed? How do you continue delivering value under the new conditions?
- Reassess available resources. What does the team need? What are the current resources and how do you access them? How has the pandemic affected your toolkit and partnerships?
- Understanding team member constraints. How has the pandemic affected individual contributions to the team? How can the team best support its members? How do you rebalance task loads?
- Reestablishing team norms. How must individuals behave and interact amid changing circumstances? How does the team connect and collaborate virtually and with what tools? What does your team expect of each other? How do you combat feelings of isolation within the team?
We feel that addressing these things will help to bring leaders and their team members to understand how each and everyone has been affected, figure out how to address concerns, and ultimately get everyone back on the same track to achieve team goals.
We call it ‘re:Team’.
For more information, or if you think your team would benefit from a reboot, then contact Melissa Luck to discuss your requirements at firstname.lastname@example.org.