Building teams to thrive – and not just survive – the next few months is tougher than ever. Many of us are continuing to work within hugely challenging circumstances. That might be another stretch of remote working, organizational pressure to drive revenue, or the impact of the pandemic on our overall wellbeing. And after many long months of up and down lockdowns, the resilience of individuals and teams is probably at an all-time low. However, with the right leadership, creating resilient teams is still possible. Here, we walk you through the critical steps to achieving it.
Great leaders role model healthy behavior
Firstly, leaders role model healthy behavior and don’t subscribe to burnout culture. We’ve had to dig deep over the past few months, and many of us have probably been running on half-empty for some time. However, you only have to look at the strategies rolled out by organizations like Google to know that that burnout is a real issue right now – so how do leaders play their part in fixing it?
Well, leaders who create resilient teams do so by pushing back on unhealthy work cultures and role modeling boundaries when it comes to work-life balance. They don’t subscribe to the idea that they and their teams always have to be available and ‘on’ to be successful. They prioritize their wellbeing and show compassion for their teams – and for themselves – by supporting the value of taking regular breaks, having downtime at the end of the day, or even taking a vacation.
That doesn’t mean these teams aren’t productive. In fact, according to numerous studies, teams that prioritize well-being are more productive. What it actually means is that they’re much more nimble and less focused on presenteeism and that last-person-to-leave culture we all know so well. It’s in this way, they build resilient teams that are focused and future-proof.
They create great climate
Following on from that is another key point for resilient teams, and that’s psychological safety. Think about all the other components you need to for a team to be resilient. You need innovation, connectivity, excellent communication skills, and great teamwork. However, you also need all of these things to flow together seamlessly. That doesn’t work without psychological safety.
When people feel fearful of sharing their ideas or expressing what they actually think that’s a blocker, and it in turn results in a bottleneck in your output and flow. Leaders are responsible for creating that climate – and for continuing to stoke it through challenging times. They do this by sharing the team wins, openly discussing failure and adopting a fail-fast approach, and by investing due time in making the team actually feel like a team. That means showing up to the virtual team meetings, not canceling on the one-on-one check-ins, and even playing an active part in the Slack chat or team message group. Don’t think those kinds of things matter? They matter.
Great leaders empower their teams
Finally, the leaders of resilient teams don’t buy into the idea of traditional and authoritarian leadership. Instead, they aim to empower. They want to embolden. And they try to encourage
self-development as much as possible. Great leaders know that their teams are at their most resilient when they’re able to be as autonomous as they can; when they’re trusted to problem solve, generate solutions, and rely on their own strengths and abilities to bring in results.
That’s why the starting point for Insights solutions are always going to be centered on self-awareness, because how can individuals and teams play to their strengths if they don’t know what they are? The best leaders know that when they – and their teams – are self-aware, the impact of that will speak for itself. They will be brighter, bolder, and more brilliant than ever before. And when they need to dig deep and brace for those big moments – guess what? That resilience kicks in.