At the start of this crisis, I am sure you spent a serious amount of time checking in with the team, communicating with each individual, and the wider business. You probably spent time on zoom (other video systems are available) connecting with each other and helping each and every person you lead feel OK about the sudden change that was happening.
But as we come upon the 6-month anniversary of the UK lockdown…Are you still thinking about your team’s resilience? What about your own personal resilience?
The crisis is not over yet. Some people are still uncertain about the future, they still feel a lack of control and are worried and anxious about the next stages. Can you say you are still thinking about your team’s health and wellbeing the same way as when all this started?
People respond to change in different ways.
Change is a fluid, moving thing which affects our morale and performance in very personal ways over individual timescales. You might have complete acceptance whilst others are still frustrated it's even happening.
Based on Kubler Ross Change Curve
Currently, we are hearing calls in business circles that leaders far and wide need to work harder than ever to support their teams. The continued isolation of individuals, the constant changing of rules, the true lack of physical human connection has long term impacts on all our happiness, health, and wellbeing.
So how can you help?
I think we all must work on our personal resilience and team resilience. Because of this crisis has taught us anything, it is that everything can change in an instant and we need to be able to adapt and be flexible to survive.
Here is a definition of resilience I like.
the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, toughness.
the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.
It suggests that building strength allows you to recover from adversity or whatever business and life throws at you.
According to this Harvard Business Review article, there are 4 common traits for teams that have high resilience. https://hbr.org/2019/07/the-4-things-resilient-teams-do
Complete the task together
A common model of teamwork
Able to improvise
How do you increase resilience in your business and life?
Well, you guessed it, it all starts with you!
You need to organise your response to the change. Take control back from the uncertainty. Now is a time to be calm, assured, and slightly optimistic.
Lead with purpose. Provide people with a reminder of the long-term greater purpose. Remind people of the vision and values of the organisation. You are the ‘Chief Vision Officer’
You must focus on the right thing. Help your teams focus on the right things. What decisions you make and how you make them will be important. Focus on the positive things you can do to adapt to the change. Focus on the present – but in relation to the long term. Reframe the mindset.
You need to understand others; Clients/Customers, Team, Suppliers, Stakeholders, Network, Supporters. They give you intelligence that can help the business. Keep them informed with the relevant information about the business. Keep them close. Encourage dialogue. Help them feel values and safe.
Collaborate. Give the team opportunities to improvise and solve problems. Trust the team – give them defined autonomy. Remind them of their resilience and capabilities.
Coach individuals. Help individuals make better decisions. Empower them to solve the problems that are holding them back personally. Invest time (and money if possible) in your team, help them learn new skills/Progress their careers.
Celebrate: Keep morale high. Congratulations – celebrate the success (no matter how small). Remind the team how you are moving forward. This helps people feel valued. Lead by the example set office/work-life balance. Keep them separate. Negative things are remembered far more than positive things. Keep reminding them of all the amazing work they have done.
Think about your team, your customers, your suppliers…Do a little audit.
How would you rate their health and wellbeing?
Who is thriving? Who is struggling? Has their behavior changed? How can you help them? What support might they need?
If you would like any help on ‘the how’ to strengthen your teams’ resilience, just get in touch.