Building Efficient Teams in a Crisis
Posted on 24 May, 2020 at 16:34
By Kudakwashe Ngoma
One of the biggest issues associated with
remote working is that employees may feel disconnected if they don’t receive
proper attention both from their colleagues and managers. It is in that vein
that it becomes imperative for management to take the onus of ensuring the
highest possible levels of productivity are maintained sustainably. The
following notions might help management and organisations to build efficient
teams which are the backbone of the organisational resilience during these
significantly difficult and unprecedented times.
i. Trust and Empower
A study by Bain & Company posited that people thrive when given autonomy, and thriving is definitely the objective today as many organisations shift their operating model overnight. True autonomy signals that there is trust in a relationship. Faced with so many unknowns, leaders can strengthen their teams by giving them more free room to set their own schedules and work, with the managers only coming in on a supervisory role.
ii. Foster Sense of Belonging
For teams that have moved to working from home, losing the connection of being together day-to-day can diminish the shared sense of belonging. That means, within the duration of this crisis, teams need their leaders to model what matters most; to be available, authentic and visionary. The more leaders embody humanity and connection, the more their teams will pass those traits on to their own people. Casual calls via Zoom even for 15 minutes where leaders check on their staff, showing real empathy, will go a long way in building teams.
iii. Clear Lines of Communication
Organisations need to adopt a communication policy that emphasizes transparency, relating information on what is being done to mitigate the effects of the disaster (for instance, distribution of PPE for essential staff during the Covid19), and to establish formal and informal routes of communication for employees to express their concerns, questions, comments and any feedback. This will help the employees feel safer and more comfortable coming to work, and the feedback help the organisation improve its measures.
iv. Share Common Goals
With so many demands on every leader’s urgent attention, it is critical nevertheless to take time to develop new mechanisms to help maintain a shared sense of purpose and focus. The aim is to create a common set of goals that subsequent decisions reinforce, and everyone view the future in the same way. This can be the difference between staying focused on what matters and veering off course.
Covid-19 is an unprecedented challenge for organizations and their leadership teams around the world. By embodying trust, establishing a shared view of the future, focusing on transparent communication, and cultivating a sense of belonging, teams are helping one another weather the current storm while setting their organizations up for continued success when this crisis passes.