My chosen role, vision, company goal etc. call it what you will…. is to try to motivate and engage individuals and teams to perform better together. We do that via team training games & now, via Virtual Teambuilding activities!
How is this relevant in the current environment where sections of organisations are heading back to offices, yet the majority are still working virtually?
Especially, when there is a vast gap in personal and corporate experiences/perspectives.
Many of my friends have had “good lockdown”, enjoying the kids and the lack of hours lost commuting. They have corporate salaries coming in and have had little to spend it on. As an example, a couple I know well, have paid down several months of their mortgage!
Who hasn’t noticed the huge amount of home improvements going on in some of the more affluent areas?
As long as the economy doesn’t tank, this layer of society is more than comfortable.
Whereas other friends have a more chaotic homeworking environment; are also trying to entertain and home school children without sticking them permanently in front of their tablets or phones. Creches are not open, nor are summer schools, not a lot of respite time. It’s going to be a long summer. These guys are not so comfortable.
For others coming off furlough/layoff have yet another reality, they are worried about their short-term futures. Equally, they are not so comfortable.
Reality for team Leaders:
Companies have similar experiences, they are flying or fighting for their lives. Some have communicated and supported their teams, (Mckinsey Compassionate Leadership)……..others have failed miserably to inform and advise.
As always, effective communication is key.
The question is how are you, as a manager, meant to tune in to equally engage and align individuals who are living such a divergent experience?
Do I have all the answers? Of course not, but perhaps I can offer a couple of suggestions:
- Communication is about listening, and listening has two different objectives. Listening to respond or listening to understand. (Background article) Now, more than ever, understanding is fundamental to know where those of your team fit in this range of circumstances and experiences. This is a skill that may be a little time consuming but very worthwhile.
However, with understanding you will have the benefit of recreating the team experience, connection, and interaction that many are currently missing. You can re-engage your team!
- Perhaps we at Team Dynamics and other team training organisations have a couple of tools that can help you because:
We create engagement.
We believe in involving your team, not making them the audience on yet another virtual call.
Entertain your team? Sure, but through their own team creativity. An example of this is our Virtual Away Day. Which involves & engages everyone, helping to re-connect and create that “team” feeling that has been absent for the last 4 months.
Equally, why not “remind” your team of the benefits of collaboration, communicating whilst listening to understand & sharing knowledge to overcome a challenge together. Precisely, what our Virtual Escape does!
Your team will certainly appreciate the additional effort you are making to unite them. Ultimately, it is about tuning in to their individual experience/perspective, engaging and aligning them within their team and its goals.
It will be a lot of fun too!!