The chemistry of Teamwork is changing in a COVID world: how will you keep the right reactions?
As people return to or continue working in socially distant ways, with many remaining in remote working mode, we are seeing that the nature of interactions within teams is changing.
Typically, there is now less casual ‘chit chat’. Gauging the mood of team colleagues isn’t so easy with only a Zoom window to provide the clues and cues.
The normal levels of personal support offered to each other is diminishing – conversations frequently skipping over “How are you really doing?” to get onto the agenda item that the call was set up for.
For many that sense of achieving things together has been replaced by a focus on the individual: coping with their own personal situation, ensuring that they are being seen to contribute, somewhat lost on what priorities are the most important.
As a leader of a team there are some steps you can take to keep your team developing:
- Ensure that you prioritise time for members of the team to problem solve together – accept that it might take a bit more time but working together will pay dividends
- Keep providing feedback on the impact of your team’s work – make sure that they know their work contributes to a bigger purpose
- Look for the team members who can be mentors for others – encourage them to meet together to maintain a sense of development and learning, not just short-term tasks being achieved
- Use the Motivation and Morale graph (M&M) to track how the team is doing, shared amongst the whole team
- Ensure you identify what causes the highs and lows and plan to do more and address issues together
Being an inclusive leader as you pay attention to these points will help keep the interactions between team members alive and useful.
You may need to challenge yourself to focus on these areas – as an individual you also have some of the same concerns and being a leader doesn’t just automatically keep you fully motivated and feeling part of a supportive team. Paying attention to your own motivation and morale is essential in enabling you to provide great leadership for your teams.