A majority of the team is working remotely, but are they still working together like a well-oiled machine? Is the team a cohesive and dynamic group supporting operations and completing projects? If not, you (especially as a leader) should stop and figure out why. You should talk with the team and may need to think of solutions that are more outside of the box.
Cultivating A Powerful Team
Taking the quote “there’s no 'I' in team” to the next level, remember that each team member is different and brings something to the table. You should leverage the strengths and balance them with the weaknesses (like yin and yang). Even basic differences such as team member work schedule preferences can even be capitalized on. For example, some individuals might like to come in early while others prefer to work late. If certain business units work outside the typical hours of 9-5 p.m., the team could readily be available for an extended window to better accommodate the business’ varied work schedules.
If the team hasn’t been collaborating as much as they could have, no time like the present to change that. Initially, some team members may feel out of their comfort zone, but they’ll start to get into a groove the more they work together.
At the core, the team needs to respect, trust, and care for each other. Team members need to have meaningful conversations and feel safe expressing their opinions to the rest of the team. During brainstorming sessions, there will be valuable perspectives that others may not have initially considered. The team’s rapport and camaraderie can make working through those difficult time-consuming problems more manageable.
If a new member joins the team, take that extra effort to assimilate and make them feel welcome into the team. Or if someone seems a bit distracted or aloof, ask them how they are doing, or if they need anything. Maybe they’re feeling a bit burned out or not challenged. When someone is out sick or on PTO for two weeks, the rest of the team willingly pitches in to cover their workload. Because nobody wants to work when they’re not feeling well and recuperating. If any of these things happened to you, wouldn’t you feel fortunate to be part of a team that is so supportive of you?
You (as the leader) need to create a positive environment conducive to the team, provide the tools that the team needs to succeed, and advocate for the team! I believe that the team will be stronger together, and in the end, the team will grow and be successful together.
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