“Teams today are buffeted by several factors, from ongoing change and increasing complexity, to teaming and ongoing change across members of the team. Taking time to build a strong culture is absolutely essential for team effectiveness.” (Source: Reconnecting Workspaces, Page 64).
Teams are always evolving. People come and go, new technologies get introduced to change how work is done, and most recently, where people work and who gets to decide have fundamentally shifted how we think about work itself. Whether your team has been reasonably steadfast or has had many changes recently, it’s always important to take a few steps back and have a look at the components that make up the foundation of a solid team. This applies to teams that work in all spaces, including virtual, remote, hybrid and flexible work arrangements.
Reconnecting Workspaces cites John Coleman’s article Six Components of a Great Corporate Culture, which examines the notions of shared vision, values, practices, people, narrative, and place and how they affect a team’s overall health. (Reconnecting Workspaces, Pg. 64; See full article citation in the book.) Reconnecting Workspaces explores these 6 themes in more detail as they relate to virtual, remote, hybrid and flexible work, and you can now use them to take a quick pulse of your team:
1. Vision – Have a look at both organizational and team level visions. Are your team members in alignment? Are there any regional differences? Where is the team going? How are you checking in using virtual technologies?
2. Values – What is important to your team? What are the collective values which guide and help your individual team members prioritize?
3. Practices – say a lot about who a team is. Does your team follow through on weekly meetings or are they being cancelled at the last minute? Does your team have any virtual team rituals?
4. People – Who are the people that make up your team? Has your team spent time getting to know one of the many personality assessments available, such as DISC or Clifton Strengths? What unique styles on your team can you leverage more to make for more synergy and productivity? And how can you coach each of your unique team members to success, particularly from a distance?
5. Narrative - What is the unique history and story of the team? Team identity is just as important for teams that work from any space as it is for traditional teams. How can you explore this more during team meetings and social events?
6. Place – What is the virtual housing of the team? What technologies do you use to communicate and share information? How do you communicate socially from a distance?
By regularly conducting frequent litmus tests, you can identify and action on any flags that may be preventing your team from being their best self. With some intentional work, you can ensure that all your metrics are in peak condition by aligning any key team expectations to your organization's performance management system. Whether you bring these moments into your recurring team meetings or take some pre-scheduled time to unplug and really focus on team development for a day, the investment will come through on multiple levels, including the easily quantifiable ones!
If your team is struggling with one or more of these 6 areas and you wish to discuss it further, feel free to book a FREE 15-minute session with Jennifer Britton and we can guide you in the right direction.
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