With the constant disruption we’re experiencing in the workplace right now, we’re all looking for ways to stay afloat through the ambiguity. Whether it’s through layoffs or cutting operational costs, most organizations see the need to save resources to weather the storm. But there’s another trick to staying afloat through disruption, and that involves leveraging the strengths of our teams.
When we have strong teams that can survive anything, this helps to offset the need to outright cut costs or lay off employees. Leveraging the unique strengths of your team and staying hyper-focused on the team’s direction is a great way to keep the lights on while ensuring you’re able to hit the ground running once the storm is over.
In addition, we need to manage our relationships and the dynamics of our teams in order to thrive through disruption. When you have no choice but to do more with less, this is where your teams truly shine. High-performing, inclusive and resilient teams have the tools to not only survive the current climate but to ensure their company meets and exceeds its goals. Only the strongest organizations will make it through these disruptions—and those organizations will have high-performing teams that helped them make the landing.
So how can we optimize team performance through disruption? What are the best ways to ensure our teams stay resilient in today’s economy?
Reinforce Your Team’s Purpose Through Strong Direction
When it comes to managing teams through constant change and disruption, a strong sense of direction will keep everyone focused and on track. Direction is the guidepost your teams use to navigate their treacherous environment and, hopefully, find success at the end of the line. Without clear direction, it’s easy to get lost in the chaos, leading to employees feeling discouraged. When employees are discouraged, they’re more likely to become disengaged and contribute less to their roles. This is why it’s so important to guide your teams with a vision and ensure everyone is on the same page.
Be sure to communicate your team’s shared purpose and mission to everyone, aligning your goals with the organization’s mission. This sense of shared purpose should align with what your business hopes to achieve in the long run. Align your company’s purpose with your team’s purpose, and you’ll find that these two elements complement each other wonderfully. Your organization will achieve its goals as your teams achieve their goals.
Foster And Maintain Your Team’s Cohesion And Connection
Once everyone has a clear direction, your teams need to work together as a cohesive unit. When teams feel connected, they experience a greater sense of psychological safety and trust with one another. They’re able to lean on one another through hardship and disruption, as opposed to staying in separated silos. Connected teams who trust each other will achieve more than teams who hoard away knowledge. Sharing that knowledge is critical to unlocking your team’s potential as they shore up each other’s blind spots, finding solutions they wouldn’t have been able to discover on their own.
Finally, make sure your teams stay adaptable. Keep your eyes and ears open for what your customers need while also cultivating good relationships with business partners. Maintaining this situational awareness is key to navigating any changes that might come up. You’ll want to avoid as many surprises as possible, so it’s critical that your teams can predict anything that might happen ahead of time. The best way for them to do this is through their shared sense of direction and connection. Everyone’s focused on what they need to do, and they’re also willing to trust each other through thick and thin.
With the current changes and disruptions in our markets, our teams need to be the strong cores of our organizations. Clear direction gives everyone a solid mission, while a sense of connection ensures the team trusts one another. When your teams keep their eye on the prize, they’re more likely to rise above the many challenges we all face today, ensuring your organization eventually comes out ahead in the end.
Originally posted to the Forbes Human Resources Council blog here.