How To Grow Team Resilience As Winter Approaches

Hope you had a great Halloween weekend! I am rapidly approaching my maximum dose of mini Aeros and Kit-Kats, though each night I tend to amaze (disgust?) myself at how many I can eat. I digress..

Over the weekend I was sifting through findings from the largest global study of resilience and engagement (conducted by ADP Research Institute). If you’re seeking to build resilience on your team as we enter the cold winters months of the pandemic, read on. For those of you currently in a team leader role, these ideas may stimulate new thought or validate your current strategy.

As a manager, what can you do right now to help build resilience on your team? The research indicates two critical elements:

1. Anticipatory Communication. According to the study summary from MIT Sloan Management Review, “a significant body of research reveals that the single most powerful ritual shared by the most effective team leaders is a short weekly check-in with each person on the team. This check-in is a one-on-one conversation during which the team leader asks two simple questions: “What are your priorities this coming week?” and “How can I help?” No matter what their industry or level, those teams whose leaders discipline themselves to stick to this weekly check-in routine display significantly higher levels of performance and engagement and lower levels of voluntary turnover.”

If there’s one thing I preach to all new leaders as a way to establish trust and clear communication, it’s to ensure regular, consistent 1:1 contact with your employees. It shocks me how often this doesn’t occur, as this simple action can be the key to better engagement and performance.  Are you consistently doing this with your employees?  If not, you may be well served to create such a routine (hint: don’t spring this on employees out of the blue…give them a few weeks heads up before starting a new process. Let them know the intention is to create space to connect and support them.  It’s not big brother).

2. Psychological Safety. You’ve likely heard that term before, so no shocker there. What I found interesting though were the study survey questions behind it – which give some insight into the term itself. Those two questions, “I trust my leader” and “I am encouraged to take risks,” provide specific actions we can take to create said safety within our teams.   In times like these, employees who feel safe enough to take risks are more likely to innovate and forge ahead.

To grow resilience, be clear with your team that you expect them to come up with new ways of doing things and that it’s expected not all ideas will succeed. And that’s ok – focus on the process, not the outcome.  Are you letting your teams know this?  If so, does each team member clearly understand your position?

Food for thought..

Have a great week,
Ian

How To Grow Team Resilience As Winter Approaches

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