3 Ways to Bond your Team During a Crisis
Bond Your Team During a Crisis
Are you leading a team, a business group or staff of an organization during these unusual and troubled times? Maybe you work for an organization and have a group that you are in charge of. Or perhaps you are in direct sales and have a team that you lead. You might even be an educator who is leading and teaching a class of students. Whether you are leading a team of one or a team of 100, now is definitely a time that calls on us all to be a guiding light for those individuals who are under our management.
Prior to Covid, businesses were already having trouble making sure that employees were engaged and focused at work. According to US and global Gallup polls, about 89% of workers didn’t feel that they could be their best at work and 70% were not engaged at work. What this meant was that an overwhelming majority of the workforce was not involved in or committed to their work while about 17% were actively disengaged. Then came Covid and all the changes to the workplace as a result. The Great Resignation Exodus of 2021 resulted in 11.5 million employees leaving their jobs!
In any organization there are usually teams that work well together and others that struggle. What can leaders do to bond teams and increase engagement?
Here are some tips on increasing team engagement:
- Begin with vision: Vision is a mission that is larger than the individual, yet at the same time is also personally compelling and inspiring. Vision transcends the mundane and ordinary details of the day. It provides inspiration in the midst of hard times, frustrating clients and routine work. According to Andy Stanley in his book, Visioneering, it takes 21 (!) repetitions for team members to buy into a vision. Consequently, vision isn’t something you present once a year at a staff meeting and then assume everyone is on-board. Vision is something that permeates everything you do. Especially during troubled times, people need a vision to hold on to. Here are some examples of compelling visions:
- Empower every child to reach for their true potential and grow
- Give hope to everyone from the financially secure to the financially distressed. ~Dave Ramsey-Financial Peace
- Empower others to live with greater independence and freedom from poverty, disease, and hunger~Convoy of Hope
- Intentionally build relationships: In order for a team to bond, they have to feel connected. Building relationships means caring about individual needs as well as the mission of the team as a whole. Leaders can model this by making sure that they are sensitive to individual scenarios as well as keeping the big picture front and center. Recognize and nurture the peacemakers, the leaders, the creatives, the caring and compassionate individuals. Everyone has a role to play in building the team.
- Identify the common enemy: This isn’t the same as competing for the highest test scores, pitting one department against another or achieving a higher sales quota than that of a competitor. This is much deeper than that. The common enemy may be a lack of understanding or information. It may be a societal norm or personal label that interferes with the ability to grow and learn. It may be feelings of helplessness or hopelessness on the part of clients. It could even be the Corona virus and the consequences of it! Teams that are disconnected can be energized around overcoming a common problem.
Above all remember that team building is a process. It isn’t planning a one time get together or team building activity. It takes time. It takes intentionally building rapport and understanding. It takes nurturing and correcting. Trust the process.
Want to build your team engagement? One of the key components of uniting your team is having a compelling and unifying message and vision.
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