The Team Relaunch Blueprint Every Leader Needs Now
We are living in a once-in-a-generation moment to redefine the work landscape — and leaders nationwide are missing the opportunity. Regardless of size or industry, the pandemic has had a profound impact on teams. The temptation is to get back to ‘business as usual’ now that the masks are coming off, but leaders should beware. Falling back into old routines would be a mistake and a colossal missed opportunity.
In this unfamiliar situation, uncertainty abounds. One thing is clear — we are not the same people, organizations or teams we were 16 months ago. In April, organizational psychologist Adam Grant named “languishing” the predominant emotion of individuals in 2021. Given the challenges organizations have faced, the disengagement employees have felt, and the disconnection teammates have experienced, teams are feeling “the blahs” too. And despite an above-average unemployment rate, the quit rate is higher than at any point in the past two decades.
For quite some time, American workers have been thirsty for a more engaging work experience. Now they are demanding it.
Leaders are called upon with urgency to breathe energy, connection, and commitment back into their teams. This seven-step team relaunch blueprint will serve as a guide.
Seven-Step Team Relaunch Blueprint:
1. Acknowledge and Celebrate.
Every new beginning starts with an end. Acknowledge what your team has been through (individually and collectively) over the past 16 months and celebrate the successes, no matter how small. If you are having this conversation with your team, it means that you persevered and got through it together — that alone is something to celebrate!
2. Reflect and Learn.
Reflect on lessons learned during and prior to the pandemic: What worked? What didn’t work? What do you need more of as a team? What do you need less of as a team? What felt hard? What felt easy? What strengths or material weaknesses did you identify? How can you work more effectively together?
3. Recommit to Purpose.
Purpose is everything. In corporate America, people no longer are willing to work in exchange for pay alone. Work now is recognized as a vehicle for discovering identity, purpose and meaning. Your people cannot align their personal purpose with that of your organization unless your organization is clear on its purpose. In addition to driving organizational strategy, purpose now is a foundational requisite to employee satisfaction.
If your organization lost sight of the purpose it once had, recommit. On the other hand, if your organization never had a clear purpose to start, now is the perfect time to get one. What lessons did you glean from the pandemic that have shifted or brought to light new meaning? How can you operationalize and humanize that purpose moving forward?
4. Get Reacquainted with one another.
In a VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity) world, team interconnected matters. We are profoundly different now from who we were in March 2020. To unleash your team’s potential, reconnect with one another. What is important to each member of your team? How can you help each teammate connect what drives them with what matters to the organization? Engaging in this critical conversation will enhance the emotional and relational intelligence of your team and catapult your ability to work effectively together.
5. Identify Changes.
Rapid change has happened and will continue. Acknowledge that change can feel uncomfortable and commit to facing it together — and to having one another’s back. Based on lessons learned, what do you need to start doing? What do you need to stop doing? What do you need to continue doing?
6. Create Working Agreements.
As a team, create agreements around all of the steps listed above. How will you work together? How will you communicate? What behaviors will you embody, and which ones will you avoid? What actions will you take? What goals will you set and how will you achieve them? What information do you need that you do not have, and how will you get it?
7. Measure and Hold Accountable.
Build metrics around changes identified, goals set and agreements achieved. Measure and assess progress regularly and design a method of holding yourselves and each other accountable for optimal success.
Leaders should initiate the relaunch process, but not dictate its outcome. A team relaunch presents an opportunity to co-create, as a team, the future of your work together. Engage every voice in the conversation. Create buy-in and belonging by inviting each member of the team to pull their seat up to the table — even if it is a virtual “table.”
Your team will be stronger, more committed, and more human because of it.
if you’re ready to lead yourself, to lead your people, to lead your business, let’s connect!
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