4 Ways Financial Services Can Get More Daring in CX

The pressures of the ongoing shift to a digital-first strategy is forcing financial organizations of all kinds to improve operational efficiency, reduce costs, and provide best-in-class customer service. Decision-makers have been forced to move towards cloud technology to more easily meet the challenges of shifting economics, customer needs, privacy, and compliance requirements. But those who have quickly adopted a future-forward digital CX strategy have realized the potential gains of a cloud collaboration solution to attract and retain customers while optimizing their technology stack.

The result has made switching financial institutions much easier, with competitors offering new benefits daily and customers continually demanding more: more services, more attention, more programs. It’s no longer enough for a cloud solution to just work; it has to be modern, run smoothly and be easy to use. A bank is no longer a place you go to but a thing you do, and consumers weigh the importance of a modern, easy experience ahead of other factors. To make it work, adopting a high-performance all-in-one cloud communications solution is now table stakes.

The good news is, it’s easier than ever to move to the cloud. Here are four ways a cloud collaboration solution can help your financial organization modernize internal collaboration and create a winning, future-proof customer experience.

  • Transform traditional business models
  • Create differentiated customer experiences that maintain the human touch
  • Establish a platform for innovation and business agility
  • Meet compliance needs

Transform Traditional Communication Business Models

Banks and other financial services organizations have traditionally been slow to adopt new technology because of inflexible infrastructures and complex, outdated systems that are layered together. However, adopting a cloud communications solution can increase the value that organizations in this industry deliver. It creates efficiencies of scale, supports revenue growth, and enables innovation, all without the traditional overhead costs of managing hardware. According to the Mitel white paper, Delivering Digital CX for Today’s Mobile Customer, “To truly deliver an optimal customer experience in today’s digital environment, businesses must transition independent communication silos to an integrated digital framework, either funnelling all interactions to one central location or facilitating easy collaboration between customer touchpoints and subject matter experts.”

Create Differentiated CX That Maintains The Human Touch

Beyond digital transformation, the personal touch is still important to maintaining trusted customer relationships and loyalty. With MiCloud Connect you can meet customers where they want to be, how they want to interact, with a consistent experience. You’ll be able to offer customers self-service options that can give them the answers they need, faster without jeopardizing a valuable customer text, chat or video due to a poor experience. For years, the only way to make deposits and withdrawals at a bank was to visit the bank and stand in line. Today, banks offer consumers 24/7 access to bank accounts from millions of automated teller machines (ATMs), through online banking and mobile apps.

Consumers like the convenience these options offer. They don’t complain about how much more impersonal the experience is compared to standing in line to see a teller during business hours. They recognize that these alternatives offer a good self-service option that provides an opportunity to get things done quicker. As a result, they are more likely to be loyal to the bank that offers the most convenient self-service alternatives. Consumers get the experience they expect, and the bank gets an enhanced reputation, as well as a dramatic drop in operating costs.

Establish A Platform For Innovation And Business Agility

Your cloud collaboration solution will create a platform for innovation and business agility. Employee work styles and customer expectations are shifting as we speak. As the next generation of analysts, brokers, relationship managers and workers gravitate towards more flexible working environments, to remain competitive companies must accommodate the many ways people and employees want to collaborate.

In a cloud-based environment, workers can collaborate and share knowledge and experiences to support organizational innovation. Employees want to be able to launch sessions quickly and seamlessly while communicating with clients, co-workers, or business partners. Starting a chat with a co-worker moving quickly to a video call to share screens and files in real-time enables faster decision making, improving both client and employee experiences and outcomes.

Meet Compliance And Regulatory Needs

Mitel ensures financial institutions are protected.

  • Our security efforts are aligned with ISO27000 series of standards.
  • Our security posture is based on the NIS Cybersecurity framework.
  • Our GRC program is based on the OCEG Capability model.
  • MiCloud Connect is subject to an annual internal audit and third-party executed SSAE18 SOC2 audit.

In our new age of flexibility and choice, financial services organizations continue to pivot toward adopting cloud technology including collaboration tools to keep businesses moving forward.

This blog post was first published by Mitel.

Read more...

3 Reasons You Can’t Afford to Let Your Communications System Fall Behind

We’ve all watched high-performance athletes lose a race by mere fractions of a second. Whether the athlete is running on a track, racing down a ski hill or skimming across a swimming pool, it’s compelling to watch. It’s also heartbreaking, because that margin, no matter how small, meant the difference between winning the race and being left behind.

The business world isn’t much different. Competition is extremely tight in almost every industry. It’s all-too-easy to be left behind by competitors who are faster to market, work more efficiently and do more to keep their customers happy. 

Your business systems are key to increasing your competitive edge and winning the race, no matter what industries or markets you serve. Every system you rely on must reliably operate at peak performance levels at all times. Especially your business communications system.

Your business communications system is at the heart of every strategy and tactic you employ to stay ahead of the competition. It is the lifeblood of your organization. And if you don’t keep this vital business system in peak condition, you’re far more likely to fall behind.

There are many reasons you can’t afford to let your communications system fall behind, but here are three important ones.

Seamless Communications Accelerates Time To Market

It takes unconstrained teamwork across every area of your organization to get new offerings to market faster. Every member of every team needs the ability to quickly and easily connect, collaborate and share information, from anywhere, at any time.

If your communications system isn’t up-to-date, your teams can’t leverage the latest features and functions available in the web, mobile and desktop applications they rely on to stay connected. Like high-performance athletes, your teams need every advantage they can get. No matter how seemingly small that advantage is, it makes a difference — especially if you multiply the effects across your entire organization.

Keeping your communications system up to date means your teams always have the most recent voice, messaging, video conferencing, screen sharing and file sharing capabilities at their fingertips.

Depending on how long your communications system has languished without updates, getting current could bring you entirely new capabilities that will jumpstart collaboration initiatives across your teams.

Lost Productivity Is More Expensive Than You Think

In a 2019 survey of 2,500 business professionals across five countries, respondents said they spend half of the average workday communicating and collaborating. They also said about 13 percent of their day is wasted due to communications inefficiencies. When you add up the lost time, those inefficiencies cost more than $10,000 per employee, per year.

But productivity losses aren’t only measured in dollars. Almost half of the survey respondents also said that inefficient communications and collaboration had created friction with co-workers and with other departments. While these types of losses are more difficult to quantify, no business can afford them.

Communications technologies and the systems that deliver them are constantly evolving to deliver more features and functionality that are key to making communications and collaboration more efficient. The capabilities that were cutting-edge just a short while ago are no longer at the forefront of what’s available. Your staff knows this, and they’re looking for you to provide more efficient solutions.

Of the 2,500 survey respondents, only 15 percent of respondents felt their current communications technology had poor features. But 80 percent felt productivity would increase with better communications tools.

If you look at these statistics in another way, it seems employees are saying “we like what we have, but it needs to be enhanced.” The easiest way to deliver on this requirement is to keep your communications system fully up to date with the latest enhancements all the time.

A Great Customer Experience Depends On Great Communications

We’ve already shared a few statistics in this article, but we could fill pages with the statistics that confirm a better customer experience leads to increased business revenues.

The communications that customers have with your organization are central to their experience, and those revenue increases. The key is to ensure your customers have a great experience at every touchpoint across your organization. To do this, you need to look beyond your contact center technology and the service delivered by your contact center agents, and take a holistic approach to the customer journey.

According to customer experience consultants, Temkin Group, “every single person in a company plays a direct or indirect role in determining whether it provides consistently good or consistently bad human or digital interactions.”

Your business communications system plays a major role in those human and digital interactions. When evaluating the current state of your communications system, think about how:

  • Customers interact with your sales team and employees located at remote sites
  • Your internal teams connect and collaborate to deliver on customer requirements, especially when customized solutions are required, delivery dates change or supply chain issues slow down processes

If your communications system doesn’t provide the capabilities needed to ensure customers have the best possible experience, they can become disillusioned with your organization. They might assume the outdated communications system they encountered when they called your sales team reflects the overall state of your organization. And they might assume the challenges they’re experiencing with their order or inquiry is due to lack of effort or care, rather than internal disconnects caused by out-of-date communications technology.

Don’t Let Your Communications System Slow You Down

With these few examples, it’s easy to see that if your communications system falls behind, your business can also fall behind.

If you’re using Mitel MiVoice Business for communications and collaboration, there’s an easy way to reduce the risk of falling behind. Simply renew or reactivate your Mitel Software Assurance subscription.

Mitel Software Assurance ensures your MiVoice Business system always has the best, most up-to-date software and features for voice, data, and video communications and collaboration. Your software is also protected with the latest security fixes to reduce security vulnerabilities.

In addition, you can choose to receive proactive fault reporting and performance analytics so any system issues can be dealt with before they impact your business. And, if you run into issues that can’t be resolved by your Mitel certified partner, they can contact our technical experts for added support.

If high-performance athletes could easily access new capabilities that would help them edge-out the competition, they surely would. High-performance companies need to do the same.

This blog post was first published by Mitel.

Read more...

Integrated Communications are Essential in the New Normal

Almost every day, I hear or read about the “new normal” — the state that countries, businesses and people will find themselves in as pandemic-related restrictions are lifted. Some aspects of our work and personal lives will go back to the way they were pre-pandemic, but others won’t. And we will all need to make adjustments to navigate these uncharted waters.

For many businesses, the new normal will mean some employees may never return to working on-site in offices. Some will only work on-site part time, while others will return to the office full-time. You’ll need to support all of these arrangements. And you’ll need to provide that support in a way that allows dispersed team members to seamlessly connect and collaborate as if they were all together.

Those Band-Aid Solutions Were Only Temporary Fixes

As the pandemic struck, in the rush to adapt to and support a remote workforce almost overnight, you may have turned to third-party apps for messaging, video and collaboration capabilities. This strategy was the right one at the time because it solved a new, and immediate, need. Your teams could quickly and easily download these apps so they could connect and collaborate from their homes and allow your business to continue functioning.

Now, you need to look beyond your basic ability to function with remote workers. It’s time to fortify your communications strategy by replacing disjointed tools with fully integrated solutions that are designed for long-term sustainability.

Integrated solutions provide the data, voice and video communications and collaboration features you’ve come to rely on, but are less expensive to maintain, less complex to manage and less complicated for your teams to juggle than disparate apps. And they seamlessly connect to your existing infrastructure.

Integrated solutions let you do more

When your communications and collaboration solutions are fully integrated, team interactions are more natural and intuitive, no matter how people are sharing information. People are free to focus on the topic at hand rather than the mechanics required to use, and switch between, a variety of disparate tools and apps. Everyone can work more efficiently and collaborate more instinctively.

Here are a just a few examples of what’s possible when you integrate Mitel communications and collaboration solutions into your existing MiVoice Business system:

  • Access all capabilities from a single application. With Mitel MiCollab, you have one, cost-effective application that provides everything needed — voice, video, messaging, presence, audio conferencing, mobility and team collaboration. There’s no need to jump between apps with different user experiences. And you can seamlessly switch devices mid-conversation. Picture someone talking on their desk phone or on the softphone on their computer, then easily switching the conversation to their mobile phone as they head out the door.
  • Expand team interactions. With Mitel MiTeam Meetings, you can transition between chat, voice and real-time video conferencing across time zones and geographies. You can also securely extend communications and collaboration opportunities to remote team members, partners, suppliers and customers to increase touchpoints and strengthen relationships.
  • Have more flexible conversations. Over the past year, many businesses have taken advantage of Microsoft Teams, the collaboration tool that comes with Office 365 subscriptions. Our Microsoft Teams integration solutions let you easily switch between chat, video and voice while staying within the Teams web or desktop app. For example, you can use the Mitel Assistant bot tolaunch MiTeam Meetings directly from a chat conversation in Microsoft Teams and smoothly shift from a text conversation to a video conference. Our Chrome extension lets you make softphone calls within the Microsoft Teams web app with a single click. And our app dialer lets you set up a hotkey to select numbers to dial in the Microsoft Teams desktop app.

Evolution Is Faster, Easier, Less Expensive

Naturally, you’ll want to continue evolving your communications system over time. Adding new features and functions is far easier when you’re using a modern, integrated communications system than it is if you’re using a disjointed collection of systems and apps from different vendors.

These point solutions were not designed to smoothly evolve together. Updates are provided by multiple separate companies when it makes sense for their business, not yours. Third-party applications that worked together one day can easily become out-of-sync the next if one is updated and the other is not. Managing all of these different apps becomes very complex and expensive compared to an integrated system where all components smoothly evolve together.

An integrated system also simplifies your evolution to the cloud when the time is right. Every business will fully migrate their communications system to the cloud at some point. Why not put the pieces in place today to ensure your teams benefit from the smoothest possible transition?

A purpose-built MiCloud Flex solution brings your teams all of the same great communications and collaboration features they’ve come to rely on in MiVoice Business, MiCollab and MiTeam Meetings, but they’re delivered from the cloud. You have a single communications integrated cloud solution that provides the same experience on desktop computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets, but you don’t have to spend time, effort or money managing the system. At the same time, you maintain full control over upgrade and maintenance windows, and can mix and match service levels to meet changing business demands.

You can also integrate with Microsoft Teams in the cloud. Mitel MiCloud Connect for Microsoft Teams is a direct routing solution that integrates MiCloud Connect’s cloud telephony capabilities into the Microsoft Teams interface. Your staff can stay within Microsoft Teams while accessing MiCloud Connect features such as flexible phones, real-time rich presence and availability and ring group control. You also have a seamless unified communications experience across Mitel MiCloud Connect, Google Chrome and G Suite.

The Right Partner Helps You Find Your New Normal

There are numerous factors to consider and multiple options to choose from when determining how to evolve your MiVoice Business platform today and tomorrow. The good news is you don’t have to make this journey on your own.

A Mitel certified partner is standing by, ready to help you find the best path to your new normal, no matter where that path may lead.

This blog post was first published by Mitel.

Read more...

When it Comes to your Communications System, Complacency is Risky Business

The well-known saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” was popularized in the mid-1970s by Bert Lance, director of the Office of Management and Budget in U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s government. In many situations, the saying makes sense. We can all think of examples where the risk factors associated with trying to improve a perfectly functioning system would very likely outweigh the rewards.

This is not the case with your business communications system. In fact, the opposite is true, and the risks associated with maintaining the status quo are extremely high.

You Can’t Afford To Stand Still

It’s easy enough to be lulled into complacency. The best communications systems are virtually invisible in your organization. Your teams, customers and partners rely on the integrated voice, data and video capabilities these systems provide to stay connected, collaborate and work more efficiently. But the system itself fades into the background, a silent business enabler that can perform for years without issue.

Unfortunately, even the most reliable communications systems become vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks if they’re not regularly updated with the latest system software and security patches.

Cybercriminals also work silently and invisibly, but they’re always improving their tactics. These bad actors are constantly introducing new attack vectors, unleashing more sophisticated threats and looking for systems with older, more vulnerable software they can target. The longer the software has been neglected, the more likely it is that someone can find a way to exploit its vulnerabilities.

We’ve seen what can happen when businesses and business systems aren’t ready for unexpected events. When millions of workplaces around the world suddenly found themselves shifting to virtual operations and remote working in 2020, cybercriminals saw an opportunity they couldn’t resist. And they struck with a vengeance. According to cybersecurity firm, CrowdStrike, cybersecurity intrusions around the world grew 400 percent in 2019 and 2020 combined. The term “cyber pandemic” was used in numerous online articles focused on the dramatic increase.

Proactive Software Updates And Security Fixes Protect Communications Systems

The explosive use of mass communications solutions was a major factor in the steep increase in cyberattacks. According to Devin Partida, editor-in-chief of ReHack.com, hackers target the tools people use most frequently because they offer the highest chance of success. No doubt, we all remember the sudden spate of video call intrusions in 2020.

Maybe your communications system hasn’t been hacked, but why continue to take the risk? No business can afford for its vital communications system to be compromised or shut down by cyberattacks. Internal teams lose productivity. Partners lose touch with your business. And perhaps worst of all, customers lose trust in your business.

A proactive service, such as Mitel Software Assurance, helps ensure your business is ready to smoothly handle unexpected events and cyberattacks on your communications system. Your Mitel MiVoice communications platform is always up-to-date with the latest software and features, and it’s protected with fixes that address security flaws and close security holes that could be exploited.

Protecting your MiVoice communications platform helps protect your business. It also allows you to take advantage of the latest features to ensure the system delivers maximum value to your organization over the long term.

The Cloud Is Ideal To Support Remote And Hybrid Workforces

In addition to ensuring your MiVoice Business system is fully up-to-date, you also need to start thinking about your next move.

Some of the changes you implemented to deal with the pandemic will likely remain in place as you and your teams take advantage of convenient and cost-effective new ways of working. That means it’s time to take a closer look at cloud-based communications solutions.

A purpose-built cloud solution makes it easy to provide unified and scalable communications to anyone, anywhere, on any device. Your entire organization benefits from increased mobility, richer team collaboration and better ability to deliver exceptional customer experiences. And you no longer have to worry about managing, scaling or securing a premises-based system. Outdated technologies, obsolete systems and invisible vulnerabilities are no longer a costly IT issue or a risk to your business.

When planning your migration to the cloud, there are a number of factors to consider. Public clouds, private clouds and hybrid clouds each have their own benefits. And new cloud technologies are emerging all the time. You’ll also need to consider which communications systems, programs and applications it makes sense to access from the cloud.

Your learning curve is faster and easier when you choose Mitel cloud solutions because you already know us, and you know what our solutions bring to your organization. The only difference is those critical capabilities are now hosted in the cloud.

For example, you can take full advantage of our partnerships with global technology leaders to benefit from systems such as MiCloud Flex or MiCloud Connect and leverage the cloud to integrate voice, chat, video, collaboration and customer experience in one, easy to use system.

It’s a lot to navigate, but a Mitel certified partner can help you make the right decisions for your current requirements, long-term goals and budget. With their experience and understanding of cloud-based communications, and our solutions, you’ll have everything needed to smoothly transition to the cloud in the way that makes the most sense for your organization. And as new technologies become mainstream, our certified partners will help you integrate those technologies in innovative ways so you can unlock all the capabilities cloud communications has to offer.

Whatever Path You Choose, It’s Time To Get Going

Whether your next steps are to immediately start planning your migration to the cloud, or to simply get current and stay current with software assurance services, now is the time to make your move.

As we all know from bitter experience, making decisions in advance is far easier, and far more cost-effective, than making panic-based decisions after an emergency has struck. Or, to quote another old adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” While this statement was first made by Benjamin Franklin in the 1700s, it definitely applies to today’s communications systems.

This blog post was first published by Mitel.

Read more...

3 Tips for a Happy and High-Performing Workforce

Remote and hybrid work are here to stay, but they present new challenges for organizational leadership. How do you foster productivity and keep employees happy in this new normal?

It’s useful to start with an understanding of why employees overwhelmingly prefer remote workIn a recent survey, remote workers say they value: flexible schedules (32%), the ability to work from anywhere (25%), the lack of a commute (22%) and more time with family (11%).

And yet, they also have concerns. Two-thirds of employees worry they’ll miss out on career opportunities if they continue working remotely, McKinsey research shows, while almost half (49%) say they feel burned-out after the pandemic.

Leaders can use these desires and concerns as starting points for reimagining the workplace and company culture. Cultivating a happy and highly productive workforce will require both new policies and a new approach to management. Here are three tips to help you get it right.

Flexibility: A Workforce Advantage

In the war for talent, companies that are flexible about where and when employees work will gain an advantage. Thirty-nine percent of employees say they would consider quitting their jobs if employers didn’t offer flexibility, and the percentage was even higher―at 49%―among Millennial and Gen Z workers.

This doesn’t necessarily mean an end to the 9-to-5 paradigm altogether. In fact, 68% of employees who worked remotely during the pandemic say they favor returning to a hybrid workplace, compared to 26% who say they prefer permanent remote work.

Instead, flexible work conditions and giving employees more control over when and where they work can make organizations more attractive to workers. Options such as flexible hours, no-meeting days and training resources that focus on improving communications skills in digital media are likely to be viewed positively by potential job candidates. However, to make such changes stick, managers will need to instil new company values and let go of long-held attitudes that performance and advancement are contingent on being in the office.

Emotional Intelligence: Be Attuned To Stress Points

In America and Canada, 57% of workers reported higher stress levels in 2020 than their colleagues in Western Europe, where stress actually declined. Yet other research shows one-third of professionals say their overall performance and quality of work improved. Indeed, employees reported having more time to focus on professional growth by reading more (35%), taking online courses (34%) and continuing their education (29%).

Managers should lean into what worked. Providing opportunities for growth and learning have been known to improve performance. But the leaders of tomorrow will also need to be attuned to the causes of stress, anxiety and burn-out.

Leaders with high emotional intelligence will be quick to identify when an employee is showing signs of distress. They can take steps to alleviate stressors or improve the situation. For instance, they can lend an empathetic ear to a troubled employee. Other steps, like setting rules so that everyone has a chance to talk in team meetings or establishing “no video” days to reduce fatigue can also improve employee happiness. IT can play a role too by ensuring the right communications and collaboration tools are in place so everyone is on the same page and no one feels left behind or out of the loop.

Collaboration: Rethink The Workday

The hybrid workforce will be comprised of several types of employees. The fully remote worker is one who rarely or perhaps never comes into the office. At the opposite end of the spectrum is the 100% in-the-office employee. Then there’s the hybrid worker, who follows a 3-2-2 schedule: three days in the office, two days remote and two days off. Other models are also likely to emerge. Some employees may spend three consecutive weeks working remotely and only week in the office for the last week of every month.

This diversity of schedules has the potential to make it very difficult for managers to foster higher productivity. Cohesiveness is a vital element of a high-performing team. But when members are rarely together in the same room, this quality may feel elusive. Managers may be tempted to turn to a traditional solution: the team meeting.

Meetings can be productive and help achieve cohesion, but they can also have the opposite effect. During the pandemic, employees faced schedules of back-to-back meetings, contributing to both fatigue and stress. It’s tiring to be on-camera for several hours at a time, and overscheduling often doesn’t leave enough time for actual work to get done.

That’s why managers need to rethink the workday. Gartner suggests rebalancing the workload between synchronous (working together) and asynchronous (working alone) approaches. The analyst firm points out there has been an overreliance on synchronous modes, leading to a negative effect on health.

Although companies have invested in virtual technologies during the pandemic, there’s clearly room for improvement. When it comes to policies that will improve productivity and employee well-being, 34% of employees ranked setting clear hours for collaboration and when to be online as the top policy, according to McKinsey’s findings. At number two was “robust standardized and integrated virtual collaboration tools,” according to 29% of employees. Shared workspaces and the ability to seamlessly switch between video, voice and chat, for example, make it easy for employees to work with teammates or plug away at a solo task while still having access to project notes and other pertinent information.

Leaders and managers may be facing significant workplace change, but these tips can help them navigate a more complicated environment and even gain a competitive edge in attracting high-performing talent to their organization.

This blog post was first published by Mitel.

Read more...

How to Build Resilient Teams

A recent report detailing work from home statistics in 2021 shows that 43% of workplaces have half of their employees working from home.

How do you find the right people? How do you keep your team engaged and productive while working remotely and things are constantly changing?

That’s what we’re going to look at in this article.

What Is A Resilient Team?

A resilient team can handle unforeseen changes or challenges and persevere as necessary. According to HR consultancy firms LHH and Ferrazzi Greenlight, the members of your team should embody the following four critical characteristics of resilient teams:

  • Candor: Teams with open and honest dialogue are more likely to come up with solutions. Speaking truthfully with each other can help you identify challenges and address them quickly.
  • Resourcefulness: When faced with challenges, teams should work together to find creative solutions. Resilient teams bounce back from setbacks and stay focused on their goal.
  • Compassion & Empathy: Resilient teams consist of individuals who deeply and genuinely care about each other. Your team needs to be able to share both their successes and failures.
  • Humility: Resilient teams are willing to admit when they can’t handle a problem and ask for help.

How To Build A Resilient Team

Building a resilient team is no easy feat. It takes empathy, effective communication, and honesty to establish trust with one another. Below are a few key elements you can incorporate to build a resilient team.

Show Empathy

Leadership requires balance. It’s about strength and humility, focusing on vision and gathering input.

The most successful leaders inspire people, believe in others’ potential, and show empathy even when faced with difficult decisions.

Most people don’t immediately become managers the moment they enter the working world. They start on the bottom rung of the ladder and gradually take on more responsibilities until they reach leadership level.

You can use this to your advantage.

Share examples of times when you faced similar challenges to your team and coach them through the difficulties they’re facing. But importantly, don’t assume you know exactly how they feel. Ask them

It all ties back to those four characteristics of resilient teams. Speak truthfully about your own experiences; be compassionate about the struggles your team is facing; work with them to find solutions, and be humble enough to realize you don’t have all the answers.

Improve Communication

Without effective communication, you can’t be a strong leader, and you can’t build a resilient team.

How can you be resourceful in overcoming challenges or demonstrate compassion and empathy if you can’t communicate properly?

Unfortunately, a lot of workplace communication simply isn’t as meaningful or helpful as it should be. In fact, 50% of workers feel meetings are a waste of time and should be cut in half or better yet, eliminated altogether.

Here are three steps to level up your communication and use it to build your team’s resilience:

1. Communicate Consistently

If you’re a manager who has been tasked with building and sustaining a team, you know how difficult it can be to try and maintain consistency in the midst of the many projects and to-do’s simultaneously on the go. Consistency is one of the most important factors you should focus on to create a positive working environment.

Regular communication can help establish clarity in terms of roles, responsibilities, and expectations, as well as buy-in from everyone on the team for their role within its structure. It can also help build camaraderie, and foster mutual respect among teammates.

If you operate a team that works remotely, you should always have at least one instant communication channel open to keep everyone in touch and on the same page. Likewise, you can use a shared virtual space (such as a Facebook group) to share social media content on company updates or big industry news. Encourage your team to share relevant content, too.

Always-on communications create a culture in which messaging is the natural way to reach out to other team members with minimal delays in response.

2. Encourage Honesty

Some teams create an environment where everything can seem toxic. Even with the best intentions, raising any issue or concern could add fuel to the fire. How will this affect team collaboration down the road?

It’s important for you to establish a work environment where people feel comfortable speaking openly from the get-go. This helps individuals on your team make better decisions and be more willing to take risks that could lead to success.

When team members know they can raise difficult points free of consequences, your team becomes more resilient.

Encourage them to share openly by holding smaller meetings and one-to-ones.

3. Build Connections

A transformational leader can map out the highs and lows in each member’s journey so they can fully understand their colleagues and the adversity they might be facing. This builds resilience by creating an environment where compassion for others is welcomed while fostering trust and engagement between teammates.

In a group setting, encourage team members to discuss highs, lows, and other formative experiences from their professional and personal lives. Sharing in this way helps to normalize open conversations and encourages compassion.

Show Appreciation

Appreciation is a powerful tool that can dramatically improve the productivity and morale of your team. An appreciative boss is much more likely to have a high rate of success, and grateful teams have better work engagement and satisfaction levels.

In other words, for a team to be successful, it’s key that everyone in the group feels valued.

Celebrate instances when team members have gone the extra mile and embodied your company values. Hold regular meetings where you ask your team members to share their biggest “win” of the past month.

Create A Support System

Everyone needs support to maintain healthy habits. When it comes to organizational resilience, if you are able to create a supportive environment for your team (especially through stressful situations), you will be more likely to adopt a growth mindset and drive results.

Make this a key focus of your one-to-one reviews. Rather than diving straight into discussing performance and progress, start each review by simply asking, “How are you doing?”

Encourage team members to raise problems and generally encourage them that it’s okay to feel stressed or worried about challenging situations. Provide actionable advice and help them out when it’s relevant, but remember that sometimes all you need to do is listen.

Clarity

It’s crucial to keep your team in the loop and respond to them in a timely manner with as much information as possible when working within a team. Taking the time to get everyone on your team to understand your long-term goals and provide clarity for everyone involved can increase the likelihood of a positive outcome.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to building a resilient team, there are a variety of factors that need to be considered. Resilience is built, not found. It requires improving communication skills within your team, encouraging honesty and creating an environment based on the appreciation of each other’s strengths.

Whether it’s the constant change and remote work that comes with the pandemic, or a need for organizational growth—building up your team’s resilience will enable them to react effectively when faced with tough times or adversity.

This blog post was first published by Mitel.

Read more...