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.

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