Jan 13

Hopes for 2021

Building a Resilient Team

For many organisations 2020 was a bit of a nightmare.  The unpredictable nature of the pandemic lead to businesses shutting down, staff experiencing isolation, (some for the first time) and the subsequent lockdowns that challenged us all in different ways.

This upheaval meant that many managers and HR professionals were working double time, trying to steer a business through a downturn, manage a team in turmoil as well as going on with business as usual.

And while we have high hopes for the new year, the chances are that it will not be smooth sailing – 2021 will no doubt bring its own challenges and uncertainties. In these uncertain times, it is important to nurture resilience – the ability to bounce back from difficulties and to adapt to setbacks.  Resilience gives us the ability to adjust our course, to take advantage of new opportunities and to keep enjoying our work regardless of the challenges that come our way.

As we (not so fondly) wave 2020 goodbye, here are some tips to kickstart the year and build resilience in teams, so that we are prepared for the twists and turns that 2021 may provide.

Debrief 2020

One simple thing to do with your team is to debrief 2020.  Coming together in groups and encouraging open discussions on how you weathered the shutdown, what went well and what didn’t go so well can be very beneficial for staff morale. 

2020 was an emotional time for many people.  Giving space to acknowledge this and to talk about the impact (change) on people is a sensible and sane thing to do. 

Review Workplace Culture

One definition of workplace culture is what happens in a team when no one is watching. This has never more been the case than when workplaces suddenly transferred to the home space.

Working from home showed that workplace cultures with high trust and a pattern of good communication did better than most through 2020. Cultures that were overly competitive or timeserving, where micromanaging is used suffered badly as employees worked from home.  Struggles with communication and systems were rife and poor workplace behaviour resulted. 

If you are concerned about the cracks in your workplace culture exposed by working through the lockdown, you are not alone.  The first thing to do is to review what is going on. A good workplace review will take a deep dive into culture around issues of communication, governance, and workplace behaviour and give you a pathway to repairing the culture.

What has 2020 shown you about your values?

Organsational values work well when they are current and resonate with employees. After the year that we’ve had, some reflection on organization values is timely.  The lockdown in 2020 gave all of us the opportunity to reflect on the values that are really important to us as an organisation.  We saw that we were agile enough to adjust to the demands of working online.  We can be collaborative even when we can’t physically be together, and we continue to be customer focused even when our hands are tied by things we can’t control.

Are the values of your organisation due for a refresh? Perhaps its time to use the knowledge gained during lockdown to affirm who you are as an organization and inspire staff to the behaviours that will help them manage as they march into the new year.

Refreshing your values can be a really positive and collaborative experience. Worklogic has worked with organisations ranging from boutique businesses to Government departments to realign values.

Through in-depth discussions, focus groups with leaders, managers and employees, we listen to their views about what they think the organisation stands for now, and what ethical shifts the company wants to make in future to ensure that its culture, performance and employee experience continue to improve. 

We draft and consult on a set of values that can be believed in by all of the staff in the organisation and motivates them to behave in ways that are aligned to the ethics of the organisation.

(Re)Build Communication Skills

Communication is key to resilience as it allows us to move quickly to discover problems and to develop new approaches.

After extended lockdowns, our communication skills can become a bit rusty.  If your staff have spent large parts of 2020 socially distant not just from their colleagues but also from family and friends, then their ability to communicate around difficult subjects may not come as easily as it did before.

As well as this, conversations that have been put off because of everything else going on in lockdown or ‘feel wrong’ over Zoom may now be long overdue.

The ability to communicate effectively is a set of skills, which can be taught and learnt. Like a muscle, these skills need to be exercised consistently to keep them working well. Training in Conversations that Matter is fun and relevant and gives employees valuable communication skills, empowering staff to communicate in a proactive, clear and empathetic way.  These skills are gold for organisations as we make our way through whatever 2021 has to throw at us.

About Jodie Fox

Jodie Fox  is passionate about helping people and organisations manage workplace conflict in a productive way. She specialises in workplace investigationsworkplace reviews and mediations to address and resolve complaints and foster a positive workplace culture. An experienced employment lawyer, she works with clients from a diverse range of industries providing pragmatic and strategic advice. She is a knowledgeable and engaging writer and speaker.

Please contact Jodie for an obligation free consultation via email or call (03) 9981 6558.

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