The internet is full of tips and tricks on how organizations can adapt and thrive in the new landscape. Some excellent resources have been published recently by authorities such as Forbes, LinkedIn, and Gartner, and the advice contained therein is very useful -- but only up to a point. The thing is this: there's only so much that can be set up or resolved by the company. Certainly, some companies have adapted better than others giving themselves the best chance to succeed moving forward, but there are no guarantees.
Ultimately, it's the team that decides the outcome of a project, and often the manner in which team members interact and work together on a day-to-day basis is what determines success or failure. Every team is comprised of unique individuals with different opinions, personalities, and preferences that are not always compatible. For remote teams to be successful, they need to quickly and independently identify and resolve challenges that arise.
By conducting frequent pulse surveys, you'll be able to gain a consistent flow of insights allowing the teams and individual team members to understand where they might be struggling and identify opportunities to learn, grow, and excel. Pulse surveys are anonymous, so this is an excellent tool for identifying and addressing issues that may be sensitive or uncomfortable to tackle otherwise.
After a challenge has been identified, it's important for the team to understand the root cause and determine a solution. Retro meetings and similar deliberate workshops allow teams to have an objective discussion and work together to brainstorm and figure out what's going on, what the root cause of the issue is, and come up with some solutions. Because issues can be identified from the pulse data, it's easier to tackle the right problems head on.
The final step in the process is also the most important. For the discussions to be productive, it's vital that each member of the team has the necessary feedback skills. Such skills include
- Talking openly about observations or actions rather than blaming people
- Being able to describe in detail the impact that a particular action had on them
- Remaining curious about the observations and needs of the other team members
Feedback is the mechanism that makes the whole process work, and so it's crucial that teams be able to identify and distinguish between the 3 types of feedback.
Armed with the insights to identify any challenge, the tools to investigate the root cause of it, and the skills to openly and effectively discuss what's going on, teams are empowered to take control of their interactions and find effective ways of working together in their unique context. No company policy or process can do this for the teams, which makes this a critical piece in ensuring effective teamwork and engagement.
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