5 Actions That Support Your Teams This Summer Break

 In Change management, Culture, Leadership

We have an opportunity to rebuild our teams and work culture. The shakeup of 2020 gives teams a moment to press the reset button and decide how they want to return to work. Summer is the ideal time to re-group and get planning. Use this extra thinking space to look at where you are now, where you want to be, and put in place the steps you need to take to get there.

To help you, we have put together a list of five things you can do during the summer break.

1. Plan for September

September often feels like a fresh start. Planning for how you will bring your team back together is a great thing to do during the summer months. 

The next quarter is a chance to set in place programs that can create thriving and productive teams. You can start the work to reset the team culture and identity. To help you think about the four categories we measure with Team Chemistry use the wheel below to think about where you are and where you need to do work. 

How to use it: 

  • Print the wheel image or open it where you can edit it on your computer. 
  • Put a cross on the dot where you think your team is on each of the four areas on the wheel, the further to the outside you go the better you’re doing. 
  • Look at what you have. Is it what you want or is there work to do?

If you don’t see the shape you want on the wheel, decide what you need to do to get those scores nearer to the centre. You can plan the actions you need to take on the areas that need improvement.  

Our Team Chemistry tool helps you get robust measures with quantitative and qualitative data. It gives you insight into what’s going on as well as more detail in the dimensions that contribute to each area. Use this time to think and reflect but also plan for how you can focus on the right areas that need support.

2. Think about the team behaviours you need

With every major change, there is also an opportunity to create a lovely new set of team behaviours. Teams today need a new set of behaviours. The landscape has changed and with that, we need to behave differently. 

Take this opportunity to think about the team behaviours needed to help your team thrive. Our Team Chemistry tool is a great tool to help with that as it measures teams in four key areas we know contribute to thriving teams:

To help get that conversation started, we have a free game that gets your team talking about what they’d like to change and the team they’d like to be.  The game is picture-based, which gives teams fun and innovative ways to talk together. At the same time, they will address some serious concepts. This will help them develop and grow as they cope with more change.

Using images in this way allows teams to explore the subconscious and to get them thinking. Talking about team culture using pictures and cards is much easier than asking direct questions. A card sort offers a safe way to explore the culture they inhabit. Pictures can trigger surprising conversations and be revelatory. If you’d like us to help facilitate a session then get in touch.

3. Encourage your team to speak up

Teams who feel safe to speak up are better able to solve problems and say when they need help. What underpins this is something called psychological safety.  We talk a lot about psychological safety and teams need this in abundance right now. More so if some or all of your team is working virtually. 

Teams who are working remotely need more psychological safety as there is less casual office chat happening. When you interact through scheduled meetings it means you don’t bump into people around the office. They miss the opportunity for informal and spontaneous conversations.

Consequently, you need to encourage your team to speak up even when they are working remotely.

Do you know how psychologically safe your team feels?

Do you know what the different levels of psychological safety are within different groups? Finding out gives you data on where work needs to be done and teams need support. 

Watch our video where Making Change Happen collective member, Katharina, talks about how important psychological safety is for teams. If you haven’t heard of psych safety before this is a great place to start.

 

4. Support your teams’ wellbeing

For some of your team, lockdown will be a time that they got to spend with their families and rebalancing home life. For others, it will be a time of stress, coping with huge unknowns and quite possibly a bereavement. 

Lockdown experience is different for everyone. While some may have thrived with remote working, others will be eager to get back into normal office life. 

When you add into this inevitable restructures, changing work routines, and a more flexible approach to work, it is a lot for our human brains to deal with. Last month we looked at how we can build on these significant changes. 

And in order to do this, we need to take our teams’ wellbeing into consideration. Let your staff know where they can access support during the summer and onwards. 

5. Look after yourself

Finally, the most important thing to do over the summer break is for you to look after yourself. This has been a tough year and putting actions in place for your team ready for September is great. But in order for the first five actions to be effective, it needs a leader who takes time to look after themselves in order to be at their best. 

We have been presented with a unique opportunity here to rebuild our teams in a new way. The possibilities for organisations are exciting. We are given a fresh map to plot the course towards an ideal team culture. If you need a guide to take you there, do get in touch.

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