A year since the beginning of state-mandated stay-at-home orders and workplace shutdowns due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, team functioning, and office routines have been significantly impacted and changed dramatically. During the pandemic, Hogan Assessments – the global leader in personality assessment and leadership consulting – has observed three common challenges that teams in organizations are facing today: dispersal (teams are dispersed and working virtually), new team composition (layoffs and reorganization have led to lost or added new team members) and new priorities (teams have been asked to put annual business plans aside and focus efforts on new priorities).
Regardless of the challenges that teams are facing, it is crucial to spend time realigning the team’s values and norms, recommitting to desired behaviours, and remaining agile and adaptable can make all the difference in every team’s ability to remain effective and competitive. According to Hogan, there are four different measures which can accelerate your team’s long-term effectiveness.
Acknowledging the impact means discussing the advantages and challenges of working virtually, personally and professionally. It also means talking about what employees enjoyed or found difficult in this context, communicate about the impact it has had on the team and what the team needs to continue operating effectively.
To address new team composition and new priorities, it is important to discuss how work has been reallocated and how the team can ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities across team members as well as sharing ideas on how to effectively onboard new team members.
Values form the basis for the team’s culture and norms. Identifying team values and potential gaps in organizational culture, now and for the future, can help reach increased cohesion. Using data from Hogan’s Motives, Values, Preferences Inventory (MVPI) which identifies the core goals, values, drivers, and interests that determine what motivates candidates to succeed, teams can begin to explore values to determine the impact of the current team culture and discuss the culture the team would like to create in the future.
Discussing alignment between new priorities and team values to ensure that the team is continuing to do work that is valuable for both the members and the organization is highly important.
Teams operate more effectively when clear and consistent rules guide their interactions and processes. Using data from the Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI), teams can begin to explore behaviours that inform the team’s standards of operating and team culture.
Focusing on interpersonal norms, such as belonging, collaboration, and communication, to build and maintain strong relationships among the members of the team can inform effective team behaviours. It is also highly important to spend time getting to know the new members of the team and to encourage an environment of belonging where team members understand how they fit into the team.
To stay relevant during the global pandemic, organizations are making dramatic efforts. Effective organizations and teams need to focus on driving and adapting business strategy to derive competitive advantage. As such, teams must respond to the changing needs of the business by rethinking its goals and priorities. With data from the Hogan Development Survey (HDS), organizations can explore behaviours that could interfere with the team’s ability to manage change, drive results, and remain agile in the changing business environment.
Dr. Ryne Sherman, Chief Science Officer at Hogan Assessments adds. “Given the current environment, it is critical for every organization to identify challenges facing their teams whether it is a dispersed team, a newly formed team, or a team facing new or changing priorities. Once the challenge is identified, new habits can be created to proactively accelerate team effectiveness and continue to raise its level of performance. In our constantly changing environment, remaining agile and adaptable is key in the ability of teams to remain effective and competitive.”