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Strong Teams During These Tough Times

From Karen Sanders, of the HR Department

I’ve worked in HR and been interested in teams and leadership for over 20 years now. During this lockdown, I have never experienced a time in my career where it is so challenging for teams to feel united and as one. A recent McKinsey report revealed that two thirds of executives believe this will be the toughest moment of their careers.

If you therefore are feeling that work life and home life has been a challenge, you aren’t alone. Whether you are remote working or have been home schooling, been affected by lockdown, furlough or masses of extra work, had friend of family struggling with mental health issues or struggled with a lack of social interaction, we have all been affected in different ways. One thing has remained and that is, a team is a team, and a strong team is the foundation to a happy work life and central to the success of any business. Any business is only as strong as the team, and a team can only be strong if we are united and have a strong team bond.

There has never been a time like this, where we all need to look at our work colleagues and try to appreciate what life is like for them. We are all working hard, and everyone has had their own personal challenges during the past 8 months. Some of us (especially the introverts) will be thriving working from home and be happy for reduced interaction, but others will not be, so look out for them. Living in a flat, working on a kitchen table, opposite your partner, whilst children are running around is not easy!

Be kind, remember to ask each other how you are, look out for each other and ask after other families and friends. Work is a place where we all can thrive, if we feel a sense of belonging and this is harder to achieve when we are living in an unnatural way to us social animals.

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Those of us who are naturally more sociable can organise virtual team building events – book clubs, scavenger hunts, a team coffee break or quiz night, are all good fun and will create and maintain strong team bonds. Put yourselves out there, don’t feel that you need to wait for someone to organise things, it won’t go unnoticed.

What I am trying to say is, take time out of your day to think about one another, be kind, do nice things and not only will you make someone’s day, you will also help to make your teams stronger with a greater sense of belonging. The best companies I have ever worked with, feel like a family.

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