In my last Business Rocks article, I asked the question about how leaders can build high-performing teams in a world where working from home and virtual meetings will continue to be the norm click here. With such a dramatic fall in social contact at work – and the consequent drop-off in the number of those corridor conversations where many of the big ideas begin – will the performance level of managers and management teams begin to decline?

It’s one thing to raise the question, but it’s another to try and answer it. So, as promised, here are five ideas to help maintain and strengthen the cohesiveness and performance of your leadership team:

  1. Build your purpose. There is clear evidence that those organisations with a strong, consistent and clear purpose (over and above making money) perform better than their rivals. A purpose gives people a reason to belong and take action, without the need for any carrots, sticks or constant supervision, providing an emotional connection to our intrinsic desire to contribute to something bigger than ourselves.
  2. Invest in personal development. During a downturn the training and development budget is often one of the first in line to be cut. But having the ability to develop your skills and capabilities is a key driver of job satisfaction. As a result, keeping some budget to help people develop their skills is critical in building engagement and commitment.
  3. Create mini-conferences. International sales teams cannot have always operated in their own mini-silos. Their way of connecting is through the annual sales conference. You can take this concept and create a mini-conference, which may be a mix of physical and virtual sessions, that addresses the bigger questions facing your team and allows each team member to contribute to answering them.
  4. Zoom-in on non-task Teams work. Zoom and Teams have been brilliant tools to keep teams together, with many teams running regular, often daily, update sessions. But these sessions have tended to be task-focused. Teams, however, cannot live on tasks alone. You must also set time aside to discuss and develop your wider team’s goals, how well the team is working and whether or not people feel they really belong to the team.
  5. Let’s do coffee. Zoom has been great for task-focused meetings, but what about extending that to a quick 15-minute coffee or a 30-minute lunch catch-up? Creating the opportunity for the ‘corridor’ conversations across your team is just as important to its performance as having regular sessions to review tasks and actions.

So, this is my list. What about you? What steps will you take to develop your team when it is still more likely to meet virtually than it is physically?

Off The Record: Team by Lorde

We live in cities you’ll never see onscreen

Not very pretty, but we sure know how to run things

Livin’ in ruins of a palace within my dreams

And you know we’re on each other’s team

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