The 10 Elements of Building Team Resilience
Updated: Jun 1, 2022
If you ensure , as a team, you are working on the 10 Elements, the resilience and performance of your team will grow substantially!
Assess: A good starting point for any team is to actually do a Resilience Assessment. This can be done with each individual team member so that every team member has their own individual resilience development plan. A team report can also be generated. The assessment tool I recommend is the WRAW Index and my colleague Emma Hossack is an accredited Resilience Practitioner who can guide you through the process.
Aware: Staying on the assessment front, it is good to raise the awareness within the team of each team member's individual personality or social style. This prevents individuals making judgements about team member characteristics and behavioural preferences and allows greater understanding as to how each team member 'ticks'. In addition completing a Strengths Profile for each individual and for the team as a whole can identify where strengths within the team lie and this is crucial when it comes to delegating tasks or creating project teams to work on specific projects. My recommendations are to consider either Belbin or the Cappfinity Strengths Profiling tool
Focus: It is vital that every member of the team is focused. This means ensuring 'buy-in' and commitment to the team's Purpose. There is increasing evidence that when a team member fully buys-in to the team Purpose, and as a result enjoys their role, then resilience is enhanced. There must also be absolute clarity of what the specific team goals are, and what each person's role and responsibilities are within the team. Underpinning the roles and responsibilities each team member must have absolute clarity of what their specific objectives are and what their performance measures are. These should be shared across the team by all roles within the team so that everyone understands who is doing what. This builds mutual peer support , and in the cases of high performance teams, constructive challenge. Resilience grows as a result.
Commit: Commitment, accountability and responsibility are essential if the team are going to perform to their full potential, hit their goals and realise their purpose. The team needs to discuss openly what each team member needs to see, hear and feel as regards the desired behaviours and attitudes within the team, and each person needs to commit to these. This is the basis of the team charter and every team should have a team charter in place which can be the guiding framework as how the team and each member behaves. Commitment builds resilience.
Expect: Expectations between the team members and that of team management should be outlined and agreed between both parties. Many team managers outline explicitly what they expect from the team but very rarely do they offer the chance for the team members to openly outline what they expect from line management. This is wrong. This should be a two-way process so that all expectations can be outlined, managed and agreed. These expectations should be built into the team charter.
Resource: It goes without saying that the team should have access to all the necessary resources it needs to fully fulfil their purpose and hit their goals and targets. A lack of resources, whilst not always detrimental to the team's efforts, can make life difficult for the team. Many resilient teams will overcome a lack of resources but all teams should strive to ensure they get what they really need in order to do the job they have been set up to do. The team needs strong leadership but also leaders can be supported when the team build a plan to engage their key senior stakeholders. See 'Engage'.
Reward: A key motivator for any individual is to ensure that they are valued and rewarded for the job they do within the team. The easiest way to value and reward team members is to simply listen to them and make sure their concerns, ideas, fears and hopes are heard and acted upon where appropriate. It can also be as simple as two short words - 'thank you' and 'well done'. These can be incredibly powerful motivators when delivered authentically. If there are company set reward and incentive schemes in place it is essential that every team member knows exactly how these work and what they have to do specifically to benefit from the schemes. Always check everyone's understanding and their level of 'buy-in' to these schemes.
Review: Formal review is a feature of the most resilient high performing teams. These teams will set time aside to ensure they fully review their performance against the team goals, how the team development plan is progressing, and how the team is behaving in relation to the team charter and the agreements within it. Failure to get off the 'hamster wheel of task' and not take time off to review progress will result in poor or at best mediocre performance. It may also lead to team member burn-out and a less than acceptable turnover of team members.
Engage: It is important that the team know who their key stakeholders are within the organisation and also any that are external to the team. These will be people who have an interest in the team and can also influence how the team performs. Engaging with these stakeholders positively will enhance the team's 'brand' and 'standing' within the organisation and potentially result in extra support, reward and resources.
Learn: Resilient teams are constantly learning because they ensure formal review of their plans, their performance, their development and their behaviours. They will also share successes and understand why the success has happened. They will also problem solve together so that one one team member is having a challenge then they get 'round the table' to analyse the challenge and support the individual to come up with a plan to overcome the challenge. You will also find resilient high performing teams will 'scenario plan' and ensure a future focus on how perhaps they may have to adapt in order to face future challenges proactively and positively. In fact resilient teams can shape the future and instigate change.
Put effort into ensuring that your teams cover these ten 'essentials' then you will produce a resilient and high performing team. That is, providing you have recruited effectively! But that's for another blog post!
If you would like to know more about our 'Resilient Partners' team development programme then simply message me through LinkedIn or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org . Alternatively call me on ++ 44 (0) 776 416 8989. You can also contact Emma at email@example.com if you are interested in doing the WRAW Resilience Assessments.