Ever heard the saying teamwork makes the dream work?
It’s a famous quote used to inspire teams and improve motivation, but for some people, the quote is just downright cheesy. These five words on their own may not always amount to much, but John C. Maxwell wrote them and you don’t often hear the rest of the quote because it’s not quite as catchy!
Teamwork makes the dream work, but a vision becomes a nightmare when the leader has a big dream and a bad team.
Although it may not be as memorable and to the point in its complete state, it adds more value as there is less guesswork about what he meant. It seems that John was right on the money when he wrote this. We wouldn’t say there’s such a thing as a bad team, but there are teams not working to their full potential. Luckily, there’s some simple steps you can take to bring out the best in your team.
So, what makes a dream team? In the post-pandemic world, a dream team looks different because of the impact remote working has had on teamwork. An effective team has a lot to do with the interpersonal skills that each individual can bring to the table, better known as soft skills.
Soft skills may not sound quite as powerful as hard skills. Still, their value has gradually increased since the 1980’s and now both are equally as crucial, with a recent LinkedIn study indicating that 57% of employers now value soft skills more than hard skills when it comes to recruitment.
This may be because soft skills consider your behavioural style, attitudes and motivations; these qualities can be adapted and applied to different jobs and situations, which has become extremely valuable within the changing workplace. With such a high demand for soft skills in the workplace, it’s no surprise that organisations are investing more of their attention and resources to learning and development.
Looking at soft skills in the context of workplace behaviours is a great way to understand and predict the effectiveness of teams. Our research discovered that you’re likely to react to remote working differently based on your personality. We collected data from a global sample throughout May to September 2020, capturing the experiences of over 2800 workers during the pandemic and showed the impact of remote working on their workplace behaviours, attitudes and wellbeing.
We saw Introversion used more throughout the pandemic, with a 36% increase in the usage of Introverted qualities. The increase in this behavioural aspect has helped people adapt to being more reflective and adjust to working independently.
We saw Extraversion used less throughout the pandemic, with a 44% drop in usage of Extraverted qualities. This outcome was easily predictable with less face-to-face communication and fewer opportunities to socialise.
Our research indicates that 48% of people want to work remotely at least some of the time; they haven’t just adapted, it is now their new normal and preference. With such high demand, it’s hard to ignore the facts. Remote working is here to stay.
The demand from employees to create flexible remote working policies is at an all-time high, with 30% of employees stating they are likely to switch jobs if they returned to entirely on-site work. That’s why now more than ever, organisations need to understand employee needs to create a remote working policy that will fit their culture.
So how can we help you understand team behaviour to ensure people get the support they need remotely? Let’s break this down across 8 Aspects of behaviour to see how each of these styles add value to the workplace, the consequences of using these styles ineffectively and how to bring out their best.
This will be a breakdown of the workplace behaviours and some practical tips to stimulate and engage teams to be their best in the remote workspace.
Starting at the top of the Lumina Mandala is the Inspiration Driven Aspect, people who score highly on this like to trust their instincts and keep their targets open-ended. This is a valuable skill within the remote space as instincts can help the workday progress quicker. Being Inspiration Driven supports them to be comfortable to jump from task to task to help the virtual workday move forward.
1. Highly Inspiration Driven people can contribute to more flexibility within the workplace. Why wouldn’t you be open to this! Flexible workplaces are happy and productive, with evidence from the CIPD that shows flexible workers have a higher level of job satisfaction
2. A great way to encourage your team to develop their Inspiration Driven is by introducing flexible working arrangements, giving them the autonomy to explore the most effective way to manage their workload
3. Too much structure can be a trigger for Inspiration Driven people. When you witness them having a bad day, you might notice they seem unfocused, jumping between tasks and not completing deadlines. To support them, help them prioritise their workload and set some short-term goals.
Big Picture Thinking
Big Picture Thinkers enjoy looking for truths that lie beneath the surface. They are likely to be contemplative by nature and highly innovative. With organisations constantly faced with challenges from adapting to a virtual workplace and the need to recreate their services to suit customers’ changing needs, it’s advantageous to have Big Picture Thinkers drive radical and new ideas with a clear vision in this new environment.
1. Big Picture Thinkers can drive creativity and innovation within the workplace to keep up with emerging trends. They often spot trends not seen by others and are comfortable suggesting radical changes with the desire to share new visions and goals. This makes Big Picture Thinkers a unique asset in times of change
2. You can help bring out the best in the Big Picture Aspect by allocating time early on during virtual meetings to share new ideas and alternative approaches before demanding finalised plans from your team. Make sure you have the collaborative tools to help articulate new ideas in a structured and coherent way to those who aren’t so conceptual or imaginative. The value this can add for transforming projects might just be unmatched
3. In their efforts to bring new ideas into the team, Big Picture Thinkers may get carried away, which can cause stress to those in the team who prefer to stick to a plan without radical changes. Remember, they’ve likely caught on to a good idea and may just need help turning ideas into a reality. Try to focus their thoughts by reminding them of the facts and possibilities to make their ideas come full circle.
Those who measure highly on Extraversion will often find themselves surrounded by groups of people, which they find highly motivating. They enjoy engaging in group conversations and feel at ease in new social situations. In a virtual workplace, many people often report feeling isolated; by keeping the social conversation flowing, extraverted qualities help the team feel connected.
1. They will often bring more life and energy into the workplace and keep the overall happiness of teammates high, and we all know that a happy workplace leads to higher productivity
2. Bring out the best of Extraversion when working remotely by introducing fun socials to the workplace; this can be in the form of a quiz night or something tamer like a virtual lunch space
3. When Extraverted individuals feel out of their comfort zone within their work environment, they tend to seem overenthusiastic and talk over others on Zoom meetings (Zoom Domination!). It’s important to understand that they need to exercise their social strengths; you can put clear time aside to express feelings and be open to connecting with them on a personal level, they will truly appreciate you reaching out.
Outcome-Focused individuals are very goal-oriented and willing to push themselves and those around them very hard to achieve their objectives. This Aspect is great to integrate into the workplace as teams need to have clear goals to stay productive when working remotely.
1. They can help build more transparency and honesty at work as they are very to the point when communicating. In a remote space, Outcome-Focused individuals can provide clear vision and direction to keep the team moving towards the goal
2. You can boost Outcome-Focused qualities in the workplace by introducing healthy competition into the virtual workplace to celebrate each other’s victories. Those who are more Outcome-Focused will revel in the chance to show their excellence at work and motivate them to push on
3. Being logical, competitive and tough can bring significant benefits to the way your team works together, but when overplaying these strengths, arguments can arise when trying to get a point across. You can help them by systematically presenting information and ensuring all the voices in the room have been heard.
Discipline Driven teammates are likely to be exceptionally organised by nature and people trust them to fulfil their commitments. With many employers worrying about remote workers managing their workload, this is a brilliant style to bring into a team.
1. These self-made planners can help teams stay organised when dotted around different geographical locations, sticking to deadlines and giving structure to virtual meetings that otherwise lack an efficient flow due to the lack of social cues
2. You can support them to be their best self at work by arranging tasks or meetings taking care not to overload them with work. Microsoft outlook and Teams have made it easier to work on shared calendars to support this, but last-minute requests might not be appreciated
3. When under stress, the structure they usually benefit from can lead to being Goal Fixated or unable to change plans; understand that they see the essential value in sticking to commitments. Explain the benefit of changing plans and how this will contribute to overall delivery, give time for them to step away and reorganise their plans.
Down to Earth
Down to Earth individuals are all about having a firm grip on reality. In the virtual workspace, their data driven approach to work can assist the team in keeping projects realistic and deliverable at a time when remote working is new to many and people are often still finding their feet.
1. The attention to detail will help teams not miss any crucial information, especially when working from home where others are less likely to keep updated with your work
2. You can encourage Down to Earth thinking by bringing valid data, examples and evidence into meetings for discussion rather than being overly intuitive with problem-solving
3. Being a realist, they can sometimes become Narrow-Sighted because they are so entangled with the facts of the situation and how to create the reality. Sharing the project vision and end goal based on the evidence of the situation can be a great way to get them on board.
Introversion is high in those who feel comfortable when working alone and these individuals keep their emotions to themselves most of the time. Those who are highly Introverted often find remote working preferable and without the distractions of the office, their productivity usually rises.
1. Introverts are known for being great listeners and can encourage the team also to improve their communication skills in the virtual space
2. You can encourage these skills to grow in the workplace by always having a chatbox in team meetings to cater to different communication styles to give them the space to think before speaking. Likewise, provide pauses after speaking to open up the opportunity to feel comfortable taking the stage
3. When they feel under pressure or out of their comfort zone, they seem withdrawn or serious; often, this is worse if there are highly expressive and fast-moving conversations. Make sure you allow for a debrief of the meeting on a one-to-one basis to help them out of their Overextended state and try to regulate some of the louder voices in the room.
People-Focused team members concentrate on the people around them, seeking group harmony. In the remote space where personal connection can seemingly be lost, having people that value everyone in the team equally can create a sense of community that you are likely to find in the traditional office format.
1. When striving to achieve the dream team, a People-Focused outlook will ensure the unique talents of every member is welcomed to the table and when times are hard, they are happy to step in and pick up the workload
2. When you can do so, check in with how other colleagues are dealing with their workload and see where you can offer support considering the challenges and pressures they may be facing
3. When conflict or tensions arise between team members, their usual peace-making abilities become overstretched; they tend to see both sides in a bid to be Empathetic and Accommodating they find themselves emotionally stretched. Remind them that it isn’t their burden and see how collaboration can be achieved as a solution.
In Businessolver’s 2020 State of Workplace Empathy report, 76% of employees said they believe empathy boosts productivity. Further, the 2019 report found that 82% would consider leaving their company for a more empathetic one.
Now that we have broken down some of the facts, it’s clear that a dream team starts with understanding personality and how it affects workplace behaviours. When we look at the different behavioural thinking, we can better understand the different working styles within the workplace and how best to support individuals in the virtual workplace.
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