Posted by Sandy Yu on 12.10.2019
Resilience is an important quality in employees, no matter the role or industry. Their capacity to recover quickly from difficulties within the workplace and in their personal lives determines how successfully they rise above failures and the fear of failure.
However, individual resiliency will only get your team so far. Unifying your team and making them collectively more resilient brings them together to effectively compete in today’s competitive, fast-paced environment. Employee agility is the key to nurturing a tenacious team.
More and more organizations are adopting an agile team structure. They break up development into squads and tribes within the company, which include people from different departments who are quickly responsive to immediate problems.
Promoting open communication between departments with employee agility equips your entire company to be solutions-oriented and resilient to changes in the industry and company.
Here’s how you can grow employee agility within your team with a GAME (Growth, Appreciation, Measurement, Engagement) plan:
Your team shouldn’t settle for their current abilities. As a leader, it’s your job to help employees aspire by inspiring them to grow and develop to reach their greatest potential. Meaningful growth starts with accurately assessing their knowledge and skills to ensure the opportunities you offer are ones uniquely fitting to their needs.
This forward motion can’t occur if you’re simply jumping on the latest trends and forcing potentially irrelevant information onto them. Instead, focus on fun and practical assessments during performance reviews and regularly collect employee feedback on a personal and team level. Use this information to determine what your team needs to learn and how they learn best to perform at their peak.
Encourage your employees to build one another up by sharing strengths they recognize in each other. What about these strengths do they believe makes their team more agile? How can the entire group grow to develop similar strengths and, in return, also increase their agility as a team?
Recognition is a critical element of effective communication. Your employees need to feel you genuinely value their efforts. Without appreciation, their confidence to overcome challenges and failures as both individuals and a team will likely fall short.
Before jumping straight to the point and offering words of encouragement and appreciation, ask yourself these questions:
Gain a deeper understanding of their responses by collecting anonymous survey data. Let them know you’re listening by acknowledging how they feel most appreciated. For example, they may prefer to leave work an hour early over a gift card to Starbucks. Keep teamwork top of mind when deciding the ultimate way to recognize your team’s achievements and show your appreciation.
Beyond perks or gifts, learn how they want your appreciation communicated to them. Your team may feel more engaged and valued through a simple message acknowledging their personal and professional milestones. Once you understand how they feel valued and begin this process, you can work toward universally showing appreciation across your team.
Employee agility growth is impossible to build if you don’t understand how to effectively grow and lead your unique team. Data and feedback are available but often aren’t combined with employees’ opinions or implemented to change how a team is managed.
Before putting metrics to work, find out if your team thinks evaluations are fair based on their starting expectations. Did they feel they were properly trained before assessments were put in place? If they failed, were leaders open to discussing the issue and then helping them improve? If so, how did they help build agility before the next evaluation?
Your team needs to see you actively taking their feedback into account when changes are made to the workflow, new office tools are added, and their resources change. If you alter their workflow based on an evaluation they didn’t find fair, you’ll still be missing the mark.
Clearly communicate before taking metrics into account and after. Let your team know how you plan to act accordingly. Then, allow time for them to discuss if those metrics aren’t accurately representing their needs to grow and improve as a team.
Engagement strategies are best created from the foundation of the other GAME elements -- Growth, Appreciation, and Metrics. When all of these are intentionally combined, you have the power to engage your team on a consistent basis, helping them love their work and workplace.
Those who are highly engaged will feel even more capable of joining together in employee agility. They’ll have the mindset and dedication to want to join forces with their team to rise up and overcome challenges. Disengaged employees, however, aren’t as likely to care or apply themselves to resolve conflicts.
Look at your team’s feedback regarding feeling valued and appreciated to develop a base assessment of their satisfaction. Use this base to then begin measuring how wholly engaged they are with their work and your company. Assess how your team works together to solve problems.
Determine who is a team player and who sits back while others confidently and diligently handle issues. Once they’ve been identified, look deeper into your other metrics -- such as how they feel valued and their performance level -- to determine if engagement is a factor you can improve to make the entire team more responsive.