Anywhere working

As organizations make plans to implement hybrid working, many executives are asking themselves: “What does it take to succeed in today’s ever-changing business landscape?” 

In a word? Resilience.

That’s what helped Apple deliver strong growth during the pandemic. “If I had to describe our performance this quarter in a single word, it's resilient,” said CEO Tim Cook. “Even though we're apart, it's been obvious this year that around the company, teams and colleagues have been leaning on and counting on each other more than in normal times. I think that instinct, that resilience, has been an essential part of how we have navigated this year.”

But what does resiliency really mean to the modern-day manager? Merriam-Webster defines resiliency as the “ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.” However, as the majority of companies plan for a hybrid work future, you may be wondering how to build and maintain resiliency among a mix of in-person and remote workers. Fortunately, the qualities that characterize a resilient in-office team match those of a resilient work-anywhere team – as long as you have the right communications and collaboration tools in place. 

Here at Mitel, resilient teams have been a hot topic both internally and with partners and customers. We’ve held a few Twitter chats on the role of communications and teams recently, and here’s what we’ve learned – and what the experts say. Check out the four qualities of resilient teams and how you can foster these characteristics across a hybrid workforce.  

Four Qualities of Resilient Teams – And How to Hybridize Them

1. Flexible and resourceful

Being flexible and resourceful is akin to the golden rule of resiliency. Teams need to be able to adapt to changing customer expectations, market conditions and supply chain issues. When challenges arise, resilient teams pull together and come up with creative ways to overcome obstacles. 

In the past, team members were often huddled in the same conference room, brainstorming new and innovative solutions to complex problems. While some of your team may still be in the same physical space, others will be joining from afar. With the right communications technology in place, however, it’ll feel like everyone is in the same room. 

In fact, why not transform the in-office huddle room and add even more power to your hybrid team? MiTeam Meetings is a plug-and-play solution which lets your in-person staff gather in one room without remote workers getting lost in the background. Features like instant messaging and polling let everyone contribute their ideas easily and in real time. Teams can even capture notes, share files and pick up right where they left off in the next brainstorming session. 

2. Vocal and informative

Another key ingredient to resilient teams is open and honest communications. People need to feel free to raise their hand when there’s a problem or share an idea without worrying about being judged or overlooked. A recent post on one of our Twitter chats points to the important role managers play in creating a culture of open communications: “Leaders can encourage their team members to speak up when they see challenges or problems and demonstrate that they are listening to their team members by acting and thanking their team members for their honesty.”

In order to accomplish this, managers should make it easy to communicate with employees and always be available to listen. It’s important to offer a variety of communications options. MiCollab and MiTeam Meetings, for example, make it easy for teams to stay connected, no matter where or how people are working. Features such as web and mobile applications and a single point of access for a multitude of collaboration tools makes sure no one is ever more than a click away. 

3. Psychologically resilient

Adversity often breeds anxiety. If your team doesn’t feel supported or safe, they’re less likely to succeed. Managers can create a safe space for employees by expressing their own concerns and encouraging team members to voice any issues or ideas. 

Managers can also use technology to improve the psychological health of teams. Consider a weekly meeting where anything goes – employees can be free to talk about what’s on their minds, whether it be work-related or more personal. Give members the freedom to join the meeting any way they choose – video, audio, in-person or remote – so they have a sense of control. And don’t be afraid to make it fun. Some leaders have even hosted virtual happy hours and held at-home contests. A little time to blow off some steam or vent can go a long way in improving psychological health and building a sense of trust among team members. 

4. Diverse

If everyone on a team has the same ideas, innovation isn’t likely to happen. That’s why diversity is so important. But managers need to embrace all aspects of diversity, even when it comes to communicating with employees. In the hybrid world, there are more communications options than ever, so it can be a challenge to know how best to interact. 

As Andy Grant, Vice President of Global Field Marketing, said in our recent Twitter chat, “We don’t need to have all our calls over video. Sometimes when you just want to chat and check in a phone call is more effective.” Leaders should recognize different people have preferences when it comes to digital communications and certain situations are better suited to different communications channels. Managers need to adapt to the styles of team members to make them feel comfortable and connected. 

Resiliency may seem like an unattainable goal these days, but with the right communications tools in place, it’s really just a click away. Give your hybrid teams the resources they need, and you may be surprised at how well they persevere – at home, in the office and anywhere in between. 

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