Roundtable Member, Robert Foy, Vice President, PepsiCo Foodservice / Executive Coach, shares strategies for building morale and team resilience in 2022 after a challenging 2021. You can also download the PDF here to read later.
Q: Last year was a challenging year for our organization. We’ve gone through a restructuring, and recently I’ve had to lay people off. Now that the holidays are over, what’s the best way that I can regroup my team in 2022 to build both morale and team resilience?
Robert’s Point of View
What a great question! I’m sure that this is a reality in many organizations. Even without the added impact of restructuring, the past year has been challenging and everyone was more than ready for a break over the holidays!
From my perspective, building morale and resiliency is a team opportunity, and yet more than ever these are very personal topics for people. We are all managing people with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and circumstances at home. As leaders we need to gain an understanding of what each person on our team needs.
My coaching on this topic would be in a couple areas. In terms of the team, I would consider holding a team meeting early in the New Year and use the time to calibrate with the team goals for the year ahead. What are the plans, the targets, the team goals? Keep it light, keep it fast paced and spend time exploring where your team sees risks and opportunities for the year ahead. This doesn’t need to be a meeting where you “solve” for the issues. It’s just a chance to get everyone re-grounded in the team plan for the year ahead.
After that, I would invest a lot of time with each team member. This Covid era has created so many unique situations for our teams. Some like work from home, some don’t. Some miss travel, some don’t. Some have kids, some don’t. Some want to go back to the office, some don’t. Some can see their family and some can’t. Everyone on your team is unique.
As a leader who wants to build morale and develop resilience, you need to understand what’s important for each person on your team. What do they need to make this year successful? What concerns do they have about the plans or the year ahead? What barriers can you remove for them? Take the team plan and unpack what’s important for them as individuals.
Be curious and ask lots of questions. Be courageous and ask them those two specific questions:
- How is your morale right now?
- What do you need to have the resilience to make 2022 a successful year for you?
You don’t need solve everything. Sometimes your team just needs to feel heard and know that you understand their unique situation.
The Final Word
I had a boss give me this advice one time; “Your team won’t care what you know, until they know that you care.” This has never been more important than it is now. Make it personal. Be courageous and be curious about what the people on your team need as individuals. All the best!