Team Building and the New Normal

As eager as everyone is to put the pandemic behind them and move on, we’re still digging our way out of its tumultuous impact. So team building and the new normal means dealing with:
the hybridization of the workplace;
the great resignation;
the great regret;
quiet quitting;
quiet hiring;
horrendous staff shortages;
en masse layoffs;
outing hard-hearted leaders;
ousting traditional c-suite silos;
destigmatizing mental illnesses;
exploring bottom-up leadership;
adapting digital solutions like AI;
fearing digital solutions like AI;

Team building still matters

Whether on-site, remote, or hybrid, our normal may be new, but the building blocks of team building are still the same. However, that doesn’t mean you can adopt a
one-size-fits-all mentality when planning a team building activity. After all, if you’re a football captain you don’t use basketball strategies, right?

And while the building blocks are the same, your team isn’t. So your challenge is to assess what condition your team is in now and what realistic goals you can all work toward to make it stronger. This assessment should guide you in customizing team building activities to fit your new team and its new normal.

And note here that the key phrase is “goals you can all work toward”. As a leader, you may be free to cast the vision, but the team has to catch it and run with it in order to make it happen.

Reflecting before relaunching

In order to refocus and reset your basic team building strategies, considering these questions:
Do you know where you want to go?
Can you get there from here?
What first steps will get you there?
How well do you delegate roles? What do you need to change in that regard?
How good are you and your executive crew at setting doable delivery dates and guidelines?
Is your current schedule of regular evaluations/assessments working well?
What can you do to support team members who may need it?
Do you recognize mistakes as teachable moments vs. reproaching and humiliating employees?
Do you treat the development of best practices as a team effort vs. handing down edicts?
Does your team know how to pivot? Do you?
Do you need to commit or recommit to the inclusion of every member of the team vs. grooming superstars?
How can you do a better job of giving innovative workers the freedom to take risks?

Did you just detect a pattern here? That’s right: these questions and their answers reflect on your leadership style. The other equally obvious pattern here is that any deficiencies among your team should shape the kinds of team building activities you undertake.

For example, suggests that “…if you have a veteran team that just started working remotely, you probably don’t need to utilize ice-breaker activities.
Instead, you may find that you’re having trouble adapting to your new remote environment. In that case, some virtual communication-focused activities might be the best option.”

Camaraderie, Communication, Collaboration

Another word for team building is relationship building, but in today’s workplace that may sound too mushy, personal, and altogether unbusiness-like. Nevertheless, that’s exactly what it is. And as in all relationships, culture, personality, age, and gender can become building blocks or stumbling blocks.

One of the most effective ways to foster camaraderie, improve communication, and strengthen collaboration skills is charitable team building. Why? Because in this brave new world of uncertainty and inconstancy, the one thing we can all count on is that caring about someone else’s needs can become a form of self-care—and we’re all in desperate need of that.

Building a relationship with a colleague while building a bicycle for a needy child can transform the culture of your whole team. Collecting and donating school supplies for students; shipping care packages to overseas military personnel; assembling a wheelchair for a veteran or a bright red wagon for a youngster—charity is the strongest relational building block of all.

And stumbling blocks like race, personality, age, or gender lose their importance when you see your colleagues through the lens of compassion and goodwill. Magnovo is ready to start you on this journey into a more fulfilling new normal.