Up-skill and Re-skill. Words which are common to many in the corporate world since Covid dawned upon us. Emotional Intelligence, Employee Wellness, Team Collaboration – all are common topics discussed amongst HR professionals. While training workshops and team building sessions are typical reactions, lack of improvement or forward momentum are common results. Both individuals and organizations need more.
Up-skilling is needed for staff to meet new challenges – with new working environments, market conditions and new responsibilities. Employees will be dealing with duties that they have not experienced before and will need to be developed accordingly. To make it more interesting, employees will also be working in environments which are changing rapidly. Each day the pandemic situation changes, businesses respond. And while agility is a mindset to hold onto, individuals will need a new toolkit of skills to apply.
Hence Re-skilling. For both groups of ‘Work-from-Home’ and ‘Return-from-Home’, re-inventing themselves in their roles, at the workplace and amongst their teams is what is needed to move past stagnation. Communication has to enhance, with more channels available than before. Thinking needs to be diverse, allowing creativity to meet unexpected changes. Team energy must be stronger, to break through social-distancing and virtual barriers. While these are skills which people were developing before Covid, developing the workplace to apply these skills beyond the endemic will be the challenge. Ultimately, for up-skilling and re-skilling to sustain, individuals will need to ignite their drive.
In 2009, Daniel Pink wrote the best-selling book “Drive” which explored the truth behind what motivates us. In looking at the situation which individuals face today – it seems Pink’s writing is even more applicable today than when his book was published. Because individuals re-engaging at the workplace will be facing challenges they’ve never thought of. Because teams working together again will need to re-build the spark which builds winning teams. To spark their motivation to work towards unprecedented greatness, individuals will need to find their Drive. And to borrow from Pink’s work – one of the ways which individuals can ignite their Drive through working in Autonomy.
Many team building events provide experiences for individuals and teams to create and design products, using their own innovative approaches. Self-directing themselves towards goals, teams work together to manage, strategize and execute. And they enjoy doing it. That’s an example of how autonomy contributes to Drive. But how can teams offer their creativity to produce atypical outcomes when they get back to the office? What if these team building sessions can incorporate sharing tools/techniques to come up with strategies or make decisions? How about team building sessions where individuals acquire new skills to achieve a game’s goal, and these new skills can be applied in their workplace? For example, using Design Thinking to win a team building competition and these skills can be applied to develop a new product prototype? When teams are able to experience successfully applying these tools/techniques in a team building event, these moments of pride will stay in their memory when facing similar challenges in the workplace. Team building then combines individual learning with group collaboration. This is “Team Enhancement” – which builds a workforce in the new generation.
Team enhancement builds teams with practical skillsets, agile mindsets and collaborative momentum. Elevating team building events with professional development brings out the Drive in teams – as they work with guidance and tools, but without restrictive parameters to produce atypical outcomes. Team enhancement is the ultimate up-skill and re-skill, with individuals adopting new techniques and traditional values to create winning team momentum. When team building events become team enhancing events, the ROI is stronger for both the company and the employees.
If team building is to create stronger work synergy, team enhancing creates better ways of working.