How do you reset when your team is ‘in the grip’?

From Covid to industrial action, rising fuel and commodity costs, labour shortages, talent drain, supply chain gridlocks, colleague burnout, and now the looming uncertainty of recession. It’s been a difficult few years, which has challenged how organisations create an environment where people can flourish.

When organisations experience ‘extreme’ events that challenge resilience, evoke strong emotions or strain relationships, actively ‘resetting’ is important.  If not addressed emotions can go underground and play out in issues with retention, sabotage behaviours, sickness and conflict.

This all takes a personal and organisational toll that impacts on performance and can’t be ignored.

So, how can you move your people from ‘survival’ mode to ‘thriving’? 

We wanted to share some observations and thoughts, which we have seen in our work, to help you protect your team’s resilience and general well-being.

Time to reset – identifying the need to reset

Here are a few examples shared by some of our clients, looking for support and guidance, in initiating a reset.

Any sound familiar?

“We lost thousands to redundancies during lockdown and obviously people lost family and friends as well.  I feel like we’ve got PSTD and we’re seeing high sickness and low retention.”

“I’ve just got to be positive for the team, but it’s tough, I feel like I’m running on empty and so are they.  Now we have a transformation to deliver.”

“There’s been a breakdown of trust due to the industrial action, people are angry and dis-engaged and that’s coming out in sabotage behaviour! How do we quickly move forward?”

“My leaders are wanting a rule book for dealing with the difficult conversations and challenging people issues that are coming up in the post-Covid hybrid world. How can I help them move forward confidently and help their teams reset for the new context?”

What can be done? And what does good reset behaviour look like?

Organisations that reset well, tend to focus on:

  • Authentic and honest communication from senior leaders, to acknowledge what’s happened, hear how people are feeling and what’s important to them to reset the path.
  • Upping individual support for well-being including initiatives like mental health first aiders and coaching or resilience workshops.
  • Providing collective, facilitated safe spaces for their leaders to allow them to connect and to share and have real conversations that help them begin to process and regulate their own responses.
  • To reflect and explore what has happened, where they are now, what they need to let go off and what needs to look different going forward.
  • To draw on the collective wisdom, experience and personal support in exploring the issues, and actions they might take to tackle these issues.
  • Supporting leaders to work with their teams to lead them through this process of taking stock, acknowledging what’s happened and resetting to move forward.

What does this lead to?

  • Leaders are able to voice the unsaid and process their own emotional reactions in a safe space supporting them to process, let go, look forward and manage their resilience.
  • Leaders are left with ideas and approaches they can use with their own people to lead their teams forward.
  • Overall leaders feel more confident and equipped to lead in ambiguity during this time as they tackle a shift in ways of working and employees expectations.
  • The business accelerates the move through ‘regression’, thereby supporting the return to peak performance.

Sparking a reset

To help you reflect and establish whether a team reset is needed – here are a few questions to ask yourself and your team…

  • What has happened?
  • What am I feeling? What is the team feeling? How is this impacting me and us?
  • What do we need to let go of to move forward?
  • What do we want to envision going forward?
  • What are the questions we need to explore to help us reset?
  • How will we manage our energy for ourselves and with our teams as we reset?

Additional support from Wondrous

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