Team Cohesion in Times of Covid-19: An Introspective Approach

By Claudia Paoletti, Managing Partner di Kilpatrick 

A crisis can be a real blessing to any person, to any nation. For all crises bring progress. Creativity is born from anguish, just like the day is born form the dark night. It’s in crisis that inventive is born, as well as discoveries, and big strategies. Who overcomes crisis, overcomes himself, without getting overcome.

Albert Einstein

In fact, these days many companies are wondering about the impacts that the ongoing health emergency is having and will continue to have on their collaborators. Alongside the enormous health concerns there are those related to the economic and psychological aspects. The forecasts are still very uncertain, but the one thing that’s sure is that the emergency will continue and, as indicated by the Base Case scenario elaborated by McKinsey, the return to normal is far yet to come.

However, even in distressing and unclear contexts like this one, there is always a silver lining as we are witnessing the birth of ideas and positive reactions from some people who, faced with this health emergency and put to work in different conditions than usual, has manage to bring out hidden qualities.

Hence, for some entrepreneurs and managers, this period can indeed become a moment of “spontaneous assessment” creating the opportunity to evaluate their team by better understanding the characteristics, compatibility and sense of belonging towards the company and the group.

It is in fact in times of stress that companies can better evaluate their people and understand who is able to react more positively and resiliently and to self-motivate.

People who manage to live this situation almost painlessly while staying stay connected, are also most likely able to get to know their colleagues better and deeply, going beyond what they know about them by learning more about their character and their personal life: in fact, thanks to technology, they enter their homes and know the life of their colleagues and their families in the background.

In many cases, therefore, closer ties can be created between colleagues, employees and/or customers that will then stay with us even after returning to regular office life.

For this reason, the advice is to take advantage of the negativity of this terrible moment to create more cohesion and to discover new talents and new ideas among your collaborators. In fact, it is proven that discontinuity often creates innovation.

The first phase of any successful corporate creative project is indeed the merging of a large number of opinions and points of view which favors the revelation of new original strategies. Brainstorming with colleagues and collaborators can prove to be a winning tool. The ideas shared by all are essential elements to help the entrepreneur or manager to identify any problems and to try to come up with adequate and innovative solutions. In addition, from a Team Building perspective, giving importance to each member of the work group by taking the time to know and understand their opinions is a particularly effective activity.

In retrospective, and supporting Einstein’s theory, following the 2008 crisis a third of American companies have opened new business lines, approached new markets, made aggressive commercial actions compared to competitors and so on…

In conclusion, although it is difficult to find the beauty in the current situation, we can treasure this great scientist’s theory in which crises are the best seasons to hunt for talent inside and outside the company as well as new challenging ideas. So, let’s try to take advantage of this period to make “spontaneous assessments” on our collaborators to be then integrated, if possible, with structured assessments that evaluate the individual’s reaction to stress and the ability to interact with new technologies.

“History never looks like history when you are living through it”

John W. Gardner