COVID-19 has forced most employees across the world to work from home since March of 2020. As a result, leaders have been scrambling to figure out how to foster effective teamwork in this new virtual reality.
How can this new “working from home freedom” be leveraged so that team members tap into new levels of engagement and motivation? At the same time, how can they ensure that work is still being done effectively and productivity remains high, when they only see team members occasionally through Zoom calls?
Although COVID-19 is putting the tension between freedom and accountability to the test, it’s always been a wrestling match in organizations. When leaders can tap into this tension in a healthy way, effective teamwork is sure to follow.
As this graphic illustrates, there are aspects of high-performance teamwork that come from both giving freedom and holding accountable; and, there are negative results that are inevitable if you overdo one side to the neglect of the other.
How Well Is Your Team Doing?
Reflect on how your team has worked over these past few months. Have team members had the freedom needed to truly leverage their strengths and get things done in their own creative way? Have systems and structures been in place to provide accountability, ensuring deadlines are met and work is being done with excellence? Take a look at the graphic on the following page and assess which of the four quadrants you are currently living in.
The Leader's Role
This week, engage your team in the conversation. Introduce them to the concept of Freedom AND Accountability by walking them through the two graphics above (click here to download graphics). Then spend some time brainstorming answers to the four questions below.
IDENTIFY RED FLAGS
Tim Arnold is passionate about helping leaders increase their resilience and deliver results. He is the author of The Power of Healthy Tension and speaks to organizations around the globe on how they can leverage tension for team, leadership, and organizational success.← Back to Recent Articles