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Factors that Influence Team Engagement

Factors that Influence Team Engagement

Has your team engagement dropped over the past year? Since team engagement is directly correlated to employee engagement, we looked closer into employee engagement over the past year. A 2021 Gallup study found that 34% of US employees were engaged in their workplace while 16% of employees were actively disengaged. Compared to a 14% disengagement rate in 2020, this is a concerning upwards trend that is critical for leaders to reflect upon carefully. This study also found that the three areas contributing to the greatest declines in employee engagement were, “…clarity in expectations, having the right materials and equipment, and the opportunity for workers to do what they do best.” (Gallup, US Employee Engagement Drops for First Year in a Decade, 2021) As all three areas are fundamental to employee engagement, and by extension team engagement, it is important that leaders continually work toward providing employees with at least these key areas. 

For leaders looking to increase team engagement, it’s important to look at what factors impact team engagement and then determine how these factors can be improved upon to increase engagement.

What factors impact team engagement and how can I fix them? 

A whole host of issues can impact your team’s engagement, but we’ll highlight the top 3 factors , and give you some tips on how to fix or improve upon them. 

Clarity

As noted in the study above, clarity is one of the key elements of positive employee engagement. Employees who are aligned with organizational values and direction are more likely to perform well and be more engaged at work. Ensure that you are sharing your organization’s core values along with vision and mission statement, plus keep these documents up-to-date. Not only does this establish clarity, it also ensures that new employees are aligned with the organization’s values and future direction. 

Flexibility & Shifting Work Environments

An EY study shows that 90% of employees want “flexibility in where and when they work.” (Ernst & Young Global, Business suffering ‘commitment issues’ on flexible working, 2021) Because the pandemic opened up new ways of working, many employees are now looking for hybrid or remote work options which is forcing employers to evaluate traditional work patterns. These new work environments can really impact your team’s engagement–especially when it comes to having team meetings or events. To help strengthen your work environment to include and adapt to hybrid or remote workers, ensure that you are focusing on both physical and mental well-being along with encouraging human connection

Technology

As our work environments shift, more importance is placed on technology, both in respect to physical technology and software. An EY study showed that 64% of employees want faster internet and videoconferencing technology available in physical offices while 48% of employees wanted organizations to upgrade their at-home hardware or reimbursement for higher-speed internet or cell phone expenses. In order to ensure that all employees can perform their work functions appropriately and participate in engagement activities, it s extremely important that employers establish either budgets for hardware or provide hardware plus offer allowances for internet and/or cell phone expenses. 

What does all this mean?

A recent Inc.com article sums it up perfectly: “1. Focus on outcomes rather than time spent in the office. 2. Trust and empower your employees.” (Inc., This Company’s New 2 Sentence Remote Work Policy is the Best I’ve Ever Heard: Siemen’s new remote policy is a master class in emotional intelligence, 2021) 

In our opinion, both of these points are connected. In order to focus on results, leaders must trust and empower their employees. By creating an environment focused on well-being and human connection along with providing employees with clarity regarding organizational values and direction, you’re laying the foundation for trust and empowerment. Once you’ve established this foundation, the ability to focus on results will naturally follow. The key here is using emotional intelligence to create a culture of engagement as this allows you to elevate your employees to go above and beyond, both for your team and for the organization. 

That’s great, but how do I increase team engagement?

There are definitely a few ways that you can leverage your emotional intelligence to effectively increase team engagement. Focus on these key steps: 

  1. Schedule team meetings regularly to increase clarity amongst the team. Ensure you use a meeting agenda to outline the purpose of a meeting as well as to define the topics that will be discussed and decisions that the team needs to make. 
  2. Ensure you allocate time for your team to make connections and have conversations unrelated to work. 
  3. Show personal interest in your team members and be present during your conversations with them.
  4. Show appreciation in the workplace and encourage others to do the same! 

Provide regular feedback to ensure you’re cultivating a culture of transparency and growth.

If you need help building your team’s engagement, book a call with us here

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it impacts your organization, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, and inventory of resources and much more!

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How to Build a Resilient Team Post-Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified people’s level of stress and anxiety in many different ways. Some people are struggling with the worry surrounding the vaccine. Others are grappling with the feeling of loneliness. Many are languishing in the fear of the unknown of what the world is going to look like post-pandemic. 

Although COVID-19 will eventually be under control, the new normal is on its way with many new challenges that will be thrown at organizations. With hybrid work environments, new rules of engagement at work, and a competitive job market that will shrink the digital divide, leaders are feeling the pressure to start building a resilient team to survive in this new, daunting world of work.  Building resilience is a skill that can be taught, and it’s never too late to start.

How to Build a Resilient Team Post Pandemic

In times of extreme stress and uncertainty, the answer to help us adapt when faced with setbacks is emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is the ability to use the information provided by emotions to act appropriately in the face of daily challenges. In short, it can help people think clearly and solve problems under pressure. 

Before jumping into the fear behind change, leaders need to take a moment to pause and ask their teams about their feelings and what is triggering those emotions. Once the emotion is named, organizations can make strategic and conscious choices on how to move forward into the new normal. 

Each individual stress capacity is going to be different, and it is important for leaders to acknowledge that everyone needs to be supported in a different way. Supporting a team with a variety of stress-coping best practices allows them to handle whatever life is throwing at them, whether that be in life or the office. There is not a one-size-fits-all model in becoming emotionally resilient and mentally tough, but when leaders genuinely care about their team and create a safe space where resilience can grow, organizations will become more agile and competitive.

Identify

This is the first step of building a resilient team. First, you must identify the triggers impacting your team’s emotional wellbeing and ability to tolerate stress and uncertainty. This can be done through stress resilience training with a team or individual meeting, where each member shares their triggers and their feelings towards stress and uncertainty. Leaders need to recognize that each team member will have different tolerance levels surrounding change; it is crucial that leaders emphasize that there is no average industry threshold of how much change an individual can handle. By acknowledging everyone’s differences, a step towards a supportive and transparent team culture is created. 

Discover

After you identify your triggers and feelings towards uncertainty, it’s time to create an action plan with your team. Discover some steps that will help mitigate your negative thought patterns and increase your optimism. The steps can be as simple as implementing a buddy system where each pair will share their thoughts with each other, individually recording their thoughts in a journal to express how they truly feel. Find a process that works the best with your team! 

Explore

After the action plan has been created, it’s time to put it to the test. Try executing the steps laid out in your plan, and be open to exploring new tools and habits that support effective stress management. For example, while one of your team members is really enjoying the buddy system method, another team member is not as open to voicing their emotions out loud. Find a balance – perhaps they prefer writing out their thoughts instead. Encourage your team to provide honest feedback about the action plan they created; after all, the plan is to help your team become more resilient. If the original plan is not working out, it’s time to change it up.

Develop

The last step of building a resilient team is to ensure your team members are taking care of themselves. As everyone has a different threshold for change, it’s crucial for your team members to recharge. Emphasize the importance of developing self-care routines and behaviours that will enhance your resiliency and mental toughness.  Taking care of their body, mind, emotions, and energy is critical to stay resistant to stress and hardships.

Why is enhancing your emotional resilience important? 

During change and uncertainty, emotional resilience is an organization’s ticket to survival. Chances are if a team is struggling to be resilient, so is the bottom-line. When the expectation of an organization is to take change head-on with a growth mindset, teams are able to adapt and “roll with the punches” of the new normal, which fosters a culture of innovation; people are willing to learn and grow with the organization as it changes. Emotional resilience builds people to bounce back from changes and surprises, overcome whatever life throws at them and conquer problems more easily than others. 

Do you have an emotionally resilient and mentally tough team? If not, how will that impact your organizational culture, competitive advantage, and bottom-line? 

The good news is resilience can be built with effort, patience, and practice. Resilient teams take challenges on and want to learn from their mistakes. When people see the good in every situation, and use positive thinking to get through crises, they see set-backs as short term.

Building emotional resilience will save teams as they navigate through the new waters of a post-pandemic life, so organization’s can grow with ease, confidence, and optimism. Organizations need to help their employees build this crucial skill to overcome the many challenges that will inevitably lie ahead.

Are you interested in learning more about the impact of an emotionally resilient team? Check out our workshop on Improving Emotional Resilience for tips on resilience training, to learn how to push through adversity, and work under pressure with your team in times of change.   

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How to Build an Agile Organization

The only constant in our lives is change. This has become apparent with the onset of COVID-19 in the past year when many companies were forced to pivot their strategies to adapt to their businesses going digital and remote. In a survey of over 10,000 companies, 94 percent reported that agility is “critical to a company’s success.” Yet in the same survey, only 6 percent claimed their company was “highly agile.” 

 

Why do companies struggle to be agile organizations?

This begs the question: if we know that agility is important, why do companies still struggle to become an agile organization?

Let’s unpack this question together.

What defines an agile work environment? And why should companies care?

An agile organization is a company that responds quickly to change. Agile organizations use the latest technology and tools to tackle change, and are focused on the customers’ needs, rather than their own. They understand the importance of relationships and interactions with their customers, and are willing to prioritize that first during an onset of change.  However, becoming an agile organization does not mean you have to switch to all the latest technologies right away. In fact, there are several characteristics that an agile organization possesses which stem from a foundation in emotional intelligence.

The Key to Becoming Agile: Emotional Intelligence

In a fast-paced world full of uncertainty and competition, many people are pushed into leadership roles that they are not ready for. In “normal” times, challenges were dealt with by practical solutions with predictable outcomes. In the wake of increased competition, uncertainties, and a global pandemic, nothing is “normal” anymore. How can organizations adopt agile methodologies and thrive through change while also trying to keep their heads above water?

While it’s important for organizations to switch to the newest technologies, practices, and tools to keep up with changing business environments; especially while leading remote teams, the main reason why most companies struggle to transform into an agile organization is due to the underemphasis of agility in processes and people.

As human-beings, our goal of building an agile organization should be more than gaining the ability to move quickly and easily. The key to tackling adversity and prospering requires organizations to connect the gap between emotional intelligence and agility. Whether it’s responding to accelerated career tracks or facing a worldwide pandemic, emotional intelligence is a crucial ingredient that allows leaders to facilitate an agile transformation. Using emotional intelligence, an organization will gain the ability to pivot and keep pace with unpredictable events by strengthening and evolving people and processes. Below, we have included three characteristics of an agile organization that stems from emotional intelligence:

Be Strategic with Your Vision 

Instead of focusing on their own best interests, an agile organization is empathetic and puts themselves into the perspective of their stakeholders and asks the question of what they value the most. By concentrating on the customers’ needs, the organization is able to zero in and determine how to create the most value for all those involved. By switching to a customer-centric focus, the organization responds to change from the lens of the stakeholder, allowing them to capitalize on the needs desired from a customer. 

Two other emotional intelligence competencies that will assist leaders in bringing agility to their organization’s purpose and mission are reality testing and self-actualization. Reality testing challenges leaders to see things as they really are, and actively question assumptions. Instead of looking at the organization’s purpose and mission from a subjective view, leaders need to use their reality testing to override their biases and keep a fresh perspective. 

Being self-actualized reminds leaders to continuously develop their business. Instead of having a fixed mindset that your organization is already top-tier, leaders of agile organizations know that there is always room for improvement. A great way to begin is by evaluating the company core values, as they are the guiding principles behind every organization. 

In addition to emotional intelligence, there are various tools that can help shift your organization’s strategy to become more agile. For example, concepts such as customer journey maps and customer feedback surveys will help your organization become more customer-centric, adapting their processes, structure, people, and technology where needed. Once leaders align their company vision with the best interests of their stakeholders, the organization will be ahead of the innovation curve, which in turn leads to establishing a competitive position in their market. 

Invest in the Right People

This next characteristic cannot be stressed enough. While leaders may have established the vision, they need a viable team to carry out their initiatives. Agile organizations know this to be true and recruit team members who are passionate about their roles. You want to invest in team members who are not only extrinsically motivated, but intrinsically motivated. These are the people who are passionate about your cause and vision, and will not only share your values with your customers, but also help foster a healthy internal team culture.

As mentioned in Hiring for the Future with Emotional Intelligence, leaders need to hire candidates who are a strong culture-fit, instead of hiring based on their skills. Skills can be learned, and if the newly hired candidate does not fit within the team’s culture, they are only a short term solution. Befriend your EQ competency, interpersonal relationships, to foster a strong team culture. This competency assists in forming mutually beneficial relationships with your team members

By engaging with their teams, leaders can intrinsically motivate their employees to reach self-actualization, the highest level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. For more context, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a motivational theory where individuals are motivated by five categories of needs which must be met in the following order: physiological, safety, love/belonging, esteem and self-actualization. 

To reach the final level of self-actualization, leaders must empower their employees by making them feel important, and providing meaningful work. This leads directly to higher levels of employee engagement. However, when workers are disengaged, it’s easy to blame tools, processes, even workplace culture as contributing factors. But more often than not disengagement boils down to a lack of effective leadership.  It’s up to the leader to learn what each employee needs to feel connected to the rest of the team, appreciated for their efforts and fulfilled and self-actualized in their job.  

They should strive to pivot their employees’ way of thinking from working at a mundane 9-5 job to making them feel like they’re making a difference. This will in turn, give their employees a sense of ownership over their work, and may result in more synergy within their organization. By investing into human capital, organizations are able to cultivate a culture of growth and support. Once there is an increased sense of synergy in an organization, leaders will have a strong team pursuing their mission who are willing to pivot in times of change and adaptation.

Continue to Evolve Everyday

Agile organizations are adept in adapting to change; they know that nothing stays the same forever, and the company must be ready to switch gears whenever possible. An initiative that can help transition your organization to adapt agile principles is the pursuit of learning. Agile organizations are full of self-actualized individuals in a culture of continuous improvement and learning, whether it be through self-directed learning or learning from a team member’s mistake. Continuous learning provides an opportunity for agile teams to constantly improve; as a result, this helps the organization pivot once change creeps around the corner. 

The EQ competency that will assist in adapting to uncertainties everyday is flexibility. Flexibility is the art of adapting emotions, thoughts, and behaviours to unfamiliar or dynamic ideas. When leaders lead with flexibility within their organization, they’re cultivating an environment that is receptive to change, resulting in their teams following suit. This mindset can pave the road for an organization that will thrive through change. By embedding flexibility in everyday practices, change becomes less intimidating as the team becomes open to learning how to adapt. 

The Time to Be Agile is Now

More than ever, organizations have been forced to rapidly transform their operations and management to comply with unfamiliar circumstances. This transformation doesn’t stop there ー our future is full of turbulent events that require us to adapt to survive. Building an agile transformation starts with leadership and trickles down. 

In order to stay one step ahead, an organization needs to be quick to respond in order to maintain resilience, which can be led through example by a resilient leader. Emotional intelligence connects an organization at its heart and is the linchpin for an agile organization. In order to cope with constantly evolving environments and become a well-oiled machine, emotional intelligence is necessary to become an agile organization.

Change is inevitable, and will probably be the only constant your organization faces. Let’s bring us back to the pre-pandemic world. Imagine it’s 2019 and you’re managing an agile organization. You not only have a strategic vision in mind, that’s aligned with your values, but you’ve also invested in the right people, who are passionate and excited about fulfilling your vision, even with uncertainty ahead. When the pandemic of 2020 comes your way, your firm will be able to adapt quickly and be resilient, which will set your organization apart from others and enable you to thrive. 

Do you need help in transforming your organization in becoming agile? Book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can. 

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it impacts your organization, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more! 

For more, you can check out our workshop on Thriving in Changing Times, to learn more about how to build emotional resilience in times of uncertainty. 

Let’s turn it back to you now. Reflect on a couple of our questions and think about how agile your organization is, and next steps to take. 

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, to keep up with more of our blogs!

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The Balancing Act of Work-Life Balance

The Balancing Act of Work-Life Balance

How many times have you sat at your desk eating lunch while still working? Have you ever felt guilty about taking your break? How many times have you worked through your break telling yourself that you will take a break later? If you are guilty of these, don’t worry – you’re not alone, and your team is feeling similar. In fact, studies show that employees are working longer hours than usual, especially with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic has definitely changed the way we work, making it more difficult to redefine the boundaries between your professional and personal lives. In fact, the stress level of employees has increased by 20 percent since 1990. Maintaining a culture of work-life balance has become a greater challenge, especially when boundaries are blurred and employees are working more hours than before, all while organizations and individuals are adapting to these changing times. 

When Work-Life Balance Fails

It is evident that teams are failing to prioritize work-life balance as they struggle to navigate through this new way of work, which has led to a lack of productivity, creativity, motivation, and more. With 50% of employers failing to support their employees physical well-being, work-life balance will continue to fall. 

When leaders fail to instill work-life balance into their team, their emotional, physical, and mental health crumbles. With additional work hours allotted into our schedule, employees are more likely to experience mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. Research has shown that employees who work more than 55 hours per week are at a higher risk of a heart attack and stroke. The end result: your team is feeling stressed more than ever. 

Not only do teams feel stressed with their growing workloads, but this stress is snowballing into bigger issues, such as employee absenteeism. Think about it – if your team is feeling stressed, chances are if they aren’t physically absent, they are mentally absent. Absenteeism can affect productivity, finances, and workplace morale, which directly impacts the bottom line. Beyond the financial impact, with 30% of your team not feeling motivated, teams are procrastinating in failing to progress which inhibits growth potential in the individuals, and the organization as a whole.  

Now you may be wondering, if the repercussions of poor work-life balance are severe, then why don’t we prioritize it better? Although every team is different, there are some universal emotional intelligence tactics you can bring into your team to mitigate some of the work-life balance concerns, 

Balance It Out with Emotional Intelligence

A key component in effectively managing your team’s work-life balance is helping them tune into their emotional intelligence. Their EQ competencies will help in managing their work-life balance. As a leader, it begins with listening to their own emotions, to ensuring they feel acknowledged and heard. 

Listed below are some crucial EQ competencies that will assist your team in finding their work-life balance. 

Self Awareness

Self Awareness is all about understanding yourself, from your needs to your emotions, Once your team becomes in tune with themselves and can understand what they need, they will be able to set boundaries. Being self aware can also assist your team in recognizing when work-life balance is falling apart. Acknowledging when current work-life needs to be prioritized is one of the first steps to improvement. 

Self Actualization

Self Actualization is the drive to continually improve yourself through engaging in activities and objectives that lead to a fulfilling and enjoyable lifestyle. Individuals on the path to self actualization live by their values; they know and are continuously on the lookout for activities that give their life meaning and purpose. Knowing what fulfills your team will help support you in creating more work-life balance for them. Encouraging your team to allocate time for these activities in their personal lives will ultimately contribute to their happiness and productivity at work. 

Assertiveness

Being assertive is associated with communicating your emotions, beliefs, and opinions openly, in a non-offensive manner. Assertiveness assists in standing your ground when it comes to work-life balance. Leaders need to stimulate conversation around communicating boundaries within the team, and set guidelines for when the line is crossed. If boundaries have been overstepped, assertiveness will support your team in communicating that to leadership, so that they are aware of the boundaries and won’t repeat the same mistake. 

Improve Your Work-Life Balance 

Now that you are aware of which EQ competencies will assist your team the most in managing their work-life balance, try these two strategies to enhance your organization’s work-life balance culture!  

Unplug and Unwind

It is easy to become accustomed to the 24/7 work culture, especially in a digital world. You find yourself telling your team members that you’re only an email or message away, but boundaries need to be in place so that you’re not attached to your job all day. The same boundaries are important to encourage throughout the entire organization. For example, instead of sending your email after the team has logged off for the day, try and save it for the morning to allow them to unplug and unwind for the day. Some tips to instill in your team for proper communication boundaries are below.

– Remove work communications once your workday has ended.
– Set notifications to turn off after you clock out.
– Inform others of the decision, so they are aware of the appropriate response times

Encourage Setting Boundaries

While it’s great to have a team that is always accepting new opportunities, it’s even more crucial to know their limits so that you can effectively manage their workload. 

Communicate to your team that they don’t have to say ‘yes’ to every opportunity you give them. Encourage your team to set that boundary by instead of saying ‘yes’, say ‘Yes and….’. For instance, let’s say your employee has a report due tomorrow, but you ask if they’re able to help you prepare for an upcoming meeting. 

The employee is aware that if they take this on, it will impede on the time they have set to work on the report due tomorrow. Instead of immediately saying “yes”, create a safe space where they can inform you of their workload by saying “Yes I could help you in preparing for the upcoming meeting, and something that is on my plate is the report that is due tomorrow. If I help you out, this will affect my schedule to work on the report, could I get an extension on the report?” 

By encouraging boundary setting, everyone will be aware of the workload and the team can make adjustments as necessary. If your team does not voice their concerns, their workload threshold will max out, creating a negative impact on their work life balance. 

The Balancing Act of Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is crucial to maintaining productivity, positive workplace morale, and a healthy bottom line in the organization. In return, your team’s stress levels will lessen, helping to mitigate the costs of absenteeism. By tuning into your emotional intelligence, you will be able to better manage your team’s work-life balance, and instill a culture of wellbeing and balance that encourages healthy boundary setting.

Do you need help in enhancing your team’s work-life balance? Book a call with us here – we’re here to listen and help you find the perfect balance. 

Interested in learning more about setting boundaries? Check out our blog, Setting Realistic Business Boundaries for 2021 to see how you can implement strategies to respect your team members’ boundaries at work! 

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, to keep up with more of our blogs!

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Setting Realistic Business Boundaries for 2021

Setting Realistic Business Boundaries for 2021

The past year has undeniably changed the way we work. Returning to the office full time has been put on hold, and remote work has taken over. With remote work as our “new normal”, the issue of maintaining work-life balance has come to light. The truth is, boundaries between professional and personal lives are now blurred. A study by Bloomberg found that employees around the world are now working more than ever before, with employees in Canada, USA, and the UK, working as much as 10 hours per day. 

With your new office in the comfort of your own home, it’s easy to stay in your work mode and never stop. However, as we mentioned in Breaking Up with Being Busy, when employees are overworked, it can have adverse effects on their performance, productivity, and emotional well-being. 

Business leaders need to instill the message that it is okay to set boundaries in their work day to their team members. Boundaries do not have to be physical and tangible, but can also take form as emotional and intangible limits. Once these boundaries are stated, leaders need to acknowledge and respect these expectations and boundaries. With such a fine line dividing personal and professional lifestyles, setting boundaries will prevent the team from crashing and burning. By establishing boundaries, leaders will see a stronger culture, increased productivity, and higher employee retention within their team. 

Setting Boundaries with Emotional Intelligence

Leaders need to understand that everyone has different boundaries. There is no complete set of boundaries that will work for everyone in your team. Setting realistic boundaries begins with knowing your employees on an individual level. One way to understand your team on a deeper level is by tuning into your emotional intelligence. 

Emotional intelligence is beneficial in building relationships with others; by effectively managing your emotions, you will be able to notice how your emotions impact your relationships. A strong foundation between a leader and their subordinates is formed from a basis of understanding and acknowledging individual differences. 

Below, we have highlighted strategies on how to set clear boundaries with your team, by using your emotional intelligence competencies! 

1. Understanding Your Team Member’s Needs 

As highlighted above, it is essential to understand what works best for your team. Take time to ask your employees how you can best support them, by asking them questions such as, “What is your ideal work environment?” or “What is your preferred method of communication?”. By obtaining a sense of their preferred conditions, you will be able to adapt your practices to build an environment suited towards their needs. For example, one employee’s ideal work environment may start off later than the usual 9-5 schedule, as they dedicate their mornings to caring for their children. To assist in this transition, a leader can offer flexible working hours. Instead of starting at 9am, allow your team member to start at 10am so they have the extra hour to tend to their kids. 

Your emotional intelligence competencies of flexibility and empathy will aid you in understanding your team’s needs. Flexibility is the ability to adapt emotions, thoughts and behaviors to unfamiliar situations. Being flexible will allow you to implement new solutions in creating boundaries for your team. In addition, empathy is concerned with recognizing, understanding, and appreciating how others feel. Leading with empathy will make your team members feel heard, seen, and cared for. Taking the time to understand your employees’ needs should not be optional. Rather, it should be seen as a required step in effective team management. 

2. Ask for Feedback

Again, there is no formula in establishing boundaries. Boundaries need to be catered towards an individual’s needs. Once you have a clear understanding of your team member’s needs, it’s time to create an action plan to make any necessary changes, then follow up with asking for feedback. Obtaining feedback is crucial so you know what is working well and what needs to be refined. Garnering feedback from your team members shows how you truly care; it is within your best interest to respect their boundaries. 

This is where your emotional intelligence competency, reality testing, kicks in. Reality testing is the capability to remain objective by seeing things as they are; this competency enables you to realize that while something may work for one team member, may not necessarily work for another. By tuning into your reality testing, you are actively challenging your assumptions as you find the perfect set of boundaries for each team member. Additionally, emotional expression is another competency that can assist in gathering feedback. Emotional expression is all about openly expressing your emotions, either verbally or nonverbally. Asking for feedback is a form of emotional expression; you are exhibiting vulnerability, are demonstrating you care about your team members’ opinions, and that their feedback will have an impact on your actions. 

3. Make Time for Breaks

It is easy to fall into the habit of continuously working, that you forget to take a break to recharge. As mentioned in Breaking Up with Being Busy, hustle culture is taking the world by storm and emphasizes the need to be busy all the time in order to be successful. Break the cycle of hustle culture and hold your team accountable for taking breaks. As a leader, communicate that it is okay to take a break, instead of continuously working into overdrive. If breaks are not taken, team members are likely to become easily exhausted, resulting in lower quality of work, decreased productivity, and poor emotional health. Implementing breaks into the workday gives team members time to unwind and relax their minds. These breaks can be as simple as taking a stretch break midway through team meetings, to allowing team members to take longer breaks if they feel the need to. 

The two competencies that will assist you to make time for breaks is your Social Responsibility and Impulse Control. Social Responsibility involves acting in the best interest of the group; by implementing breaks, you know that the team will benefit from taking a breather. Impulse Control is the act of resisting or delaying an temptation; this competency equips leaders to avoid acting upon rash behaviours. Continuously working without breaks can result in fatigue, meaning that you or your team members are not working at optimal performance. Impulse control will prevent you from making any brash decisions while exhausted and remind you to take a break instead. 

The Results of Setting Realistic Business Boundaries

When you set realistic business boundaries among your team, you will see results impacting your team’s productivity, culture, and overall happiness. Your team members will feel valued as their individual needs are met, allowing their productivity and effectiveness to flourish. In addition, your team culture will benefit, as you cultivate an environment of trust, respect, and understanding. By building a work environment catered to your team members’ needs, your team will be happier and want to stay for years to come. 

Learning how to establish boundaries is essential to a successful organization. If you’re interested in learning more about how to set boundaries in your team, reach out and book an appointment with me here

For more, you can also check out my Stress Management Strategies Workshop, where you will learn strategies to manage stressful situations and methods to alleviate stress.  

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