Earlier this year, we were engaged by a client going through a merger to help support their leaders and teams though the change process. Although the organisation had a common strategic agenda, the integration of two separate businesses into one brought different operating structures and conditions, and most significantly, different cultures.
Change brings and tests our resilience. It can impact our levels of motivation and satisfaction on the job as well as more widely. For our client, each team seemed to be functioning differently; some teams were experiencing major unease, whilst others were experiencing minimal impact from the change. Even for the teams functioning well with the change, we know that does not guarantee that they will continue to do so in the future. Fatigue can set in, and particularly with extended periods of uncertainty, anxiety can develop.
Together with the organisation, Tower worked to develop a program to support the teams to work more effectively together and enhance collaboration and performance:
Supporting leaders: to enhance their readiness in leading and managing through change, drive a positive and constructive culture, and ensure the delivery of integration objectives.
Supporting teams: in working in the change.
The program was broken into two parts.
1. Understanding ourselves and each other: using PRINT as a foundation tool
PRINT puts a framework around individual and team behaviours. It uncovers people’s core motivations, which are operating at an unconscious level. It looks at the Unconscious Motivators that drive an individual’s behaviour and actions. It focuses on developing an understanding of what’s needed for individuals to be their Best Self as well as understanding what triggers them to behave in their opposite Shadow behaviours and how they can counter this consciously.
It then builds skills in leveraging these motivations to yield greater collaboration, productivity, and performance, especially in demanding environments and among different personalities and perspectives.
Six leaders and their teams completed the PRINT assessment. By using the PRINT tool to enhance the leaders’ self-awareness and understanding of their own behaviours the aim was to support them to become more conscious leaders, and show them how by applying these learnings, they can grow higher performing teams. By increasing each leader’s understanding and consciousness of their own team members, leaders learn how to motivate and communicate with their people in ways that bring out their best. It’s about leveraging the diversity of each teams’ PRINT to become more balanced, cohesive and higher functioning.
PRINT is not just about understanding ourselves, it’s also about understanding others, which is why debriefing the PRINT assessments as a collective group can be very powerful. Individuals gain insight into their own behaviours and motivators, and that of their team members, and are shown how they can work together to support each other in developing their Best Self.
2. Change workshops focussed around wellbeing and resilience strategies
A key objective was to equip all leaders with the knowledge and toolkit to be able to support their teams through the upcoming integration activity. Key focus areas were: understanding change; response to change; developing a resilience toolkit; and supporting each other to achieve the organisation’s objectives.
Perhaps ironically, mid-rollout the world experienced mass uncertainty – COVID-19. As COVID hit, we needed to adapt our approach. Our focus shifted from teams and wider organisational change to supporting individual team members to deal with the uncertainty and anxiety of COVID and the shift to working remotely.
We debriefed over 50 employees individually. It became even more relevant in the context of COVID for individuals to understand how stress and triggering situations can bring out our Shadow side – our unproductive, exaggerated and dysfunctional behaviours. For all employees, the importance of resilience and self-check-ins was emphasised – whether in the context of work, home and family, or wider relationships.
As restrictions come to ease in Western Australia, and more employees return to the office, we will soon be able to meet with the teams in-person. We look forward to hearing how these insights and information aided them in coping with the turbulent past few months.