Is Team Alignment all BS?
How behaviors and structures cultivate cohesion.

Behaviors and structures are the secret to hybrid efficiencies and team alignment. 

What does this mean? First, let’s start by defining team alignment. Team alignment affects how your employees work together on a day-to-day basis, but it also has significant effects on your overall company culture. 

When your team is aligned on priorities and works collaboratively you can create a workplace environment that fosters cohesion and attracts new hires.  

Behaviors

By defining a clear set of behavioral expectations among your team everyone will know what successful behaviors look like, especially if you model those behaviors.

How does that look in a hybrid workplace? Consider using (or reconsider how you’re using) digital docs and collaboration tools. Taking notes in the background of meetings using the share screen feature cultivates clear communication, an open and transparent meeting culture, and alignment in the moment.

This behavioral tactic is excellent for hybrid teams—focusing attention and collaboration regardless of place and space. It also fosters leadership, ownership of ideas, commitment and accountability, and replaces the need for meeting minutes and follow-up emails. 

Utilizing digital docs also serves as a great opportunity for mentoring and coaching junior employees. Encourage them to share their screen and take the notes, promoting a supportive culture of leadership while reinforcing behavioral expectations.

Structures 

Efficient, successful teams depend on a structure everyone knows and anticipates to unify and streamline processes for conducting work.

Effective and jointly agreed upon structures, norms, and processes are a staple of successful business operations; they are a critical way to connect in person, in an age when it’s all too easy to focus on tasks instead of the outcomes required to achieve business results.

Team norms and decision making practices are key structural elements for team alignment. Scheduling and meeting structures are essential norms and structural processes. Having such structures in place ensures teams are aligned to, and prepared for the flow, priorities, and associated demands of the upcoming week.

Consider establishing a set of meeting norms. By agreeing to a set of meeting behaviors, teams significantly increase productivity and engagement. Some highly effective meeting norms (applicable in hybrid, virtual, and in-person settings) include:

  • Arrive on time; be prepared
  • Look at your co-workers
  • Listen and reflect 
  • Resist temptations

There’s no BS here! By focusing on behaviors and structures sustained team alignment is achievable.