By Neal Flesner
If there is one key lesson the construction industry learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, it was the importance of cultivating a resilient project team who can pivot with changing circumstances. Deemed an essential business that needed to continue operating despite the impending spread of a deadly virus, construction companies had to quickly implement new safety processes on their construction sites and adapt to a host of other changes in response to evolving COVID-19 challenges.
Companies and project teams who exhibited resilient behavior during the evolution of the pandemic not only remained profitable during this volatile time, but also developed new innovations and solidified lasting relationships with clients, business partners and employees to help sustain their business in the future.
Defined as the capacity to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions, resilience is a trait Construction Partnering consultants sought to cultivate in the teams they facilitate even before the pandemic. Because no two projects are alike and each one offers a host of new complexities and challenges, teams who have the tools to adapt to changing circumstances are the most efficient and deliver the best results for all stakeholders.
But how do project teams become resilient? According to the authors of the Harvard Business Review article 7 Strategies to Build a More Resilient Team: “Resilience requires a level of self-awareness and empathy that may not come naturally to all team members. Leaders must assess the state of their teams, identify weak spots and then deliver strategies that will help team members break down barriers and build foundations of trust, transparency and self-awareness.”
This is where Partnering comes in. During the initial Partnering sessions VELO Group implements, we stress the importance of developing trust among the project’s various stakeholders. Some ways we do this is by honoring personal commitments, expressing vulnerability, being transparent and asking for help.
We also establish protocol to create a safe environment where team members can discuss issues openly and then work together as a team to create solutions for the good of the project and all stakeholders. Combined with identifying risks, setting common measurable goals and establishing team-wide communication guidelines, building trust helps to create strong and resilient teams capable of meeting any challenge.
The Harvard Business Review article I mentioned above has some additional information outlining four critical characteristics of resilient teams—candor, resourcefulness, compassion and humility. It also provides seven methods for building a more resilient team. Take a few moments to read it HERE.