The real measure of a team’s ability is often seen during times of challenge, such as the one the world is experiencing now. And for businesses, the right team is often the difference between success and failure.

The right mix of team members can accomplish any goal, no matter how difficult it might seem. But bringing together people with the correct blend of personalities, skills and experience requires a thought-out approach.

It requires adhering to the idea of an agile workforce. It requires a workforce where teams can adapt to any number of situations and challenge conventional thinking that is too often engrained at the deepest level of an organization.

That has never been more evident than today, with COVID-19 (coronavirus) impacting the way we the global workforce lives, works and plays. The global pandemic has many organizations managing teams — or even its entire workforce — to work remotely, including those that have never done so in the past.

The most successful leaders know they need to bring out the best of every member of their organization and they can inspire the team through a vision for progress. Yet, only half (50%) of employees say their leader effectively creates a vision for the future, a Gartner survey revealed.

Increasingly, people are an organization’s most significant, if not sole, differentiator, but do they have the right leader? Apparently, many do not.

A leader brings out the best

For the moment, organizations need to adjust their approach to manage and inspire a remote workforce. They need to be willing to continually refine their plan based on dynamics that are seemingly changing by the hour.

It begins by fostering a culture that is invested and genuinely concerned for team members’ well-being and finding a way to align their needs with those of the organization. Equally important is for leaders to make sure their teams have the tools and the information they need to be successful.

There is no better way to do this than through regular touch bases and face time — something that is still very much possible in this era of quarantine and lockdowns. We have to be creative in using technology such as video conferencing to make sure workers remain connected and don’t fall into the trap of feeling isolated.

Be willing to change

The 2019 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends report found that 86% of respondents believe they must “reinvent their ability to learn.” It also revealed 80% think they need to develop leaders differently.

The opportunities are endless, and they are there for the taking for organizations that are willing to adapt, but only when it helps them accomplish their overall objective.

With the rise of COVID-19, organizations – and the teams that work for them – are having to adapt their approach in real-time to adjust how they work, as well as how they balance personal and work lives while socially distancing and working from home.

There may be no greater danger to success than a team that is unwilling to adapt. As the old saying goes, making an omelet requires breaking a few eggs.


In a crisis, too often, organizations forget to communicate. As we are in the midst of a crisis, companies need to recognize this is the pivotal moment in time that will make or break an organization in the days, weeks and months ahead.

PwC’s Global Crisis Survey found a quarter of organizations said that they did not communicate effectively in their most serious crisis.

More than nine in 10 (93%) companies that weathered a crisis and emerged “in a better place” said they acted as a team in response to the crisis, the survey found. Of those who ended up in a worse place from the crisis, less than four in 10 (39%) said they worked as a team.

Keep your eye on the prize

Despite the need to accept and make a change, the most frequent mistake organizations make is changing course for the sake of it. Considering the world today, it’s an easy mistake to make.

Don’t confuse change with sensible, thought-out action.

Effective leaders know what they are trying to accomplish, and they recognize every action they take has the potential to bring them one step closer to their goal. They know that even if they veer off course, they should view it as nothing more than a temporary detour.

They also know that when they are surrounded by the right group of talented people, they can accomplish anything.

Mark Roberts serves as PGi’s CMO responsible for all marketing operations worldwide, driving growth opportunities and building brand recognition for the company within the communications market. @MarkRobertsCMO

Team stock photo by Supawadee56/Shutterstock