re-evaluating your team identity

The power of re-evaluating your team identity

There’s been a lot of change recently, hasn’t there?

Whether your organisation has moved to working remotely, or you’ve had to make the tough call to restructure some or all of your teams, we hear you.

Large-scale change like this comes and knocks us off our feet. It can lead to a decrease in motivation, disconnection within your teams and an overwhelming sense of grief and loss.

As we begin to slowly pick up the pieces, it’s likely that both you and your people will begin to reflect on what was; the good old times, the way things were, and ultimately, life before COVID-19.

But there is hope on the other side of this.

We can and will come out the other side of this once-in-a-century event. It’s up to you and your leadership team to map the way forward and guide your team along the journey to the new world of work.

What does the future look like for your organisation? 

What will change, and what will be the same? 

These are the questions playing on the minds of your people, and they’re questions you can answer by re-evaluating your team identity.

Now is the perfect time to reflect on the past, discuss what’s happened and craft a fresh team identity that’s aligned with where you are now as an organisation.

But what does this mean, and what does it look like in action? Here’s what you need to know.


What is a team identity?

Regardless of whether you’ve openly discussed it or have left it hidden in the shadows of your subconscious, your team identity has always existed. Much like our individual identity, your team identity is made up of the thoughts that we hold to be true. 

Your team identity is a culmination of the beliefs your team holds about their past, the thoughts they have about the present and what they as a group envisage the future will look like. 

The interesting thing about identity is that at the end of the day, our beliefs and visions of the future are all fiction; they exist in our head. Yet we are so certain of their validity that our thoughts shape our behaviours.

This is why your team may seem demotivated, unsure or concerned when discussions about the present or future show up. There are beliefs, thoughts and visions of the future swirling around in their heads that are informing the way they respond to new information and conversations. 

So, what can you do about it? You can gather your teams together to re-evaluate their team identities.


The purpose of re-evaluating your team identity.

After a significant change in your organisation (whether it be a restructure, an influx in new team members or a pivot in product offerings) it’s important to take the time to re-evaluate your team identity.

This process will allow your team to openly discuss the past, ascribe meaning to what’s happened, and form an approach for how they’ll show up as a team in the future. 

It’s not a bunch of fluff though; re-evaluating your team identity takes work. It requires a level of honesty, open communication and self-reflection that we would hesitate to describe as a walk in the park. Trust us when we say this process is worth the rewards.


Potential outcomes of re-evaluating your team identity.

Allowing your teams the opportunity to come together to discuss the past, challenge the present and craft a shared vision for the future can result in incredible transformation.

You’ll likely see an increase in motivation, collaboration and overall team morale. When your team can clearly articulate who they are, what value they offer your organisation and the behaviours they will focus on to deliver on their identity, they soar. 

A clear team identity helps your team to manage perceptions, set the standards and create a sense of belonging. 


How to begin re-evaluating your team identity.

The process of re-evaluating your team identity isn’t something that happens in a conversation exclusive to team leaders and executives within an organisation. Instead, a team identity conversation needs to be one that involves all members of a team or department. 

Typically, a team identity session within our Great Team Framework program involves cultivating your stories, choosing the legendary stories that align with the team’s place in the organisation, and creating a trademark.

The key question to ask yourselves when re-evaluating your team identity is this: “What type of team do we need to be?”


Did you enjoy this article? Want to dig a little deeper into this team identity stuff? Take a moment to look over the other awesome insights we’ve shared about teams.