Challenge #2 - Mitigating team’s collaboration overload / lack of collaboration

Challenge #2 - Mitigating team’s collaboration overload / lack of collaboration

Last Friday, we held the second of six webinars for the tech industry.

Challenge#2 | Mitigating team’s collaboration overload / lack of collaboration

🎯 How big is the problem of too many meetings & work interruptions?
🎯 How does it impact burnout, well-being, absenteeism, and attrition?
🎯 What can be done to mitigate the workload in an evidence-based way?

These and other questions were discussed with our special guests:

Sola Osinoiki | VP Global People Technology | Prosus Group and Naspers

Anna Barbara Wrobel | Human Resources Director | Allegro

Key takeaways:


Switching to working remotely took a huge toll on leaders, as they’re overwhelmed with the growing expectations and the drastically increased physical, cognitive and emotional workload. We’ve analyzed that leaders might be 200% more overloaded during Covid than before.


Why should HR and people leaders measure and manage collaboration workload? Keeping meeting time and quality (no multitasking, limited 8+ people meetings, limited 60+ min meetings) at the optimum level and establishing meeting routines within the team enables teams’ collaboration and achieving goals without overwhelming employees with screen time.


The challenge is that what we see as the attraction of being (or not being) in the office is of very supervisory/micromanagagerial in nature. Companies have not invested in strengthening trust based culture yet. They also often lack the deeper insight into the root causes of what is really needed for the employees to have a desired level of autonomy and accountability.


Mitigating team's overload is especially difficult for tech companies that usually operate in  a complex tech  ecosystem and two structures (a matrix of functional plus project one). It is therefore much more difficult for even the most attentive people leaders to gauge what people are involved in.


People tend to think of collaboration in terms of tools used for communication, productivity, and workshopping, such as Miro, Zoom, Monday or Slack. We shouldn't forget that collaboration is also about human connection, human interaction and connectivity. The innovation curve that comes from collaborative H2H working has slowed down since Covid precisely, because this H2H interaction and/or the quality of it is impaired. The challenge now is to give people time to work deeply, but at the same time create opportunities for them to collaborate effectively.


Smart and effective collaboration is not about controlling and constantly checking that the team is able to communicate using different communication tools. It's about trust in quality asynchronous/deep work and a good understanding of how effectively we listen to one other once we collaborate in meetings.


We observe a timely evolution from Employee Listening 1.0 (basic annual engagement surveys) to 4.0 (continuous response action platforms), which seem to be critical for a continuous improvement of the employee experience. However, most organizations still lie somewhere between EX 1.0 and EX 2.0. Even mature companies with complex tech ecosystems struggle with integrating the data from different systems and democratizing the data across the company.


There is a big difference between teams formed before and after Covid. Young teams (who often have never been in an office) tend to experience a lack of connectivity/ lower sense of inclusion, and their sense of belonging and commitment tends to be lower.


Is it about too much data or too little data? The conclusion was that the key issue is to identify what key business questions we are trying to answer and what problems we want to solve with data. It's about being clear about what data really matters in relation to those key business questions, how to make data from different systems and tools compatible, and how to deliver actionable insights from those cross-analysed sources, and democratize them across the company.

Hope to see you during the next webinar! 🙂

Register here.

February 23, 2022

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