How to Re-Engage, Re-Build, and Retain Your Team

Nov 23, 2023

As the world grapples with the pandemic's effects, businesses have had to adapt to an ever-changing landscape. From working remotely to digital communication, companies have had to restructure and re-build their teams to meet the challenges of this new reality.

In this post-pandemic climate, the Japanese art of Kintsugi offers valuable lessons for businesses looking to re-engage, re-build, and retain members of their teams.

Kintsugi is a traditional Japanese art form that involves repairing broken pottery with gold, silver, or platinum. Repaired pottery is often considered more valuable and beautiful than the original.

Kintsugi's philosophy is based on the idea that breakage and repair are part of an object's history and should not be hidden but celebrated. In the same way, businesses can use the principles of Kintsugi to celebrate their teams' resilience, embrace their mistakes, and create a stronger, more cohesive team.

Here are some ways corporations and businesses can apply the principles of Kintsugi to re-engage, re-build, and retain their teams:

Celebrate resilience

The pandemic has been challenging for everyone, but it also demonstrated people's resilience and adaptability. As businesses begin to rebuild, it is essential to acknowledge and celebrate the efforts and achievements of your team. Take the time to recognise their hard work, adaptability, and creativity during this challenging time.

Embrace mistakes

Mistakes are a part of the learning process, and businesses can use them to their advantage. By acknowledging mistakes and learning from them, leaders can create a culture of continuous improvement. Instead of hiding mistakes, encourage your team to share them openly and work together to find solutions.

Foster collaboration

In the Kintsugi tradition, repaired pottery is often considered more valuable than the original because of the collaboration between the artisan and the broken pieces. Similarly, businesses can foster collaboration among their team to create something better than the original. Encourage your team to work together, share ideas, and support each other.

Create a sense of purpose

The pandemic has caused many people to re-evaluate their priorities and purpose. As a business leader, it is essential to lead by example and create a sense of purpose for your team. This can be done by communicating the company's newfound vision and values, providing opportunities for personal and professional development, and creating a positive work environment.

Invest in your team

Finally, investing in your team is crucial to retaining them. This can be done through training and development programs, providing opportunities for career advancement, and offering competitive compensation and benefits. By investing in your team, you'll be demonstrating your commitment to their success and well-being.

In the article of Annemieke Hartman Jemmett refers to all of these points as “Business Kintsugi” ie: to maximise trust in uncertain and challenging times; maximising engagement to VALUES whilst minimising FEAR.

And as Amanda MacKinnell from the Australian Institute of Business says:

“As the Pandemic transitions to an Endemic state, it is opportune to reflect on what was broken, lessons learned, and celebrate the outcomes as the Art of Disaster. Like Kintsugi, there is value to be found in fully understanding recent events, and accepting the changes; such a revised philosophy is a golden opportunity to support our society into the future.”

In conclusion, the principles of Kintsugi offer valuable lessons for businesses looking to re-engage, re-build, and retain their teams in this post-pandemic climate. By celebrating resilience, embracing mistakes, fostering collaboration, creating a sense of purpose, and investing in your team, you can create a stronger, more cohesive team that's better equipped to face future challenges.

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