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How To Reorganize Teams To Boost Morale

Internal Communication
Reorganization
Toxic atmospheres
Motivation
Scaling Team

9 July, 2018

Bashir Eghbali explains the process he used to reorganize his team in order to build team cohesion and morale.

Problem

When I first started working at Womply, the teams were reorganized every quarter. This meant that people didn't feel grounded and struggled to build rapport with their team members. It also affected our teams' velocity, cohesion, and morale.

Actions taken

I decided to reorganize everyone into more permanent teams. To do this, I met with all of the teams and gathered input from individual engineers. Next, I sat with all of my engineering managers to map out our functional areas of responsibility and rearranged the functional areas into similar areas, before looking at the entire organization to determine where our strongest individual contributors were. Following this, we divided people into small task forces or small units of people who we knew would work really well together based on past camaraderie. I then took the task forces and put two or three together to build teams, while also using people's feedback around where they said they wanted to go.

Lessons learned

Small units of people who work well together is a good basis for reorganization. It's also important to spend a lot of time communicating - listen to people when they tell you what they are interested in working on and set expectations that things will change and that adjustments will be made in the future based on feedback. This prevents people from getting frustrated because they believe everything is set in stone. In addition, let people know when you are planning on reorganization and the steps you are taking. Talking about the process about why you have arrived at a decision and why it will set you up for success will demonstrate that you are putting a lot of thought and time into the process and reassures your team that the changes you are making aren't just arbitrary ones.


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