Ideas to create high-energy, high-performance teams who are engaged and motivated towards outcomes
An energised and motivated team can be the making of a record month even in a historically slow period for your business. So, as a team leader or manager, what can you do to motivate and energise your team for high performance in the quiet months? Here are some ideas you can implement today that will deliver desired outcomes!
Run a competition
Whilst not every member of your team will be fiercely competitive, the idea is not to set members of your team against each other, but find ways of actively recognising and congratulating the results you are trying to achieve as a team. Spend a little time identifying the outcomes you are hoping for in January and create a task or competition around those outcomes.
You could consider a points based system around various objectives/tasks and a target number of points, or perhaps split the team into 2 or 3 groups and pick a timeframe for the task rewarding the team who scores the highest points within that time-frame?
Whatever you choose to do, when you are creating the task itself be sure to choose outcomes that support business objectives and aren’t fluffy. Parameters must be clear, quantified and leave no room for people to challenge them (I’ve made this mistake more than once, and the last thing you need is to cause a team quarrel over your points system!).
Not everybody likes being praised publicly, but you will know whether your team will respond to this idea, and if not, that’s why I’m giving you 5 ideas!
Set goals together
Instead of deciding on goals in a leadership meeting and sending them over to your team, why not set goals for the team, as a team. When I’ve done this I’ve been positively surprised at the results. First of all, people tend to set themselves more ambitious goals than you’d imagine, and secondly, when a person sets their own goals, they are buying into them and agreeing with them, rather than complying with them. There’s a big difference in outcomes. Other benefits include more clarity on the vision for the team/business as a whole, and a better level of commitment and accountability.
Create an incentive
If you are looking to boost energy during an unusually tough month for your business/market, why not create an incentive for your team to try and buck this trend? If you’re not comfortable incentivising expected results (existing KPIs), incentivise for better than expected results. Make sure the results are achievable (in this difficult month) but challenging.
When considering the incentive itself, think about your team. Whilst money incentivises many people, there are plenty of rewards for good work beyond money or at low cost which will really motivate people; time off, a late start or early finish, a social event, recognition from higher management etc. If you’re not sure, ask the team directly - what would be the ideal reward for a really strong month? You may be surprised at the answer!
Run a group session
Despite how simple this seems, I have never failed to be surprised at how motivating group sessions can be. I’m referring to any type of group session; training, brainstorming ideas, team sharing about typical challenges and how to overcome them, Q&A between different teams to better understand one another, any excuse at all to bring the team together and get them talking and sharing.
I used to run breakfast sessions where everybody brought in a food/drink item and we just talked to one another, and then set a goal for our day/week. Engagement across the team through the week was amazing; people would be checking in on each other’s goals, shouting out when they had achieved them or made positive steps, or just checking in personally having learned more about one another. Excellent for team health!
Ask for their help!
Rule 1: Don’t underestimate how valuable your team are
Rule 2: Don’t go thinking that because you’re a manager, you have to come up with all the ideas yourself!
Perhaps you’re unsure about team goals or objectives, or you have a challenge you just cannot seem to find a solution for, or perhaps you are just open to ideas about how the business could be performing better. Whatever it is, get your team involved. You will leave with a wealth of ideas, things you hadn’t thought of, and you will encourage your team to think bigger, to think about the business and to feel a bigger part of it. These feelings help people to progress, and to envision themselves longer-term within the business and so have positive impacts on engagement and retention.
So there you have it, just 5 quick ideas for you to run with your team to improve energy and motivation. Whichever you choose (and do choose one), measure the results. Whatever works for you, you can repeat it at any slow time in the year! Or perhaps try them all and decide what is best! I wish you and your team’s success, and would love to know which you chose, whether it worked and how useful this has been! I love hearing about creative ideas and so let me know your experience of the above and (if you are happy to) I will choose the best examples and use them as case studies in a future blog. You’ll find me at firstname.lastname@example.org - can't wait to hear from you.
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