As enterprises of all kinds continue to break down silos and adopt more nimble operational models, internal cross-functional teams come under increased pressure. Though the drive to innovate often enlivens the individual contributors who comprise these groups, it can also cause burnout and lower morale, especially when inevitable roadblocks arise. Even extremely high-performing teams can lose their motivation and surrender the ambition that once pushed them to new heights.
In these moments, team leaders must intervene and help staff rediscover their desire. Fortunately, there are tried-and-true methods for accomplishing this goal. If you find yourself dealing with an ambitionless team, consider implementing these strategies:
Change the Scenery
Physical office environments often have an immense impact on the employees who work within them, according to Harvard Business Review. That’s why deep-pocketed, innovative tech giants like Facebook and Google spend millions outfitting their workspaces with user-friendly bells and whistles. Minor variables like the color of a wall or the existence of an oxygen-scrubbing plant actually correlate to team effectiveness.
Now, you probably don’t have the budget to purchase a new couch or install a rock wall in the break room. However, implementing some small low-cost tweaks might do some good. Hit the home improvement store to pick up some paint, or reorganize the furniture to facilitate collaboration and creativity.
“Minor office design variables like the color of a wall actually correlate to team effectiveness.”
Plan a Team Outing
External gatherings give employees the opportunity to recharge and reconnect with their fellow teammates, Entrepreneur reported. Though events related to work sometimes do the trick, it’s best to host something unrelated to the office. This way, your individual contributors can actually relax and step away from the tasks at hand, if only for a moment. If you want to take things up a notch, consider allowing your team to invite family members.
Celebrate the Victories
Throughout the lifespan of a project, a single team can achieve perhaps hundreds of small victories. Whether it’s finishing up the code for a key product feature or finally landing a demo with a particularly hard-to-get client, these small wins mean a lot, as Harvard Business Review explained. So, celebrate them. When one of your contributors comes through for the team, give him or her some time to shine. These simple shout-outs will drive your employees to work harder, ultimately improving team output.
If after you implement these methods you feel your team could use some further fine-turning, contact the Corporate Learning Institute. We offer the Team Assess Survey, an in-depth performance assessment that addresses a number of variables essential to team success, including team type, team output, team effectiveness, team leadership, team infrastructure, individual contributions and organizational support.