As a leader, it’s your job to help keep your employees motivated and inspired. However, there will come times when even the most productive workers face a lack of motivation. Rather than focusing on where they’re falling short, you can look for ways to help reignite their passion and boost their efficiency.

We asked a panel of Young Entrepreneur Council members the following question to find out how they recommend shaking workers out of a slump:

Q: What’s one exercise or activity that keeps your team motivated and out of a work slump? How is it so effective?

Their best answers are below:

1. Look Outside Your Industry

Look at innovations outside your industry. Innovation is energizing, whether it comes in the form of new art or new products. One thing that helps our team is looking at the cool things that people are doing outside our industry. It broadens our perspective, helps us think in fresh, new ways, and gives us a boost of extra energy. – Keith Shields, Designli

2. Get Outside

Being stuck indoors all day can negatively impact the productivity of your team. Moderate activity, such as going for a walk, has been shown to be especially good for your brain. Happy employees are more productive and are much more likely to stick around with your company. – Ibrahim Alkurd, New Mine

3. Encourage Mini Vacations

I like to encourage our team to take a mini vacation every quarter. We all coordinate with each other in advance so there’s no overlap or setbacks. Usually, our team will take three days off before or after a weekend. I’m a firm believer that this time to rest and relax is what helps keep our team productive and out of slumps. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC

4. Plan a Social Activity

All work can get monotonous at times, so I think it’s important to shake it up. Do a creative exercise or social gathering to break up the routines. – Ashley Merrill, Lunya

5. Hold a Monthly Volunteer Day

Monthly volunteer days as a group are always motivational for the team. Employees can lobby for their charity or cause to receive the donated time, or organizations can be picked at random. This gives employees a chance to bond outside of the office while also giving back to the community. Family members are welcome to attend and help out as well. – Josh Awad, Depression Alliance

6. Make Small Talk

When working remotely, it’s important that you encourage small talk among employees. We often take short breaks from our work to discuss what we’re watching on TV, how our favorite sports teams are doing, or even just to rave about our new favorite takeout spot around the city. Keeping our Slack or Teams channels casual helps build rapport and helps remind everyone of the human on the other side. – Amine Rahal, IronMonk Solutions

7. Meditate as a Group

Group meditation with a professional has been amazing for us. In response to COVID, we’ve had to change several business processes. While the changes have mostly been successful, they have also been stressful. Group meditation (with social distancing, etc.), has helped us bust stress and it has increased our stress-tolerance level. Plus, it’s something we can do with online employees. – Shu Saito, All Filters

8. Hold Daily Standups

At Kuli Kuli, we’ve found that as a small team, daily company-wide virtual standups are manageable and effective. Each morning team members share their No. 1 accomplishment from the day prior, No. 1 focus for the day, and a fun fact dependent on the “question of the day.” We’ve learned a lot of new quirky facts about one another, but also have held each other accountable through this daily practice. – Lisa Curtis, Kuli Kuli Foods

9. Let Them Work on New Tasks

At our company, we let employees know that there is plenty of room for finding new tasks to do and different departments to become a part of. We’ve had several people switch up their to-do list to break the monotony, which has greatly improved their motivation and productivity. – Jared Atchison, WPForms

10. Organize Professional Retreats

My team is remote, but many of them also reside in Thailand or nearby. Chiang Mai, where I’m based, is a global hub for entrepreneurs and digital marketers, which is why I launched one of the world’s premier SEO conferences, CMSEO. I also regularly organize mastermind retreats and co-working meetups where my team and other like-minded entrepreneurs and marketers can share knowledge and inspiration. – Matt Diggity, Diggity Marketing

11. Share Music With Each Other

We have a family chat for our employees where we have weekly events. For instance, we have Music Mondays where the team shares with one another the songs they are listening to that morning. I think that these little activities help keep our team happy, productive, and connected to their co-workers. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

12. Give Writing Prompts

We use our Slack channel to introduce writing challenges and music suggestions. This helps us get to know our team’s personal tastes better and bond over shared interests. It also helps everyone get out of their work slumps by starting a fun, light-hearted conversation. Taking the focus off work helps refresh everyone’s minds and prepare them for the tasks ahead. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

13. Give Them the Freedom to Experiment

Giving employees the freedom to experiment in their work is essential for motivation. It can’t always be about process and guidelines. The freedom to try new things helps keep work fresh and employees engaged because they’re not restricted to certain ways of doing things. This spurs creativity and innovation throughout the organization. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

14. Incentivize Meeting New Challenges

Set new challenges and then incentivize efforts to meet these challenges. Employees need new milestones every time they meet their goals, and some of them just need incentives and to also do work that is worth doing. A new challenge, a new role, or a new responsibility can be big or small. – Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS

These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.

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