No matter how strong of a team you’ve built, there will be times when morale takes a hit. Maybe you’ve had a bad sales quarter or an influential colleague is leaving the company — whatever the reason, it’s important to acknowledge this slump and take action to reverse it.
Raising a team’s motivation from a low point can be difficult, and there’s no quick fix or “silver bullet” solution. However, with the right strategies, you can shift the tides and get team members excited about work again. To find out what works, we asked members of Young Entrepreneur Council to share how they’ve gotten their team’s motivation levels back on track.
Q. When your team’s motivation is at a low, what’s one exercise you have found to help get things back on track?
Their best answers are below:
1. Take Them to Dinner
Inevitably, every team will go through motivation lulls. But the one thing that I like to do when my team is burnt out and lacking motivation is to take them out for a nice dinner and talk to them about their personal lives. It’s a nice way to show them gratitude, and make them feel understood and appreciated. – Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Creative Development Agency, LLC
2. Discuss Accomplishments
It can be so easy to focus only on what’s happening right now or to focus on the challenges ahead. Discussing everything the team has accomplished so far — the milestones the business has achieved, the progress made, the revenue and business results generated — can put things in perspective. The team has worked hard to accomplish those things and that same effort will lead to more success. – Shawn Schulze, HomeArea.com
3. Go Out and Play
I was a trainer before I got into software and investments, and I have never seen anything motivate a team more than a good physical activity that everyone can participate in. A trampoline park, a good boot camp, or even a game of basketball can bring people closer together. Just make sure if you decide on anything competitive, you play something everyone can win. – Jason Criddle, Jason Criddle and Associates
4. Hire a Speaker
When times are tough, business is slow, or the team is just dragging, they are more than likely thinking about greener grass. Injecting third-party perspective is a great way to recharge the batteries. My advice: Bring in a great keynote speaker. There are so many great keynote speakers that aren’t going to cost you an arm and a leg and will bring the fire and motivation your team needs. – Drew Gurley, Redbird Advisors
5. Have Them Create a Wish List
I suggest making your team create a wish list of what they want to achieve in work and life, and how they think they could do it. This gets them refocused on priorities and making those things happen, especially if they add what the result will be should they achieve it. – Peter Daisyme, Hostt
6. Set an Achievable Short-Term Goal with a Reward
It’s easy to lose sight of the urgency of an ongoing business goal. So when motivation lags, I like to give the team a smaller goal to reach: We want X binds by this date and if we reach that goal, we’ll have pizza and beer. It gives us all a short-term milestone to work toward, the deadline creates urgency and the celebration after rewards the team for their effort. – Sean Harper, Kin Insurance
7. Give Them a Gaming Break
8. Use the ’10-10-10′ Exercise
The 10-10-10 exercise is often used as a planning tool to plan for 10 days, 10 months, and 10 years from now. Alternatively, you can reverse the exercise to look back on your decision-making record. Ask the group to think back on the best decision they made in the last 10 days, 10 months, and 10 years. It’s helpful to identify which choices are paying off and which ones were made in poor judgment. – David Ciccarelli, Voices.com
9. Invest in Their Learning and Growth
Technology is always changing, so it’s crucial that employees are up to date on current and future trends to make better decisions. Whether it’s implementing a lunch-and-learn, inviting them to conferences, or simply giving employees access to a library of online learning tutorials, look for ways to invest in them. – Jared Atchison, WPForms
10. Create New Opportunities for Career Growth
It’s so easy to go through the motions, especially if you’ve been in the same role for a while. As our company grows, we create new positions and give people more opportunities for success. Whether it’s promotions or new responsibilities, I think it’s important that employees know that their job is not a dead end, and there is growth in their future by sticking with your company. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
11. Remind Them Why You Do What You Do
If you are an entrepreneur, you need to not just love what you are doing, but be obsessed with what you are doing. Remember your motivations. For most people, these come from places of altruism and inspiration, and these sentiments can be shared with your team. When you feel like the adversity being faced is in the name of achieving something greater, it drives team motivation and morale. – Shingo Lavine, EthosOpinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.