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Energising teams

Achieving an energised team might seem like a difficult task, but how do we get there? Read how Chris Hope achieves it through these scenarios.

We’ve seen the benefits of an energised team, from the effect it can have on individuals right through to organisational performance.

We’ve also seen some of the characteristics of energised teams. But how do we get there?

Achieving an energised team might seem like a difficult task, particularly if your team is currently tired, dispirited, or unhappy. So, let’s take a look at some approaches to energising a team based on different scenarios.

Which do you identify with?

My team is pessimistic

The stress of deadlines and the disappointment of setbacks makes it easy for teams to lose motivation and become pessimistic. But, as a leader, you can set the emotional tone for your team by modelling a more optimistic attitude. When faced with problems, avoid shallow ‘We’ll get through this!’ platitudes, and instead emphasise genuine opportunities and solutions. Show the team that not only do you have faith in your ability to overcome challenges but also there is a genuine way out.

My team fails to recognise and reward others

A tired team will almost certainly lack the energy to recognise the efforts of others. So, establish a plan for celebrating and rewarding both individual and team accomplishments. Use collaboration or feedback tools to praise the work of others, or even consider recognising people through ‘Colleague of the month’ or ‘Idea of the week’ awards. These small initiatives can help bring the team together to feel good about their work.

My team keeps missing deadlines

Demotivated or de-energised teams are more likely to miss deadlines. So, take a break to re-evaluate your projects and timelines. Are the milestones reasonable? Can you reprioritise work, or adjust the milestones? Engage your team members in this process to help them feel empowered and show them a path to success.

My team are bored

Particularly in areas where work contains repetitive tasks, teams can get de-energised through boredom. A solution? Swap people out, encourage colleagues to switch roles with each other and train each other up in what they do. You might suffer a short-term productivity dip as people learn their new roles, but you’ll get long-term rewards from a more energised team.

My team is stale

Had the same people in your team for a long time? Perhaps it’s time for a change. A new team member can spark fresh ideas and jolt the team into action. Can you create a secondment opportunity and swap a team member out temporarily?

My team is tired

If your team is tired, maybe it’s time for a rest? The enhanced productivity that follows a brief, planned break from work is well documented. Take your team out of the working environment, if only for half a day, and do something completely different to normal: a walk in nature, a lunch together, or a volunteering effort. While you’ll lose some short-term productivity because of the time away from work, again, you’ll get long-term benefits by energising your team.

Other energising techniques

Here are some other tips and techniques you can use to energise your team:

  1. First, decide on what success looks like for your team, establish a clear metric which you’ll use to measure this success, and agree on how you’ll track it. Importantly, do this collectively with your team: show them that you value their input.
  2. Celebrate wins and encourage team members to take time to reflect on and celebrate specific wins. It can sometimes feel like projects keep coming up and there is no let-up, which can result in burnout. By celebrating and reflecting on wins, teams can help re-energise their people.
  3. Honour your team members’ special occasions. For example, recognise when it’s someone’s birthday or anniversary at the company. It shows you care and can help re-energise both the individual you celebrate and the wider team.
  4. Find out what motivates individual team members and use this information to positively engage them.
  5. Personally model positive behaviours and encourage this type of energy among the others in the team.
  6. Look beyond just your team members’ work lives and understand the positive influence that family, other interests, and special events can have on them. Show an interest in people’s lives outside work, or even consider inviting them to social events outside the workplace on weekends or evenings.

Sources: Adapted from Webb (2016) [3] and Schippers & Hogenes (2011) [4]

Share your thoughts

Did some of these approaches resonate with you? Do you have different strategies than the ones mentioned? Share how you energise your team and if you see someone’s else’s idea that you’d like to adopt, let me know.

References

3. Webb M. 7 ways to re-energize your team [Internet]. Forbes. Forbes Magazine; 2016 [cited 2022 December 8]. Available from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/maynardwebb/2016/08/23/7-ways-to-re-energize-your-team/?sh=63b9846f7349
4. Schippers MC, Hogenes R. Energy Management of people in organizations: A review and research agenda [Internet]. Journal of business and psychology. U.S. National Library of Medicine; 2011 [cited 2022 December 8]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3096764/

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