Managing

Eight steps to pump up a flat team, and fast

Melinda Oliver /

Some weeks, you will know within seconds your team are feeling flat.

They may shuffle in on Monday a little late, and by Friday, they are sick of work and feeling weary from another week of the constant grind.

As the business owner or manager, it is your job to spot these down patches and help get staff back to their best to optimise performance. SmartCompany have put together eight key ways to get your team buzzing, and fast.

1. Change the routine

If you spot your team are flat in the morning, you have to set the day on a new track. Do you have a team meeting first up? Hold it in a different room. Change where you sit. Get someone else to step up and kick off proceedings. Encourage feedback on ideas and promote engaged conversation. Throw out a challenging question at the end of the meeting that you want them to mull over before the next day. Nothing shakes up people more than things being different.

2. Instil a 10-minute job swap

In some workplaces, it can be hard to work out exactly what everyone does day to day. Put in place a 10-minute job swap, like a round robin, every couple of weeks. In this time, match people up for a quick chat about their role, what they are working on, what they like and what they loathe. It will break down barriers across departments, encourage empathy and help boost productivity when people know who does what and how.

3. Shout the coffee run – in fact, go and collect it yourself

Small signs of appreciation can instantly boost people’s moods. If your team are exhausted and overworked, little gestures like this from the business owner make a difference. Perhaps grab some cakes or muffins and leave them in the kitchen for sharing. This may seem tiny – but such a positive move can get smiles back on tired faces.

4. Be present and engage

Take a moment to get among the team, pop by their desks or work areas and have a quick, friendly chat. Ask them how their day is, if they have something fun on for the weekend, and let them know your door is open if they are keen for a meeting. It will help them feel more connected.

5. Share some inspiration

Have a backlog of motivational videos such as Ted Talks handy, or some articles that offer inspiring tips and innovations that are appropriate to your industry. Link a couple into an email to send around and invite your team to take a moment and watch. They might get a few fresh perspectives that get them through the day.

6. Acknowledge the good things

Have you had some wins lately? It might be a good time to share the news or praise what has been done well. An impromptu meeting or a positive email to everyone could generate some goodwill.

7. Remind them of the bigger purpose

Often if people are unmotivated for longer than a short patch, it is because they are not feeling challenged, don’t feel their role matters, or don’t have a sense of greater purpose to what they do in the company. As boss, you need to keep everyone aware of the core goals of the company, and be sure they know how important their part in achieving those goals is.

8. Get a lunch in the calendar

If all else fails and everyone’s a bit stressed out, get a team lunch in the calendar. They may claim they are too flat out to leave the workplace, but insist. A few laughs, a decent break from the desk and a bit of bonding outside of the confines of the work environment can do wonders.

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