If you’re running a startup or a small business, you know that it’s extremely important to keep the team energetic and enthusiastic. The team at the startup I work with, DesignCrowd, are a group of friendly people, who love what they do and bring refreshed energy into the office every day. I think keeping the team motivated is one of the most important assets for any sized business. So I wanted to share some things we do at DesignCrowd with you, that could also work for your business.
1. Share your goals and strategies
You’ll obviously have a few goals and strategies that you want to achieve this year, and one of the best ways to motivate your team is to let them in on your plans. This makes it easy for them to understand how they’ll be contributing to the ‘bigger picture’ and how they fit in with the overall vision for the company.
Also there’s no better feeling than reaching a goal as a team and celebrating it!
Make sure your goals go beyond your products/services, too; while many of your plans will be about business/growth, others should focus on improving the company culture or providing employees with new incentives/perks.
2. What’s your role?
A big part of motivating your team will be to ensure that everyone understands their role and responsibilities; failure to do this can lead to team conflict, low productivity and fissures in your team dynamic. Communication is key!
Clarifying job descriptions and functions up front is critical, particularly for smaller/startup companies who often overlook this, and setting individual performance expectations and objectives at this time will also be key for motivation.
3. Get on top of team building
Team-building activities can be an excellent way to get your team motivated. These exercises are lots of fun and give your team the opportunity to work out how to best communicate between themselves, as well as with other teams.
If your budget is tight and you can’t afford to hire an external expert, ask your team leader to run the workshop or take on the responsibility yourself. If your team hasn’t had much of a break over the holidays, holding your workshop away from the office can also be a refreshing motivator.
4. All work and no play…
Makes a dull team! Social events and activities are just as crucial to your business as your operations and goals; they also form an integral part of your culture. Holding regular social events is a fantastic way to acknowledge your team’s value, keep them motivated and help build better relationships amongst your team. Encourage your team to grab lunch together, play lunchtime sport together, or go out for a drink after work.
5. Make your workplace motivational
Bland workspaces do nothing for motivation, so focus on making your workplace a visually creative and motivational place to walk into each day.
You may not be able to replicate the Google offices just yet, but you can change the colour of your walls, or use whiteboard paint so teams can brainstorm easily.
Small moves like this can be affordable too; DesignCrowd, for instance, offers graphic design services from as little as $150. If in doubt, ask your team to get involved and contribute/execute ideas on how to make their workspace more motivating.
Jo Sabin is the community manager at DesignCrowd.com.au.