Sunday, July 7, 2013

5 Ways to Help Your Team Set Off Fireworks this Summer

Looking for ways to kick your team into overdrive?  Look no further.  Below are 5 ways to help your team set off some fireworks this summer!

1. Reiterate your goals and how you can get there.  Remind them why they are here and what they should be focusing on; specifically tie it to the bigger picture (either an organization goal or broader dept goal).  Let them know the steps they should be taking to reach their goal; consider celebrating small wins as they reach important milestones (see suggestion 5 below).

2. Do a SWOT analysis and highlight their strengths and how you can address the opportunities.  If you aren't familiar with the term, SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats.  The goal is to analyze the performance of the team; see where they are great and where they have areas to grow or improve.  Taking a moment to pause and complete this exercise can really energize a team as they recognize their strengths and get excited about how to address areas where they can improve.  The trick, as the manager, is to make sure it stays productive and doesn't start to become a slew of complaints or negativity.

3. Do a team building event.  It doesn't have to be a big event after work; often you will get more bang for your buck doing fun activities during work.  It can be a formal exercise like MBTI (a team personality exercise) or just small activities that provide a little distraction.  Create an office scavenger hunt, an ongoing game of tic-tac-toe on the wall or a five minute break for charades.  

4. Encourage peer recognition.  Remember in college you used to stop by your friend's room and write on the white board on their door?!  What if you did the same thing at work in each cube?  But the messages are thank you's!  If an employee helped their peer out on a project, or covered when they had a doctor's appointment, or even just got them a snack from the kitchen, write a thank you on their board!

5.  Celebrate the little wins.  Often, people get so wrapped up in the end goal, they miss the small wins, that can really keep a team driving to the finish line.  Or maybe they were able to stay productive and meet their goals, even in a short week with people out?  Do something special this afternoon to recognize it.  It will keep them successful next time around too!

If you take the time to do these five little things this summer, you will have a lot to celebrate and kick off the fall with a bang!

5 Ways to Gain Independence from Your Current Job

If you are feeling stuck in your current role, use these five tips to help you find what makes you happy and you will be celebrating your independence by summer's end!

1. Figure out what makes you happy.  It's easy to say that you are miserable now.  But why?  What would make your day or week a 10?  Once you know what DOES make you happy, you can go out and find a job that will actually make you excited to get up and go to work in the morning.  What a concept :)

2. What's important for you in a company's culture?  Are you feeling disenfranchised with your company, field or industry?  Or are you just feeling stuck in your role?  This is important to determine which it is so don't find yourself feeling the same way in six months or a year in your new job.

3.  What qualities are in your ideal manager?  Research study after research study shows that engagement is driven by the employee/manager relationship.  So what do you look for in a manager, and how can you interview for those values in the future?

4. Remember why you started in this industry or even this job.  Go back to that honeymoon stage and remember what excited you about either this role or your industry.  What made you proud of your profession?  How can you replicate that at your next job, and hopefully make it last past the honeymoon stage?

5. If you could spend your time doing anything, what would it be?  Could you turn it into a job/career?  Could it be part of or associated with your career?  Often people have a passion in their life and never think about how to turn it into their full time work.  How wonderful would it be if it could be your job...or if you could at least incorporate it into your work?!

Remember, a job is only going to be engaging, exciting and fulfilling if you know what makes you happy.  One you know that, then you can look for an opportunity that addresses those needs!  And if you aren't sure, reach out to someone who can help you; whether it's your bullhorn (see previous post!), a mentor or even a life/career coach.  The point is that it is someone who can help you talk it through so you can find your independence and find the job that will make you happy!