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!

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