1. Give everyone a voice. Each member of a team longs to be heard and acknowledged. When group decisions are made, it’s important that each and every viewpoint is represented in the discussion. Embrace the sharing of differing ideas and opinions. In any group, all ideas are valid and deserve attention.
2. Praise and encourage. Create a culture of positivity and foster a can-do attitude by acknowledging the contributions of each member of your team. Even if a project’s execution misses the mark, compliment your team’s hard work and efforts.
3. Give credit where credit is due. Nothing is more damaging to a team’s morale than when one or two members of a team are treated like stars and receive the lion’s share of the adulation for the team’s successes. Don’t forget those who avoid the limelight yet work tirelessly behind the scenes.
4. Resolve conflicts quickly. Healthy confrontation leads to problem-solving. Conversely, passive-aggressive behavior like noncommunication, gossiping and complaining behind others’ backs is counterproductive and erodes group efficiency. Create an environment in which grievances can be aired openly, and dealt with in a consistent manner.
5. Hold meetings. Some team members may grumble that meetings are a waste of time and take them away from their work, but the opposite is true. A well-structured meeting helps a team communicate, connect the dots and increase efficiency–which actually saves time. It’s vital that all members of a team understand how their duties affect others’, and how each task fits into the big picture.
6. Be social. Bringing your team together for non-work-related events boosts morale and gives your team a sense of camaraderie. Sign up for an off-site bowling or miniature golf tournament, or plan games like Trivial Pursuit and Charades as team-building exercises.
7. Establish structure and set goals. A team works best when there is a clear overall strategy, specific goals and benchmarks to achieve, and consistent processes in place to execute them. A system like the Behance Action Method can help.
What do you do to motivate your team? We welcome your feedback!