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What are some quick and creative ways you maintain team spirit and morale on an ongoing basis?

Most organizations today operate at a fairly fast pace. This means that the charter and dynamics of teams is constantly evolving. How do you go about building and maintaining strong relationships and morale with changing team dynamics? Real examples are welcome! 



  • @Drew Fortin @Victoria Nichol @Jim Speredelozzi Feels like you'll have some recent experience with this topic given the changes you'll have seen on your teams.

  • edited August 5

    I really like what Snack Nation does with their "Crush It Fridays".

    They hold a Friday afternoon “Crush-It Call,” during which each employee calls out a colleague for “Crushing It” (i.e. embodying one of the company values that week), and names one thing that they are grateful for. It allows for the team to reflect on the week’s accomplishments and gets the weekend started on a positive note.

    I like it because its easy to do, doesn't cost a lot and can include your remote team mates as well.

    Here's an example of what one looks like.

    Does anybody else do anything similar here?

  • I'm a huge music nerd and create "productivity playlists" for my team.

    Basically these are instrumental versions of popular songs (or songs with a good beat) that let people hum along.

    This is a good example of one such playlist.

    (Good) Music is always good for team morale in my books😀

  • I agree with @Victoria Nichol - it's so important to take a genuine interest in the people that you work with. Above all else - communication and trust. Allowing your people to speak their minds freely and express how they feel about changes as they occur, as well as sharing your own vulnerability, makes a big difference in strengthening those bonds. On the flip side, as a leader of people you also need to be the calm amidst the change - remaining confident in what lies ahead and painting the vision and the "why" behind changes that are being implemented.

    On the more tactical side, spiffs and flexibility go a long way to increasing morale and engagement. My most successful sales spiff of all time allowed folks the option to head home a bit early on Fridays if the team had accomplished its discovery call goal for the week. The team felt valued, they pulled together as one to achieve goals, it held every individual accountable, and they received a precious gift that we all desire: free time.

  • In our weekly meetings we have a "What looks great on the marketing team" slide where someone on the team is recognized for going above and beyond by the managers. This of course works, because you regularly have people going above and beyond that leads to this regular recognition.

    It's simple and I think is great motivation for the rest to also show up on that slide. It's also great because over time the entire team gets a sense of being part of a team of high performers which is great for team spirit and morale.

  • edited August 6

    I agree with so many of the comments here! Although I am always grateful for fun outings and official "team building" activities, I think it's the everyday little things that create connections. I recently read an article about team building that had some great suggestions - I've added some of their ideas below with my own comments.

    1. Lead by example: I think this one is critical. If you model the behavior you hope to promote then it's authentic and impactful. If you want to build trust - show the team that you trust them! One team I know of starts every team meeting discussing trust.
    2. Communicate frequently and openly: Meet regularly as a team and as individuals in 1:1 meetings. We're all so busy that this can often be the most challenging habit to create. Consider the meeting times as investments in the team and only cancel if it's unavoidable. Be transparent about important topics in those meetings. It fosters trust.
    3. Know each other personally: Be genuinely interested and curious about your team mates. What are they interested in and passionate about? Music? Sports? Family? It all works. I especially love our Slack channel where parents share parenting tips, and pictures of their kids!
    4. Do non-work things together: One of the strongest teams I ever worked on had lunch together just about every day. There was something about the consistency that made it work. Sometimes the conversation was about "the weather" and sometimes we discussed important issues we were facing as a team. The topics varied, but the tapestry that carried through from week-to-week built such strong bonds.
    5. Celebrate differences: Teams who use The Predictive Index have a leg up! They understand what motivates everyone on the team. It's worthwhile to remind ourselves every now and then that people have different perspectives and insights.

    In the end I think it comes down to how much you want to work on a great team and taking the time to do all the little things to build your team starting with yourself!

  • So many great ideas here already - I'll add just a few of my own cents and apologies in advance if this is repetitive:

    1. Give praise freely, but be specific. Walking around telling people they did a "good job" can actually be demotivating, as it does not give the team member what they are really looking for, which is specifics on what you like / value about their work. Next time you feel the urge to high five a team mate make sure you give them the specifics about what is good on their job.
    2. Train your team to give praise (and give them a safe place to do so). You're only one human, but if you delegate praise to the whole team then you are now a much larger force of moral boosting. We use Slack a lot and we have a whole channel dedicated to praising each other for our ability to exhibit company core values. This drives praise from the whole team and also helps make it specific as team members call out which core value was exhibited and how.
    3. Remember the shared struggle is not only motivating it's also bonding. Great teams fight through the tough times, together and come out stronger. Don't be the leader who tries to make everything seem easy - let your teams experience the struggle and work together to overcome adversity.

    At the highest level, don't be fooled by the idea that a fun working environment or throwing money at people will motivate them. Consider those things "table stakes" as in - you don't get the chance to work with these people if you don't have a ping-pong table, free soda and fair / competitive pay. If you're wondering what really keeps teams motivated read Daniel Pink's "Drive" which looks at all the available research to determine the real "drivers" of motivation: mastery, autonomy and purpose. I make those my personal MAP to what motivated people and try to build them into everything we do.

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