Unlocking Engagement: 3 Ways to Boost Team Morale

Have you ever led—or been part of—a team that exuded an “all-in,” “let’s do this” energy, only to wake up one day and realize that the enthusiasm has faded, and you’re merely coasting along? It’s a common scenario, but it doesn’t have to be a permanent state. As a leader, there are actionable steps you can take to ensure that your team’s engagement and positive energy remain high.

First and foremost, you need to view team morale as less of a problem to solve with a single magical solution and more as a series of tensions to manage. By understanding and leveraging these tensions, you can maintain a consistently engaged team:

  1. Focus on the Team AND Focus on Individuals

One key tension to manage is the need to focus on the team as a cohesive unit while also acknowledging and nurturing the unique qualities of each team member. Schedule regular weekly team huddles to bring everyone together, even if virtually, for a brief but impactful check-in. These sessions provide an opportunity to address weekly challenges, celebrate successes, foster team synergy, and ensure alignment. Additionally, don’t underestimate the importance of bi-weekly one-on-one check-ins to understand individual needs, accommodate diverse learning styles, and empower each team member to thrive.

  1. Embracing Profit AND Purpose

Another critical tension lies in balancing the pursuit of profitability with a commitment to purpose-driven work. While profitability and “winning” is undoubtedly motivating, it’s equally essential to remind your team of the overarching purpose behind their efforts. Clearly communicate organizational goals and celebrate achievements, whether they’re financial milestones or process improvements. Simultaneously, reinforce the deeper purpose behind your work, emphasizing the impact and significance of your collective contributions. By aligning profit with purpose, you cultivate a culture that is both financially driven and driven to make a difference.

  1. All Work AND All Play

Finally, finding healthy tension between productivity and fun is vital for sustaining high team morale. Establish ambitious yet attainable goals that challenge and inspire your team members to excel. However, it’s equally crucial to foster an environment where celebration and camaraderie are encouraged. Allocate time for team-building activities, volunteer initiatives, and social gatherings that strengthen relationships and foster a sense of belonging. Remember, a workplace culture that values both hard work and meaningful connections is more likely to attract and retain top talent and sustain a positive atmosphere.

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for boosting team morale, but by navigating these three tensions—having an individual and team focus, embracing profit and purpose, and integrating work and play—you can create a sustainable workplace culture that thrives.

ACTION PLAN:

  1. Identify Your Crux Tension: Reflect on the above tensions —focus on the team & individuals, embrace profit & purpose, and all work & all play. Consider which tension resonates most with your team’s current needs and dynamics.
  1. Determine Your Next Steps: Once you’ve identified your crux tension, consider what actions you can take to leverage it. Here are some prompts to guide your thinking:
Start:

What is one new initiative or practice you can implement to better manage this tension?

 Stop:

What is one habit or approach you can let go of that may be hindering your ability to navigate this tension effectively?

 Sustain:

What is one existing practice or behavior that you can continue or reinforce to maintain healthy tension in this area?

DIY TEAM ACTIVITY

Memorable Moments Potluck Lunch: A Delicious Journey Down Memory Lane.

Step 1: Invite your team to participate in a special potluck lunch where everyone brings a dish that holds a special memory for them. Encourage them to choose a dish that evokes fond memories from their childhood, young adulthood, or even recent experiences.

Step 2: Ask each participant to stick to appetizers or finger foods that are easy to serve and eat, ensuring convenience for everyone. Examples could include homemade cookies, mini sandwiches, or bite-sized snacks.

Step 3: On the day of the potluck, gather everyone together and have each person take a moment to introduce their dish and share the story behind it. This could be a cherished family recipe, a favourite dish from a memorable vacation, or a nostalgic treat from their childhood.

For example, for my dish, I’ll be bringing blueberry muffins made from the classic Betty Crocker mix. These muffins hold a special place in my heart as they were a Saturday night tradition during my childhood, enjoyed while watching Hockey Night in Canada with my family. The warm, buttery muffins were a comforting treat that brought us together every week.

Step 4: As everyone enjoys the delicious spread, encourage conversation and storytelling as people reminisce about their favorite memories associated with the dishes.

Step 5: Wrap up the potluck by thanking everyone for sharing their stories and creating new memories together. Encourage participants to continue connecting and bonding over shared experiences beyond the lunch.

With these easy steps, your team can enjoy a delightful and heartwarming potluck lunch filled with delicious food and meaningful memories.

PS: Please remember to bring your dishes, cutlery, and napkins to the potluck. Also, try to be mindful of any food allergies and ensure accommodations are made accordingly.

Monthly Inspiration

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Amy Poehler,

Actress & Comedian

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“Our organization specializes in purpose-built technology solutions for the non-profit sector. During our 25th Anniversary Staff Summit, Tim delivered an impactful keynote to kick off the event. As a values-based organization, our corporate objectives and goals are deeply rooted in our core values.

Tim took the time to understand our ethos before his presentation, and he generously provided our leadership team with additional resources. This enabled us to lead a follow-up workshop, where we mapped the Six Leadership tensions in small groups across the organization. Through collaborative efforts, we developed Action Plans and identified Red Flags, which were then shared with the entire organization.

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