Last week we looked at of the basic principles behind inspiring your team to work cohesively and in the process to motivate them. This week we will be delving deeper into this by looking at culture, morale and healthy competition within a team.
Culture and Morale
Your office culture is incredibly important for a good working environment. Have you ever noticed any of the following situations happening?
- Senior staff are rarely questioned or challenged on their ideas
- Junior staff don’t speak up about their ideas
- Different departments will be divided, physically and culturally
- Staff don’t talk to each other unless they have to
- Staff will prefer to do something wrong then be corrected, than raise a question before beginning
- Staff seem demotivated or unchallenged
- Problems arise, resulting in the need for someone to be the ‘office hero’ and save the day
- Staff or managers will blame each other when problems happen
These are symptoms of cultural divide, and it’s this you want to reduce for your team to work better together.
Some ways you can do this are:
- Quality assurance: Ensure you have a suitable quality assurance process in place. Individuals will naturally make mistakes, but having a quality check in place can drastically reduce the need for ‘office heroes’, and blaming each other
- Team accountability: Ensure everyone is accountable for a problem, not just the person involved. If your team understand they are all responsible when a problem occurs, they will be much more likely to step in and help each other avoid those problems in the first place
- Openness: Make sure your staff understand that no question or comment is silly, and that everyone is free to speak. When your juniors and shyer employees start sharing their ideas, you’ll realise how great it is to have a whole team of heads together, not just your highest paid employees!
- Collaboration across departments: Are there problems you need to solve which cross departments? Try helping them to engage with each other using challenges, problem solving and education.
You should assess your team for these symptoms, and try different ways to make improvements.
Do you have a difficult challenge or a creative task to complete? Make it a competition! We’ve experienced great success by pairing up staff with different skills and challenging them to solve problems together.
For example, we may ask different groups of staff to create a new website homepage design. They must take into account different considerations like usability, competition and the target audience. Each group must present their ideas to everyone else, we’ll decide a winner and then combine the best of all presentations to propose to the client.
The result is a better, more thought out design for the client, and a closer and more collaborative team.
Think about the challenges you face when trying to achieve your goals, and how you can introduce some healthy competition to get great results.