Incite by Design

Caustic visions and shared thoughts on design, marketing, creativity, philanthropy, pop culture and business philosophy by Toronto design firm, Ricksticks Inc.

2004-09-09

Keeping chins up when the chips are down

Keeping team morale high is challenging during especially difficult projects. Often times, companies create mini-retreats to encourage team building and renewed spirit. For small offices, however, the chance to go out and kick around a ball is, well, impossible.

For a small business, each minute counts and every person available is often working overtime. During these high stress times, team building exercises never come to mind, as only the looming deadline matters.

Poor morale can mean less productivity. When staff are feeling overwhelmed, or pressured, little motivates and your end product suffers. Obviously this is something to be avoided at all costs.

Morale building exercises can, however, be accomplished by small businesses. Something as simple as a breakfast brainstorming session can prove valuable. Arrange to share a meal together and encourage staff to discuss their concerns and ideas.

Most people don't really need something elaborate to feel as though their efforts are appreciated. While kicking a ball around can be fun, managers often forget that basic positive reinforcement is where it's at.

Spend some time with staff hashing out ideas, and invite their feedback. People need to feel their input is being received. Make some room for feedback from everyone, including entry level staff.
During project crises, maintain a level head and encourage staff by emphasizing a problem-solving approach to difficult clients or set-backs.

Team building is just that simple. What you put in, you get back. If you want more motivation from staff, be a motivator by involving simple, team building strategies.

Good luck.

Aleah
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