Maintaining your team’s motivation isn’t easy, especially during transitional times. I definitely understand: People typically don’t like change. It’s uncomfortable because it gives a sense of uncertainty and loss of control. But change is inevitable, and it’s vital to know how to motivate teams during these times. I want to help you get there. Here’s how you can start:
1. Know Your Team’s Development Stage
Teams go through their own creation and phases. Many may recall Tuckman’s model of team development from college communications classes, but it’s rarely used in day-to-day business operations. I’ve had great success going back to this original theory and applying it when forming new teams or keeping current teams motivated. Team development phases include:
Individual roles lack certainty. Teams seek out guidance, establish dependent relationships, and need direction.
Teams grow confidence but deny tasks, disagree, and have conflicted relationships. Here, tasks require organization. Many times, groups disband all together here and never move to the third phase of norming.
During this transitional stage, teams share their opinions regarding the issues, show team commitment, define tasks, start procedures, and demonstrate cooperation and cohesive relationships.
Teams want to complete the job, are goal-oriented, helpful, communicate efficiently, and allocate resources. Interdependent relationships exist to reach a capacity of problem-solving.
Some teams do come to an end, when their work is completed or when the organization’s needs change. This phase can become distracting for the individuals and filled with confusion (even sadness) pertaining to closure and next steps.
To motivate your team, know specifically where your team is during their development. Create motivational approaches applicable to that phase. For example, try motivating teams in their transition stage of new management by explaining why their work pushes the team to reach its goals and giving them what they need. Using appropriate approaches helps teams seamlessly transition and optimize their performance while collaborating and managing their stress. I’ve included a handy grid for leaders of teams to follow when creating successful teams. I also included a handy reference for easy recall by mapping the stages of team development to my favorite Beatles songs!
2. Embrace Team Building for Leadership Development
Team building is arguably one of the most important investments to make in business. It cultivates teamwork, builds bonds and provides learning experiences. Research also links learning to happiness. Educational opportunities can also promote an engagement, which can improve business profitability. Team off-site activities can help your team achieve happiness and engagement. But these off-site activities extend beyond warm and fuzzy ropes courses to offer a real purpose to the business. Results can be substantial when implemented correctly. Executive team-building activities foster leadership development via action plans, a vision for the future and teamwork, which ensues improvements and positive change management.
3. Get an Outside Perspective
Getting an outside perspective can help you motivate your team via engagement. But it’s difficult to fully engage if you’re participating on the team. Instead, consider bringing in an outsider, such as a meeting facilitator or coach. Bringing in an outsider to help facilitate your meetings is key to keeping your team motivated and engaged.
Get someone who isn’t involved in storytelling or the team’s day-to-day activities. Facilitators have no idea about your team’s past stories or of what did or didn’t work. Thus, they can provide an unbiased approach to helping motivate the team.
Implementing the right actions can drive team motivation for optimal performance despite challenges. Consider consulting with an outside professional team of experts that understand what it takes to build quality business relationships. This allows you to connect to your team via motivation that drives results.