At some point or another, every team or organisation suffers from a slump. A business should be treated as a living thing, with its ups and downs, moments of triumph and moments of difficulty. As a living organism, the business or team will require different remedies for different ailments, and low morale is certainly an ailment that will crop up from time to time.
Perhaps your team has failed to meet certain deadlines, or maybe a combination of bad luck and other factors is impacting its ability to meet certain goals, leaving behind feelings of frustration and disappointment.
These situations are normal, and how you, as a team leader, respond to difficult moments is crucial. Here are three focus areas to work on that will invariably help your team snap out of its funk:
After a setback, it’s easy for team members to obsess about what went wrong, going around in circles without ever really getting everywhere. It is natural and useful to try and unpack your mistakes after something goes wrong, however it takes discipline to draw a mental line in the sand and move on from failure.
As a team leader, help your group to ‘get out of their heads’ by organising a meet-up outside of the office. Provide an opportunity for colleagues to decompress and steer the conversation away from the issue that’s been getting your team down. This will help them to remember that there is more to life than that one particular failure or setback. It may also help colleagues reconnect and bond after a frustrating experience, which will invariably help cohesion within the group.
Now that the tension has been broken and the team can start to think constructively again, hold a joint discussion on any pain-points or unfinished business that need sorting. Every team dynamic has strong and weak spots, and a joint discussion with the involvement of all team members can help to formulate solutions or identify new issues that are holding the team back. As a living organism, your team may develop previously unknown issues. The environment within which your team operates may have also changed, creating problems that did not exist before.
Whatever the case, a well-connected and well-bonded team can be guided into a discussion as to how to repair areas that need mending.
After looking after your team’s cohesiveness and identifying pain points, now its time for them to refocus their efforts. As a team leader, you can guide and assist the group to dedicate time and attention for short, bite-size tasks that will help them to meet a larger goal. Even the slightest of progress can seriously fast-track momentum away from negative feelings and towards a more satisfying and productive team environment.
This does not entail slowing down your productivity, but it concerns setting boundaries between personal life and work.
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