There is nothing more challenging than leading a team that’s lost its energy or one that never had any in the first place. Team members are going through the motions, but without enthusiasm. If this is your team, and you are fantasizing about new team members; fight off your desire to give up on them, roll up your sleeves, and tackle the problem.
Solving problems always starts with figuring out the root cause. There are usually multiple suspects that need to be considered. One that is often on the list is boredom. Team members lack energy because they are bored.
If it turns out that your team is bored, first figure out which of the following are missing and then do something about it: A compelling goal, meaningful incentives, variety, or fun.
- Revisit the goal. Decide together what it is that the group is working to achieve. If it turns out that the goal is simply to complete the work that flows through the department, you may need to step back and ask questions about how to make that more meaningful. A compelling goal has importance and is challenging. Let the whole group participate in creating it.
- Make sure the incentives are in place. People will do their job for a paycheck. But to get them doing it with enthusiasm and energy requires something more. Everyone is motivated in different ways. Find out what matters to people and build more of those types of incentives into your work plan.
- Add variety. Routine is, well…routine. The same thing over and over again dulls even the most enthusiastic among us. The challenge is to mix it up a bit. New goals, new incentives, changing roles, or a new process can all help breathe new life into a stale team.
- Create some fun. Just because they call it work, does not mean it has to be overly serious. Fun events can strengthen relationships, recharge batteries, and help people renew their commitment to the work. The easier approach is to find ways to add fun into the daily routine.
Team members have moments of boredom, but if that’s the prevailing feeling on the team, it’s time to take action. Now do it.