Every founder and leader knows that it’s often a very tough task to keep your team motivated and boost energy levels each day. However, to ensure consistent performance, you must find a way to achieve it. It is tough, but it’s also doable.
Of course there are a lot of conventional, self-help tips out there like, “Lead by example,” or “Shower them with love, but tough love,” etc. Yet it takes more than an occasional inspiring speech to galvanise your team on a consistent basis.
So, here are a few actionable tips you can implement quickly.
1. Organize fun events.
Make the workplace fun, creative and happy. You can make the office ambience creative and organise fun events to achieve it such as, “silly dress up” Friday’s, standup comedy sessions at town halls, game nights, office flash mobs, etc.
Get creative and let loose a bit. Incorporating fun into the office environment releases stress and happy employees are more productive. Consider unconventional ways to make your workplace more creative, like the ones listed here.
2. Let employees lead.
Don’t make leadership opportunities rare, instead make them abundant. Don’t cultivate a culture of cut-throat competition. Ensure your team has opportunities to learn , grow and prove themselves.
There is no better way to motivate employees than give them a chance to experience self-actualization and their improve their self worth. For example, at my startup Hiver, if one of our employees comes up cool new idea (be it technical, managerial, etc.) we make them fully responsible for the direction, execution and management to materialize their idea. In that scenario, an employee is the “CEO” of all things associated with their idea.
This will not only galvanize the team as a whole, it will also help them see the picture bigger (outside of themselves) and provide them an opportunity to hone their leadership skills.
3. Expose your team to thought leaders .
Companies like Clearspring organize discussions and lunches with inspiring entrepreneurs like Steve Case and Ted Leonsis. Thought leaders have very practical and helpful personal experiences to share with your people, and they are often very knowledgeable in various industries. They can give your team industry insights and inspiring life lessons which can help them grow in their careers.
4. Prank responsibly.
Office pranks can go a long way in keeping your team’s creativity and energy levels high. Pranks are not only a great way to break the ice between the team members, but they also trigger innovation and a healthy camaraderie amongst the team.
For instance, IDEO, an award-winning global design firm, encourages such office pranks. “At IDEO, the storied design firm that brought the world the Apple mouse, a culture of subversively entertaining stunts reigns. A boss goes away on vacation and returns to find a sheetrock wall where his office door had been (TIME).” Or “an executive returns from lunch and discovers that everything on his desk — pens, papers, a soda can — has been glued down with windshield cement.”
These so called “ridiculous” pranks actually boost serotonin levels (a chemical in the human body that acts as a mood balancer), and let the creative juices flow. Quite logically, this will make emyeesplo better problem solvers, and more efficient under pressure.
5. Hire an office masseuse.
Chair massages at the office are trendy now. Not kidding! In fact, companies like Boeing offer “an ‘Industrial Athlete Program’ that offers massage to help improve employees’ physical and mental resilience,” while Eddie Bauer “Eddie Bauer offers massage as part of a wellness program that includes mammograms, a wellness room and a personal trainer at the company’s on-site gym,” according to The American Massage Therapy Association.
Scientific studies support the idea that massages destress people, and put them in a happy mood. This small workplace perk can help uplift your employees well-being.
Your team can lose themselves in problems, work and the stress of it all and then forget to take care of themselves. Offering massages at work is a great way to keep them focused, cool under pressure and thinking clearly. And as Zig Ziglar once said: “Of course motivation is not permanent. But then, neither is bathing; but it is something you should do on a regular basis.” (Source: Raising Positive Kids in a Negative World)
This article has been edited and condensed.
Niraj Ranjan is the founder Hiver (formerly Grexit), an app the lets you share Gmail labels with other Gmail users. Niraj works on programming, customer support and sales, and also contributes to design and UI. He’s a fusion music aficionado, loves to play the guitar when he can. Connect with @hiverhq on Twitter.