“No one can whistle a symphony. It takes an orchestra to play it.” – H.E. Luccock
What level of energy is there in your team? Are team members motivated? How much ‘spark’ does your team have?
Teams all go through different motivational phases, impacted by projects, individual influencers and wider company impacts. Overall though, certain teams will have a visible energy, while others can appear tired, negative or unmotivated. How would you describe your team’s motivation or energy?
Team ‘spark’ is a phenomena that some teams create through individual contribution, team cohesion and strong leadership.
Breaking it down more simply:
- S: Smile – Do your team members smile at work? Do they smile at each other and at customers? How much fun do you have as a team? (Yes, you can have fun at work!)
- P: Participation – Do people participate in team discussions and problem solving? Are they interested in what the team is trying to achieve? Do they want to contribute to team success?
- A: Attitude – Is your team made up of people with a positive attitude? Does the team have a ‘can do’ approach?
- R: Respect – Do team members respect each other, their customers and other colleagues? Do they demonstrate this respect every day in meetings, in emails and general dialogue?
- K: Knowledge: Does the team share knowledge internally and externally? Do they work to build their knowledge of the company, of products and services, of industry influences?
If you answered ‘YES’ to many of these questions, chances are your team has ‘SPARK’; your team has energy! This may be demonstrated through positive attitudes (especially during times of change) a keen interest in the company’s achievements, support of each other in achieving team goals, and even laughter at work!
A team with SPARK will generally have better retention of staff, higher morale, noticeable efficiency and effectiveness and of course greater achievement of goals compared to other teams with less energy and motivation. And not to forget the flow on effects – of less sick days, better stress management, stronger support networks and improved company or team external advocacy.
How to develop a team’s SPARK?
Here are some examples:
- Organise a team meeting away from the office to formulate a team vision; finish the day with a team building activity that is fun, non work related and team based.
- Establish team operating guidelines. How will we communicate and operate effectively in meetings, on projects, in daily work?
- Regularly celebrate success. Recognise a project completed, a new client signed up, even a new skill learnt.
- Get to know each other better. At team meetings assign a portion of time to developing an understanding of each team members role, exploring personality preferences (e.g. Myers Briggs Type Indicator) or simply finding out what motivates each other.
- As a manager, coach team members towards developing behaviours that enhance their own or their team’s SPARK.
- Train the team to give effective feedback and then encourage regular feedback (positive and developmental) within the team.
- Set up a knowledge sharing forum on-line for team members to contribute snippets of appropriate industry, company or product knowledge. Or even ‘know how’ tips for daily tasks e.g. powerpoint, spreadsheets, selling etc.
- Welcome fun! Share a joke on the team internal voicemail, go out to lunch, play a spontaneous game of office soccer, leave a bowl of chocolates out for a quick break – the list is endless for simple and appropriate moments to have the team smile.
So SPARK some energy into your team and enjoy the results!
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