Dr. Suzanne Willis Zoglio, founder and president of the Doylestown, Pennsylvania-based Institute for Planning and Development and author of Teams At Work: 7 Keys to Success offers the following tips to help firms as their once productive teams enter their second year and experience burn-out:
Encourage innovation from the team.
There’s a little bit of entrepreneur in each of us, and being given the opportunity to take reasonable risk can renew member interest in the project. Identifying and improving on the work process may be just what a team needs for new energy. Of course, those who come up with good ideas should have their contributions acknowledged and rewarded. The feedback reinforces creativity in others.
Offer a new perspective on the situation.
One way to do this is to arrange a field trip to a customer’s or a supplier’s facility. Not only will the visit offer new food for thought and discussion at member meetings, but the VIP treatment that the customer or supplier is likely to give the team participants should make the field trip a motivating experience.
Raise the bar — present new challenges.
Expand the scope of the project or otherwise change the team’s objectives so that the target becomes more challenging to members. Tie the new initiative to a corporate strategic thrust, like customer service or costs or quality product. Whatever the new tasks, there will be elements that the team members will have to learn. So long as the training is in stages, and the new responsibility isn’t overwhelming, team members will come away feeling more valued.
Revisit the ground rules.
A new challenge may justify reexamining the ground rules set at the start of the team. The group may find that it has been violating its own operating procedures or that it has neglected to incorporate into the rules some thorny issue. The study might identify opportunities to improve the quality of meetings and, given the time investment of team meetings, the opportunities may generate new enthusiasm for team members.
Invite outsiders to join the team.
New members can bring fresh perspectives to the group and generate renewed enthusiasm for the project. Visiting with or listening to other teams’ war stories and lore can also kickstart a burnt-out team. So can having visitors who have an investment in the team project. Their commitment of time reminds the members of the importance of the team mission.
SOURCE: Tower Hill Press. Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
Please Note: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not the intent of Mary Rau-Foster to render legal advice. If legal advice is required, you should seek the services of a competent lawyer.