Updated: Dec 30, 2021
As you race head-on into autumn, you turn around, only to see your team lollygagging behind. Some may still be in summer-vacation beach-mode. Others may be recovering from a tiring season of coordinating child care and weekday activities for the kiddos. And some, not having taken any time off, may be on the brink of burnout. Rest assured, these are all common side-effects of working through a long, hot summer. Now, it’s your job to motivate and refocus your employees so you can all reach end-of-the-year goals together.
1. CHANGE THE PACE
You don’t need to turn the world upside down; just do something unexpected that delights your crew and resets the day-to-day rhythm.
Bring in a tray of fresh fruit or pastries for the team.
Host a “White Elephant” gift swap. For an added surprise — depending on the size of your team and your budget — you could supply all of the gifts. (Think gift cards, corporate gifts, work-from-home vouchers, etc.)
Hold meetings outside when possible, as long as the weather remains comfortable.
Encourage friendly competition with an afternoon trivia break.
Start each day or each team meeting with a Minute to Win It”-inspired game.
2. GO ON A GROUP OUTING
Team bonding is crucial for refocusing your employees. A disengaged employee can deflate your efforts to refocus the team (not to mention bust your bottom line). Consider getting out of the office confines for an activity that everyone can enjoy together.
Check out a nearby science museum or art exhibit.
Let loose as a team doing something you may not have done for years: bowl, mini-golf, or play laser tag.
Partake in a ropes course challenge or other activity where cooperation is essential to success.
Go on a scavenger hunt. You can create your own or hire a corporate team building events company.
Organize a team lunch, happy hour, or dinner to bring everyone together in a positive, stress-free environment.
3. REDEFINE GOALS
With summer behind you, you have the fourth quarter looming. You’ll need to not only redefine Q4 goals but also motivate your team to achieve these goals and stay focused through the busy winter holidays.
Outline how these goals will be achieved, what needs to be done starting today, and the important role that each member will play in the effort. And, don’t forget to highlight the incentives, be it bonuses, time off, team rewards, or the like.
4. START A NEW PROJECT
Starting something new as a team can help bring everyone together and foster excitement about the upcoming months. The new project could be as large or small as you’d like, and doesn’t necessarily have to be related to financial goals.
Collaborate to address an office-wide issue. Ideas include finding new project management software, ways to make the break area more comfortable, or strategies to incorporate movement and exercise into everyone’s office routine.
Give your employees the opportunity to establish and participate in a philanthropic initiative, such as organizing a food, clothing, or toy drive. Set and celebrate milestones together while making a positive impact on your community.
Take on a new initiative as a team. For example, if you want to maintain a corporate presence on social media but don’t have the budget to hire a strategist, make it a group project. Reward those whose post or tweet ideas get the most responses.
5. SCHEDULE WEEKLY CHECK-INS
Sometimes, all it takes to get everyone back on track is some one-on-one face time with the boss. You can keep it as relaxed or goal-oriented as you see fit. Once everyone is back on track, you can lessen the frequency if you’d like — but it’s always good practice to incorporate regular meetings with direct reports into your schedule, to nurture open communication.
Ultimately, you know your team best. What works for one group may not work — or be feasible — for another. Using items outlined here, as well as your own ideas relevant to your company, you can seamlessly get your employees refocused and set the pace to meet the rest of your 2021 goals