"Here's a common morale buster. Your team's slogging along and the days seem to be getting longer. You've got a couple open positions, and they're making everyone's life harder. The job is hard enough, but unwanted changes are making the job even more difficult. These changes don't make sense, and your senior execs seem out of touch with reality. If you've never led through something like this, I can promise you, you will. Here's how you do it.
- Let your team vent, because when people vent together, they tend to bond together.
- Don't focus on longer term goals, because they seem unrealistic and they become very demotivating.
- Focus on shorter term goals, because they're more attainable and seem much more realistic.
- When you bring the team together, focus on accumulated progress and recent accomplishments, because they build confidence.
Morale is like motivation. It's going to ebb and flow, and when the tide rolls out, you've got to help the team power through. When you focus on progress, the team sees accomplishments they tend to forget.
When you set shorter term goals, the team has something to rally around and focus on. When you let them vent together, they tend to feel more connected. Team building events won't fix low morale. They give you a break from the daily grind, but the daily grind doesn't go away.
You want to help people think about the daily grind differently, and you do that by re-framing the situation. You can't change the situation, but you can help your team think about that challenge in their situation differently, and that's what these steps do."
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