Suzanne Willis Zoglio, author of Teams At Work: 7 Keys to Success, sheds some light on how to help build and foster team spirit and uncovers ways to rejuvenate once productive teams.
- 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. Remember, feedback reinforces creativity in others.
- 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 force, like customer service or costs or quality product. Whatever the new tasks, there will be elements that the team members will have to learn. As long as the training is in stages, and the new responsibilities are not overwhelming, team members will come away feeling more valued.
- Revisit the ground rules.
A new challenge may give good reason for reexamining the ground rules set at the start of the team. The group may find that it has been violating its own procedures or that it has neglected to incorporate into the rules some 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' stories can also kick start 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.
In this day of limited resources and time, we all look for tools that we can simply give to a team for self-development. "Teams at Work" is one of those rare offerings that is so complete, simple, and practical that almost anyone can develop a functioning team by using it. For example, developing a team mission. The book walks team members through several practical steps and exercises to help them develop a team mission. The same with a team vision, and then translating this vision into team goals. Many books will discuss these in principle, but few actually offer an exercise and steps for the team to follow. - Book review compliments of Amazon.com.