Do your Sales, Support, or Creative teams have the blues?
If productivity around the workplace is little slow, or people seem a little melancholy, and nobody seems particularly excited to strive for a greater, joint purpose—you may have a morale problem on your hands. While lack of morale sucks for any team, virtual teams (who are usually at least 13% more productive, by the way) face losing their team spirit or feeling disconnected from one another. And dissatisfied employees (from the janitor to the VP) often have a negative impact on customers.
Visual communication doesn’t just help you get ‘er done when everyone’s feeling great – but can massively boost everyone’s mood, reignite fuzzy team feelings, and reconnect your rockstar team to their brilliance—because after all, that’s why you hired them.
Here are 5 powerful ways to visually get everyone charged up:
1. Video Conferencing
Remote workers are badass. In-house employees are too. Put them together and you have one powerhouse team. The problem? If communication is lacking in any way, remote workers can feel disconnected fast. Think of all the cues, information, and emotion you feel when communicating with someone face-to-face. If you’re relying only on email memos and general dial-in meetings to fill remote workers in – chances are you’re isolating them, which means productivity (and enthusiasm) takes a real nose dive.
Instead, have Skype meetings or use Google Hangouts. Sound pretty obvious? These meetings are all about consistency and content. Regular meetings that are purposeful and powerful with both in-house and remote employees will help to keep everyone on a joint mission.
2 – Visual Praise
When’s the last time you said “great work” to your team?
Business owners are stressed out. Your team gets it. But an employee can only internalize so much of your stress before they don’t care anymore. While verbal praise goes a long way, the added incentive of visual praise and encouragement can really motivate a struggling team member(s) to kick it up. Keep in mind, all team members can face burnout and demoralization—especially if your company is always playing catch up—but remote workers take a huge hit on the praise-meter, generally only hearing back when it comes to negative/critical feedback about their work. Going the extra mile to visually say thank you—think quick, personalized videos, a funny screenshot, or a video memo that goes out to the team praising certain individuals, shows your team that you do notice and you’re willing to take a minute to show them in a non-arbitrary way.
3 – Make Them Laugh
Your team has inside jokes—and if they like you, you’re probably in on a few of them.
We already know the power of GIFs and memes, after all when your team isn’t feeling really incentivized you can find them scrolling through dozens of them.
Why not create your own?
If you want your team to bond and feel “part” of something, make them laugh. It takes seconds to create a GIF (if you’re using Zight (formerly CloudApp) that is) and it’s also the perfect bite-sized way to humorously and/or quickly keep people updated on new information, wins, and progress on the bottom line.
4 – Visually Engage, Motivate, & Entertain Employees
A few years ago, I met a restaurant manager who operated a high-volume breakfast and lunch spotfor nearly 20 years. His speciality was employee morale—and believe me when I say, you’ve never seen a group of servers more excited to serve eggs and bacon.
His secret was two-fold. Every week he put out what he called his “Tuesday Memo.” Instead of simply barking at them to upsell the bagels, he passed out the “Tuesday Memo” which included all the company information for the week—it also included crossword puzzles about the staff, quizzes about customers, impressive graphics, and inside jokes. On the back of the memo was a sales initiative for the week.The first person to hit the goal earned a free dessert or no “side-work” for a month.
The result? Employees read the memo. Not only that, they retained the information, and they competed like Spartans for the prize.
5 – Transparently Track Progress
We love goal tracking apps—they’re beautiful and motivating—and why apps like Strides and CoachMe are so effective. They harness the power of visualizing progress. Goals are like Pringles, once you pop you can’t stop. When you start seeing progress, once you start achieving milestones, your brain wants to push to reach the next goal, to finish.
Where project managers and leaders usually screw up is not communicating regularly with the team about what small goals have been accomplished within a big project. These small wins are BIG in the eyes of someone who feels like they’re working in the void and can stimulate purpose, motivation, and a giant push to reach (and enjoy) the finish line.
While apps like Asana, Trello, and Slack are great, sometimes a fun, bright, and creative chart that everyone in the room can see when they look up or walk by, adds the right amount of spark and connection to keep everyone motivated, without having to login and look for it.
Worried it will take a ton of time and skills to implement these morale boosting visuals?
Au contraire, friends.
A quick GIF or screenshot only takes 10 seconds flat to create and it doesn’t have to be polished (since it’s for internal purposes only). Ten seconds for a morale boost that lasts all business quarter, or longer? We’ll take it! Here are an example of what we do over here at Zight (formerly CloudApp):
What are you currently doing to boost team morale? If you’re visually creativelet us know in the comments below.