Developing Leaders: Maintaining Team Spirit

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Alright so imagine you’ve got yourself an amazing team. They are all adeptly trained, they all get along, and deadlines are always met effectively. Fantastic! Now the question is… how do you keep this going? It’s one thing to create a great team, but another to maintain that team.

That’s why it’s important to educate yourself on how maintain and improve (when needed) your team’s morale! Luckily our friends at Google and Disney have done immense amounts of research regarding this topic, and have published their results for all you go-getter leaders out there!

So what have Disney and Google learned about improving employee happiness and effectiveness in the work environment? Check it out:

 1) Promote pyschological safety

 This was number one on Google’s research publication. They realized that team members’ desire to feel safe to take risks and feel vulnerable in front of others ranked high above any other desire in the work place. Disney, whose research was done by a team of Harvard pyschologist, found this can be done by simply two easy steps:

  1. “Encourage employees to help each other” – this is pretty straightforward right? Studies have shown that single trait seen in every effective team is the leader’s ability to promote his or hers team members to be willing to collaborate in unison. 
  2. “Create a giver-culture” – this means a environment where employees are happy to give help and share knowledge, without expecting anything in return.

 2) The work your team members do have meaning to them 

 This means providing, challenging and engaging work that pushes your team members to new creative heights. If you give them tasks and work that they enjoy doing, then of course they are going to be more than happy to give their all in accomplishing it.

For example, and I apologize for the saturation of sports references, but what do you think drives professional athletes to be waking up a 4:30 am to be on the soccer field, ice rink, or basketball court? It’s that passion and meaning of what they are doing that gets them out of bed and give it their all.

Professionals, in any field, not just sports, reach amazing heights because their work has meaning to them. So applying that same logic to your team enviroment could provide the same results.

 3) Your team members feel like they are making an impact

 This also ranked high on both Google’s and Disney’s research. This means giving your employees great responsibility so that your team members believe that their work matters and creates change. Giving a lot of responsibility doesn’t just give employees a feeling of empowerment, but also subtley let’s them know that you believe in them.

Following these easy steps that these world leading companies implement could make a big impact on your team’s morale. This in turn could increase effectiveness and overall happiness in the work environment.

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