Over the years at Stewart Leadership, we have noticed a pivotal element of team communication: people tend to support or defend what they helped create or decide.
Employees that have a stake in their teams will feel like their actions matter. Team members who display ownership will have more initiative and motivation when overcoming roadblocks. Use these three check-in questions to inspire transitioning from rentership to ownership while teaming to boost morale.
1. How committed is each member to the team?
Leaders can easily gauge commitment with the question, “What do you think? A committed employee is informed about their team’s current situation and will be comfortable voicing their opinion. A member lacking commitment may display an indifferent attitude to opportunities for team improvement because they don’t believe that their input matters. Asking employees’ opinions will communicate collaboration among differing leadership levels, further boosting morale. Commitment may become temporarily lost within a team, but this does not mean your team is doomed.
Use this as an opportunity to:
- Revisit the team’s purpose to answer the question: Why are we together?
- Celebrate achievements and progress, even small wins. Supportive teams are happy teams!
2. do the team members believe they can achieve success?
Low morale can have team members acting like turtles - afraid to stick their heads out of their shells, share ideas and move forward. A team member must feel the potential to succeed to feel the desire to succeed. Ensure that objectives and goals are challenging, but also attainable. Team members must believe that their individual efforts matter. Focus on developing a sense of psychological safety to get the creative ball rolling on new ways to achieve success in an environment that welcomes diversity of ideas, perspectives, and experiences.
Team members that believe in their team’s success will:
- Feel confident, not competitive, in each member’s unique skills
- Take meaningful risks without fear of retaliation
3. How Does the team bounce back and manage through obstacles?
It can be easy for teams to feel trapped by the minor obstacles that block goals. Leaders must help the team keep sight of the goal and not get caught in the fog of daily hurdles. Team members that can see past obstacles and maintain a positive mindset will be more resilient. Plan for the expected obstacles so you have more bandwidth to mitigate the unexpected obstacles. Use all the members of the team to overcome obstacles. Teams that problem-solve together can produce a better result 80% of the time, in addition to increasing team buy-in.
Communicate obstacle management to your team by:
- Have each member draw a Circle of Control to realign focus on what the team can control.
- Create a team timeline. Celebrate past milestones and have a plan in place to celebrate future milestones once the team accomplishes them.
Checking in on team morale is a great way to keep the momentum going. Evaluating morale also allows leaders to capture opportunities in inspiring ownership in their employees. Visit these three questions often to reestablish healthy morale in your teams!