Some ideas to improve your team mood

Remote Academy Jul 07, 2020

Is your team motivated and happy?

It is always a great idea to continuously monitor your team mood and understand how satisfied they are at their jobs. If you haven't started yet, this is probably a good moment to do it.

You're probably already using DailyBot to reduce meetings, improve culture and monitor your team mood, and perhaps you already started noticing that the mood of your team can easily change week after week.

Having an overall team mood that goes up week after week is nearly impossible, priorities change, bottlenecks arrive, there might be times of pressure, leaders can make mistakes because they're also humans, and the list goes on, many circumstances could impact your team mood.

When a member of your team is unhappy or unmotivated, that feeling can spread, damaging the overall performance and increasing turnover.

Fortunately, DailyBot can help you easily adopt strategies that will help you understand better what's happening and then embrace team dynamics that will lead to improvements in your team motivation.

Icebreakers

What about starting off the week with a very friendly and  human touch, by knowing what each team member has been up to during the weekend. You can make an automatic check-in, not mandatory, very open, and even welcoming jokes of any kind.

Having icebreakers at the early beginning of the work week can be a great way to make your team be more connected. Those icebreakers can become later a cornerstone for small talks in meeting intros, helping everyone to get to know each other much better.

If you haven't tried the icebreaker question, maybe now it's a good time, try creating a weekly follow-up triggering the great question "How was your weekend? Is there anything fun you'd like to share?", then post those responses in your #random or #watercooler channel. You'll be surprised with the results. Find the icebreaker template in the app.

One-on-one meetings

It is hard to solve a problem when you're not understanding it properly, or let's make it better: it's impossible to solve a problem when you don't know it exists.

Regular 1 on 1 check-ins can help you understand what's going on with each team member so you can solve team issues, they also allow immediate feedback and promote open communication.

DailyBot's 1 on 1 follow-ups are a powerful tool that you can implement with your team, we believe that face-to-face meetings are highly important, and you should do those at least once per quarter. Also, have regular DailyBot check-ins during the quarter so that you can act and solve issues as early as possible. DailyBot is great for this kind of automation.

With questions like "How motivated are you feeling about work these days?" you'll start getting the insights you need to coach the team and help improve their motivation.

1 on 1 meetings are a healthy management practice and a "must" for managers, in our opinion. If you haven't started yet, let's do it now. Create a follow-up with the 1 on 1 meeting template, and let's begin with a frequency of 4 weeks between check-ins.

Retrospectives, great for introspection and continuous improvement

The Swiss knife, a retrospective will let you understand projects, situations and team dynamics in a very unique way, and the best of all: retrospective meetings increase your team motivation.

Agile software teams made retrospectives popular. When working in a team we all make mistakes, have communication issues, and won't always follow best-practices... sometimes it'll feel that you're not going anywhere.

Great teams are always striving for continuous improvement and the retrospective is a team dynamic that will help you with that. You can run a basic retrospective after finishing a sprint, completing a project, or even if you want to openly reflect about a team matter like motivation. It is a great healthy practice.

DailyBot helps you run periodic retrospectives in a simple way. Try it now.

You might want to make a team activity and retrospective around mood, if you feel that you need feedback to improve it. Get started with questions like:
a) what have you enjoyed working on during the previous 4 weeks,
b) what have you not enjoyed?,
c) what do you think we can do better as to stay more motivated?.

Get the feedback and then define some next steps for improvements; you can repeat this process and introduce those improvements little by little.

Other great activities

Sometimes isolation or working too hard will lead to a low team mood. If possible, introduce simple dynamics with your team:

  • Virtual coffee video call: talk about anything but work. Use icebreakers like a) tell me about where you live or where you're working from these days, b) how have you been spending the weekends lately? c) tell us more about your hobbies.
  • Team off-sites and team building activities: if possible, have off-sites once or twice per year, these activities will bring people together and have a positive impact on motivation.

Photography credit: thanks to Quino Al for sharing their work on Unsplash.