Every team has its rough patches – moments of low morale after losing a game or hitting a plateau in training. Low morale has a hugely negative impact on the success of your team, and can be damaging if left unchecked. Fortunately there are a few ways of boosting team morale, and we’re going to share our top five tips with you today.
We all have busy days which leave us feeling drained and lethargic. Busy days turn into busy weeks, and we often forget to stop and take note of the small victories. A simple heartfelt “good job” at the end of a session is the cheapest, easiest way of building team morale.
That being said, don’t hand out meaningless compliments left right and centre. A sarcastic or meaningless “good job” will only damage team morale further.
Random acts of kindness
If your team has hit a slump or is nervous before a big game, try presenting them with a new high quality custom polo shirt to play their next game in. If your team looks professional when they play, they’re sure to feel a lot less nervous about getting into the game.
Random acts of kindness don’t end there. Try to learn what your team members like – if everyone likes a different brand of chocolate bar, try buying a few of each and thanking your players after a tough session with some hard-earned calories. Everyone appreciates small gestures like this – especially when it’s clear that you’ve taken the time to remember which gifts they’ll actually enjoy.
Confront problems head on
It’s easy to simply wait for problems with your team to pass you by, hoping they will resolve themselves. However, doing so comes with the risk that your team is left feeling that they aren’t looked after or cared for. A better solution would be sitting down with your players and looking for a proactive solution to the problem at hand. Don’t put off a difficult conversation because it may be awkward when you could use it as a chance to get honest feedback can be used to remedy a problem.
Set fun team goals
Most people work better when they have goals to work towards. However unrealistic goals like winning every game you ever play are not the best way of keeping morale up. Obviously that would be a fantastic achievement, but it shouldn’t be a formal goal you set your team.
Let’s say you’re a coach for a football team. Tell your team that if they can beat their average time for running a full lap you’ll give them a reward. If they can beat their average time on the bleep test, you’ll give them a better reward. Goals don’t even have to be performance based. If you can set a goal of bringing you the weirdest news story of the week, you can spend half an hour with your team each week discussing something bizarre. Everyone will leave with a smile, and smiles are contagious.
Lead by example
Unfortunately smiles aren’t the only thing which are contagious. It’s impossible to be at your best 100 per cent of the time, but negativity and stress are both incredibly infectious. If you start off a training session in a bad mood, the rest of the team will sense your dour vibes. Leave your problems at the locker room, and just enjoy your training session. This is doubly important if you’re a team manager, as your team will look to you to lead by example.