A Dozen Ways to Help Your Team Recharge
How can you help your team recharge and/or reboot?
1. Take Them Away From the Work Environment
I’ve been on many team-building exercises away from the office environment that are fun, like ziplining and go-karts. I get to know my team members better outside of work projects. These experiences have gotten us excited about working together again on a new project. Plus, just not thinking about work responsibilities helps my mind get recharged and ready to take on more when I return.
2. Do Not Skimp on Time Off
One of my earliest employers insisted that I go on vacation when I was having a great time plugging into work. I didn’t see the need for a break, but he insisted. When I started hiring, I remembered this. We allow time off to roll over in some cases, but I personally push employees to take time off on schedule. It keeps people fresh.
3. Hold 30-Day Challenges
Being a remote team, it’s a little easier for everyone to work in their ideal environment for the day, whether it’s a cafe or at home. To encourage some exercise, we started a 3K, 30-day running challenge. Every day we’re each going to try to run at least a 3K, and possibly more. At the end of 30 days we’re going to collect all of the data to see who ran the most, and do something fun for them.
4. Declare a Three-Day weekend
Everyone loves three-day weekends. They give you a chance to get away, watch TV, go out and party, basically do whatever you want. After a period of intense work, schedule a break where you explicitly tell everyone not to work. I find that it’s most effective to announce this on aMonday. Ask the team to push hard for four more days, then rest. The pace will pick up, then the recharge happens.
5. Let Them Travel
Seeing a new place or culture is incredibly recharging from a creativity and energy perspective. Travel also helps people feel expansive. Encourage your team to use their vacation days and see the world. You might encourage them to visit places they have not seen and to get outside their comfort zone. It’s empowering, and they’ll bring that energy and attitude back with them.
6. Set Realistic Goals
There is nothing more frustrating than feeling like you are overworked. I try to make sure my team is never assigned more work than they can realistically do in a day. I also encourage everyone to openly communicate when they won’t be able to meet a work goal before it sets them behind on a project.
7. Hold Sporadic Adventures, Surpises and Fun Events
Most people dread the thought of going into work each day. For many people, it’s usually the same boring schedule and work, with minimal change ever happening. By introducing sporadic adventures, surprises and fun events at your workplace, your team will always be on the up and up and thinking about when the next one may occur. These type of activities can also be used for group building skills.
8. Make Your Culture a 9-to-5 Culture
In my previous career life, I was told at every job that “this isn’t a 9-to-5” type of job. Well, why not? What is the marginal productivity of the 10th hour of work? For most people, not much. Yes, sometimes deadlines come up and people need to stay late — you should give each person the flexibility and the time to relax, when burning the midnight oil is actually just burning morale.
9. Give Random Days Off
If you see your team is burdened or has been working very hard, give them a surprise day off. Rewarding their efforts by giving them unexpected time off is a powerful way to help your team recharge. Who doesn’t love an unexpected reprise from the daily grind? Combine a lunch with an afternoon off to facilitate team bonding as well.
10. Have Required Vacation Time
We close the whole company for a week at Christmas, forcing everyone to log off and unwind. It’s been so great for productivity and morale that we’ve added a second shutdown week for July 4th.
11. Get a Change of Scenery
A change of scenery is good for anyone. We regularly do offsite meetings to regroup on important topics. We also reward them with team-building days at the ballpark and happy hours after hours. Our monthly days of service are also a way our team can recharge and connect by helping others in our local D.C. community.
12. Explain the Bigger Picture
At Mobiado we are creating luxury mobile phones. The work can be repetitive for some employees, in particular the assemblers. At the end of every month we have a group meeting to discuss future models that are in development. Allowing employees to become involved in future work gives them an understanding of when projects will end/begin, which in turn recharges them.