End of Summer Got You Down? 6 Ways to Kick Up Your Team Spirit

Summer SlumpI was out walking the river this morning and got a full frontal attack that the last glorious days of August are here. I cringe feeling the mornings get crisper as the days are getting shorter. But at the same time my heart skips a beat as I look forward to something new.

Back to school time has always felt more like New Years than January does. Labour Day signals a reboot, a kickstart of forts, with brand new and exciting dreams of a dynamite last quarter taking shape.

It’s been a surprisingly busy summer working with companies to get their teams in shape, replacing some who aren’t willing or able to keep up, adding others with new skills and abilities, and helping clients to find new ways to move their business forward through the strength of their people.

What about you? Is your team spirit in shape for 2014’s final quarter?

team spir-it:  feelings of camaraderie among the members of a group, enabling them to cooperate and work well together.

Leadership is inspiring, not directing.  Daniel Pink says in To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others”motivation isn’t something that one person does to another. It’s something that people do for themselves.”  

Getting beyond perks and incentives …

1. Have a clear and concise mission statement.

Most people don’t realize how important a company mission statement can be to building team spirit. Your mission statement needs to be in top of mind for every person working for you. That means it needs to be clear and concise, and meaningful, as well as short enough so that all your employees can and will keep it top of mind.

Your mission statement is the foundation upon which the framework is built for all areas of your company, from new business development and customer service, right down to the way an employee thinks when sending an email.

2. Meet-up regularly.

Holding regular staff meetings that are organized to ensure that everyone gets heard is essential. If you look at the way software developers work, they have short meetings every morning.   This strategy works great for smaller, tightly focused teams.

For any size groups a regular weekly meeting is the minimum needed to ensure issues are heard, ideas are communicated and solutions are implemented and tracked regularly.

Remember, communicating leadership values means listening more than you talk.

3. Enable collaboration.

Free OpenSource project management tools are numerous, easy to use, and an excellent way to build collaboration while encouraging a safe forum for creative input by individuals on your team.

Google Docs is another great way to get remote workers contributing concurrently. Social networks or intranets, aka private social communication tools for companies are revolutionizing the way workers talk and collaborate on projects. Remove the email and replace it with a private social feed and add groups inside that. It’s transparent and trust-building. People feel safe knowing there are no hidden agendas when everyone can see what everyone else is saying and doing.

4. Fun builds trust. 

Team building exercises are a fun way to motivate your team to work together. Have you thought about taking your people outdoors to try cold water rafting or working together on one of the many community projects that need help?

Having fun together and doing something as a group, that is not directly work related, can convert even the most resistant and introverted on your team to having fun and seeking the value in personal work relationships, on and off the job.

5. Set goals, review, reward.

Each employee on every team needs to be clear about what they need to deliver, and they need to know and agree to when they are expected to deliver. Set clear measurable goals, review and reward. Targets and goals are a great way to motivate your teams and your people. With tangible goals, even record-keeping, you create an emotionally safer working environment.

Your people can feel success.  Acknowledging your people encourages them to continue to work hard for you.Reward employees who meet benchmarks by immediately acknowledging them.  Think about interesting rewards — they don’t need to be costly. Saying thank you, from the heart, can really make someone’s day.

6. Be the example.

Just because you are higher up on the ladder doesn’t mean you get to behave differently. If you do, expect your team to feel they should be able to do the same. By demonstrating the values you are trying to instill inside your company you earn respect and admiration, and that inspires others on your team to do the same.


At Ashton & Associates we have a full complement of human resource associates to help you build teams, kick up momentum and get profits soaring. Our executive search consultants are specialists at identifying right fit candidates on the basis of values alignment, ambition and drive, skills and competencies.

More expert information on this topic from Ashton & Associates.

Add your comments to this post on social media. Like us on Facebook & follow us on Linkedin

Barbara Ashton is the President and Founder of Ashton & Associates Recruiting.

Ashton & Associates Recruiting… Hiring Right. Every Time.

This post has been approved for public release by Barbara Ashton. All certified posts carry this Google Authorship link to Google.