In the new world of work, it’s no secret that things are changing at an accelerated pace. A combination of new technologies, rapidly-changing social norms, and a shift in workplace culture have made for a challenging landscape for people looking to advance their careers. If you’ve been feeling a little frustrated by the lack of opportunities to learn, grow and develop in your current role or with your team, then you don’t need to keep reading. The good news is that there are plenty of ways you can challenge yourself and keep your team motivated with challenging work. This article covers everything you need to know about keeping your team motivated with challenging work at both the individual and team levels. Let’s get started…
#1 Spark a culture of feedback
If you’re hoping to spark a culture of feedback and improvement, then be sure to hold regular team meetings. Feedback is essential for both individuals and teams to improve, grow, and learn from their mistakes. Team meetings are a great way to stay on the same page while also highlighting the good work happening within your team. Additionally, team meetings can be a great opportunity to collect feedback from team members on their experience, needs, and expectations.
#2 Work outside of the comfort zone
Hackathons are a great way to boost creativity within your team. Hackathons are events that bring together people with a variety of skills to work on a common challenge. You can expect to find participants from many different backgrounds, including programmers, designers, business analysts, and more. Participants are encouraged to work outside of their comfort zone to come up with creative solutions to real-world problems. While hackathons can be held throughout the year, they’re often created around a focus, such as improving public health or finding new approaches to environmentalism. If you’re hoping to boost creativity on your team, consider hosting an event focused on a specific topic.
#3 Host a community event
Community events are an excellent way to engage in local causes and raise awareness about your organization’s work. If you’re looking for a great way to engage in the community, consider hosting an event at your office or on campus. Events like these can be large or small, but they always bring together many different stakeholders from different backgrounds and interests to come together around a cause. These events are also great ways to boost morale among employees and help them feel like they’re making a difference in the world.
#4 Lunch and learn together
If your team often finds itself eating lunch alone or looking for ways to connect with each other outside of work, consider hosting an informal lunch with the entire team. Lunchtime conversations are an opportunity to reflect on the day and pull insights from colleagues to provide context for the work that you’re doing. While lunchtime conversations are great, they often happen outside of a structured learning environment. Hosting an informal lunch with the entire team can be a great way to create a structured learning environment. Bringing the team together around a structured learning environment, such as a topic that you’re covering or a concept that you want to explore, can be a great way to create a context for your work and connect with colleagues outside of work.
#5 Stay mentally fit
Challenging work requires a level of mental resilience that can only come from a strong relationship with yourself and a healthy lifestyle. Working on challenging projects for extended periods of time can leave you feeling burnt out, stressed, and overwhelmed if you’re not keeping yourself mentally fit. There are many ways to keep yourself mentally fit, including making time for hobbies you love, meditation, yoga, and hiking.
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#6 Reward your people
Don’t forget to reward the team for their successes. While you should be pushing the team to grow, don’t forget to reward the team when they make progress and achieve goals. This can help promote a collaborative environment that encourages team members to share ideas and challenges one another to be better. Team members need to feel appreciated for their hard work and contributions. These rewards can be something as simple as a round of applause at the end of the day or a small congratulations during a weekly leader call.
#7 Don’t micromanage
As tempting as it might be to micromanage during work time, you should try to resist the urge. While you should be challenging yourself and your team to grow, you also need to remember to keep things simple. A complex system needs a simple ruleset, and a complex project needs a few key rules to keep everyone focused and on track. Try to keep things simple, as often a complex system will end up causing more problems than they solve.
#8 Make time for fun
Finally, don’t forget to make time for yourself. While you should be pushing yourself and your team to grow and improve, you also need to make time for fun. While it might feel like you’re losing out if you’re not at work, you need to remember that work doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Make time for fun, including social activities and hobbies, and keep the pressure to “win” at bay.
Challenging work can be a great way to grow, develop, and learn. When you challenge yourself and your team, you’re likely to find a new level of motivation, enthusiasm, and creativity from your colleagues. Challenging work can be a great way to grow, develop, and learn.
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