When the daily grind of a long term project at work is bogging down your team and zapping their efficiency, nobody’s happy… not them, not your boss and least of all, you. So how can you reignite your team and make it through that big project that looms ahead?
Set Mini Goals
Successful managers, leaders, researchers and anyone else who’s faced with leading a team through a long term goal will tell you:
Instead of obsessing about the end date or deadline, focus on the day-to-day work your team is performing and before you know it, you’ll all be on track again.
That’s right: break it down in manageable chunks and suddenly it seems doable. What you need to do is inject some “mini goals” to keep them motivated. However, that’s not all you need to do. Remember the goal- motivating your team as they slog through their daily tasks, day after day with no end in sight. Simply breaking that big project down into smaller tasks is just the first step towards jump starting your team and getting them motivated to work hard.
No wonder your team has lost their mojo- they’re losing sight of the goal because it’s so far away. Mini goals? Who cares!
Teams need something more than knowing that someday they’ll finish. They even need something more than knowing today they’ll finish their “mini goals”.
After all, you’ll be getting recognition for finishing a long-term project. You might even be getting a raise or a promotion. But your team? What’s their light at the end of the tunnel?
What you need to do is build a few “windows” into your long dark tunnel. This means offering incentives to go along with those “mini goals” you created. Scientists have found that offering rewards inspires daily motivation towards long term success. Perfect!
What’s more, the rewards don’t even have to be meaningful or relevant. That’s right, the rewards can be totally ridiculous and meaningless, and your team will know it, but it will still work. You see, human biology that responds to small rewards throughout the day. It’s all based on those small doses of brain chemicals associated with pleasure (dopamine) we all experience when something good happens.
So get thinking about what small rewards your team would appreciate, set smaller daily goals, and finishing that Big Project won’t seem quite as daunting.