Business Coach with Laura Murphy: My team has slowed down!

Question: “Our team’s been together for some time now and whilst they were doing well to start off with, they’ve got a bit lazy and rely on past successes too much. How can I motivate them?” Samantha

Answer: “When a team is set up it’s done so with a particular purpose in mind and, if planned well, members are selected because their skills and abilities match that purpose. As time goes by they settle into an unconsciously agreed method of working together, which has a danger of developing into a “group sink”, and without a rejuvenation of purpose the team becomes unproductive.

The key here is to shock them out of their patterned behaviour, take them out of their comfort zone. First reassess the team’s purpose. Be aware you may have been sucked into the “group sink” so look at it from your manager’s viewpoint. What are the business’s priorities and do the team’s activities support those? If not, it needs to change and the level of that change determines your approach.

Assuming though it’s minor and the members remain the same, clearly identify the new direction and goals for the team, give individuals challenges that stretch them, perhaps swop their areas of responsibility around. Keep yourself on the ball and motivated so they can take the lead from you.

Remember, they were at one time innovative, energetic and up for the challenge otherwise they wouldn’t have joined the team. Re-kindle that atmosphere and you’ll be rewarded with a creative, productive workforce.”

Laura is an organisation development specialist and executive coach with mtc2 ltd and was Highly Commended in the Eastbourne Business Awards Business Person of the Year. To solve your problem email Tweet @WayfinderWoman Names and details have been changed to protect confidentiality.