Re-engage your Team – Now

Many long-term employees might be feeling a bit strange right now. After years of doing the same thing, they may have been on furlough, undertaking temporary tasks for the first time, covering for absent staff etc., back to the office, temporarily stopped (Delta Variant etc.). At the same time, good people are probably seeing or being offered interesting new opportunities with other companies – change, disruption, uncertainty – all in the melting pot.

Feeling new to a company that you have worked at for years will be a feeling many will experience.

Upheavals mean that even long-time employees — who have spent years building their reputations within a business — may now feel they’re starting from scratch. This has enormous implications for performance, innovation, and well-being. When we start working in a new environment or with new colleagues, we tend to feel insecure because we haven’t had a chance to prove ourselves yet. Our self-doubt makes us less likely to suggest out-of-the-box ideas, ask questions, or take needed breaks.

From a management perspective you cannot afford to lose your talented long term employees so time for you to take action to prevent this.

If you’re a leader, you can’t sit back and hope your employees will successfully navigate so much turbulence. ‘Fingers crossed’ is not a strategy. Leaders must act now before the main Autumn season to re-engage and motivate their team. Here are a few tips:

Set up regular one on one’s with your people to discuss their personal and business challenges. Set short and mid term goals for them that meet their progress aspirations and have objective measurements in place.

Tap into the ‘diamond mine’ of ideas that exist withing the heads of your people if you allow them to think creatively. Let them know that you value their individual input and that great new ideas are the lifeblood of the business. Let them know that they will be valued for everything that sets them apart. By letting people know that their unique perspectives could help them succeed in their new roles and giving them the freedom of expression – you provide your business with the best possible circumstances to motivate and retain good people.

In one on one’s ask each person to reflect on what they’re good at and how they can apply those skills to their current role. Based on these conversations, assign initial tasks that let individuals showcase their abilities. In team meetings, explicitly recognise unique and novel suggestions. Try something like, “I hadn’t thought of it that way, thanks for pointing that out.”

The best teams have a high level of “shared knowledge” and a collective understanding of individual expertise, who’s responsible for what, and how everyone works together to get things done. To build shared knowledge, create early opportunities for team members to collaborate and discover each other’s unique talents. You can also start an email thread or channel where team members can post a problem for others who may have relevant experience to share their insights.

Quick wins boost motivation and confidence. To empower your team to accomplish shared victories early on, unite the group around an ambitious but achievable short-term goal with specific and measurable criteria. Create 30, 60, and 90-day plans and, at the end of every week, meet to celebrate their shared progress and shout out each other’s individual achievements.

When you’re new to a business or involved in hugely changing circumstances, seemingly small uncertainties (for example on video conferencing ‘’Can I turn my video off during longer calls?”) can become a big source of stress. To combat these anxieties, schedule time for your team to agree with them on cultural, emotional and operational guidelines. Setting clear expectations up front can have a powerful influence on employee performance. Here are a few prompts to get you started:

  • How can we ensure teammates who aren’t in the office still have a voice?
  • How will we track progress and update each other throughout the week?
  • How do we each prefer to receive feedback?
  • What guidelines should we set for meetings?
  • What is it “okay” to do? (e.g., take breaks or ask questions)

Make sure to write your rules down explicitly and save and share them with all of your team.

Showcasing stellar work or giving kudos for supportive behaviours is one of the fastest ways to boost motivation, create a clearer picture of what is valued within your team, and positively reinforce healthy norms. Celebrate the efforts of a small group of people, rather than just one person or everyone. Recognising, for example, the top three performers in a group will be far more motivational to a team than just recognising one.

Also create opportunities for peers to recognise each other, too.

Immense movement of people, the shift to hybrid work, and the continued uncertainty in relation to the future could mean that your total workforce may be feeling unmoored.
Take the opportunity, now, in early Autumn, to pull them all in and bind them as a tight and focused group. Your business will benefit enormously through improved team cohesion, performance, and well-being.

If you need help in re-engaging and motivating your team and improving performance as a result get in touch with us  at or call us on 01162325231

The Tinderbox Team