In an era defined by uncertainty, where jobs vanish only to reappear with a fervor unmatched, and economic volatility feels akin to a feverish bout, the business landscape of the 2020s defies predictability. Even before the recent wave of economic instability, revenue targets remained elusive for many organizations, threatening team morale and performance alike
Even before the most recent bout of economic precarity, teams at many companies were already falling short of their revenue targets and looking for a way to turn things around. For those teams, things on the revenue side might now get even more difficult. And all of this, of course, can combine to have a profound effect on a team morale. Though it’s an intangible measure, low morale can do a lot to undermine a team’s revenue performance, creating a maddening feedback loop: A team misses their revenue target, their morale takes a hit as a result, and this causes them to under-perform again.
Amidst these challenges, Afterburner remains steadfast in its mission to ignite passion within teams and elevate morale, even in the face of adversity. Here are four actionable steps to rejuvenate team spirit and transform setbacks into triumphs:
1. Stop pointing fingers and start working together
There’s a temptation, when teams miss their goal, for individual team members to try to locate the cause of the miss as far away from themselves as possible. Self-preservation often leads to finger-pointing – and that only exacerbates an already challenging situation. As it is, the team is likely struggling with low morale as a result of the target miss, and seeing their teammates turn against each other creates further stress and a sense of discord that can bring morale even lower.
“Good leaders, in general, do their best to nurture a sense of solidarity across their teams – great leaders understand that moments of adversity are the perfect time to lean into those efforts.”
The days following a target miss are a prime opportunity for leaders to emphasize, to their team, that everyone is in this together. Good leaders, in general, do their best to nurture a sense of solidarity across their teams – great leaders understand that moments of adversity are the perfect time to lean into those efforts. The more your team feels invested not just in their own success, but in the success of their colleagues, the easier it will be to replace finger-pointing with more productive conversations about how to boost your team’s performance next quarter.
2. Take the time to debrief
Nothing boosts morale like finding a silver lining in an unfortunate situation. In the wake of a target miss, that means it’s time to conduct a debrief. Debriefing is a way to turn any mission, successful or not, into a learning opportunity. It involves diving deep into a completed mission to identify what worked, what didn’t, and how you can boost your performance the next time around. Elite Fighter Pilot squadrons make debriefing a non-negotiable, to continually enhance their execution in each subsequent mission – and corporate teams can benefit from the process in the same way.
“Taking the time to debrief is how teams learn the lessons they need to maximize their success going forward.”
For a lot of teams, though, getting into the habit of debriefing isn’t so easy. Leaders’ instincts often tell them that, when their team falls short of their revenue target, there’s no time to waste – and that the only way to keep it from happening again is to immediately start working to pull in more revenue. But taking the time to debrief is how teams learn the lessons they need to maximize their success going forward. And knowing that they’re coming away with concrete, actionable lessons for future missions will go a long way toward boosting your team’s morale.
3. Build a culture of mutual support
Built on a set of teamwork principles that establish a common mental model across your team, mutual support is essentially an act of rebellion against the finger-pointing instinct we discussed earlier. When you foster a culture of mutual support, the members of your team show up for each other in highly impactful ways, taking on tasks from task-saturated teammates or drawing attention to their teammates’ successes. A morale boost, and the performance enhancements that come as a result, usually aren’t far behind.
4. Book a Top Gun Experience
Sometimes, the best thing you can do for your team’s morale is to get everyone in the same room and get them pumped up for their mission. Elevate your team’s morale and performance to new heights with Afterburner’s Top Gun Experience (TGX). Join us for an electrifying event that combines high-energy keynotes, simulated missions, and expert insights from elite military veterans. Leave inspired with a roadmap for closer collaboration, stronger execution, and a unified sense of purpose to conquer your mission together.