Posts tagged ‘energy’

Maintaining Motivation in Lockdown

In my experience the ability to successfully manage a remote team is the best test of a leader’s effectiveness. This unprecedented time, where many people are required to work from home is a great opportunity for more leaders to develop these essential skills. It is not enough for your workforce to simply go through the motions, ticking off their assigned tasks. You need to ensure that they are still motivated and engaged during this difficult time and into the future.

I’ve put together some tips which may help you. These are all based on  real life examples from my clients and together I believe they provide a framework to best practice for inspirational remote worker leadership.

Team Huddle

Whatever you call it; Progress Report, Catchup, Update Meeting a regular get together where you all share information, updates, issues and successes should continue even when your team work remotely. These meetings are best conducted using teleconferencing or video chat technology. Keep to your normal schedule, whether that is daily, weekly, fortnightly and ensure the meetings are still short and focused. You may find that some adjustment of format is required to make it work, but it will be worth it to maintain momentum.

Coffee Chat

Of course you don’t have to bring a coffee, but a casual get together over the phone or video chat is a great way to create that bond that we all have when we see each other regularly in an office environment. It’s nice to make this a regular day, but with no compulsory attendance. Perhaps you can vary the time each week to fit with people’s commitments at home. Everyone can just drop in and talk about whatever they like.

Start and End of Meetings

If your team is smaller in size consider calling on people one by one to ask how they are feeling at the beginning and end of each meeting. Give people maybe 30 seconds each, but remember to note down any issues and follow-up with anything that is more serious or that may effect the team as a whole.

Team Wellbeing

This final tip is a little more complex. Some of your team are bound to thrive on remote working whilst others will struggle. Being isolated will effect everyone’s mental health in different ways, so remember to continue your regular 1-2-1’s with your team. If you can do this by video so that you can observe their body language and facial expressions. Take action to resolve any issues that may occur and be ready to offer additional support if required.

Finally here are some quick tips for you to check with your team


  • Do they have the right environment to work at home. Is there a room or space set up as their office and do other people in their home know not to interrupt them when they are working.
  • Have they set a schedule for their working day and are they taking regular breaks like they would in the ‘real’ office. People should get up and move around every 45-60 minutes and totally switch off at the end of the working day
  • Do they have the right equipment to be comfortable ie. A proper desk, adjustable chair
  • Are they eating well and keeping hydrated. With no junior to make the tea and coffee, no assigned lunch break and the kitchen within easy walking distance people who work from home often snack rather than eat properly and forget to drink enough water
  • Are they taking regular exercise – energy levels drop significantly if you just sit all day and all evening
  • Are they taking some time out to think, to be creative and to learn, if nothing else self-isolation gives us time – something that is normally in very short supply
  • Have they got realistic goals? In theory you can get a lot more done at home, but only if you pace yourself and manage interruptions and distractions
  • And finally do encourage all of your team to reach out if they are feeling isolated or depressed

I am optimistic that this experience will change the way we work forever. Managers who have not allowed their teams to work from home can build the trust they need to let this continue. The constant merry-go-round of work and everyone being overloaded can be replaced by valuing time to think, plan and be creative. If we all can learn to work more effectively, rather than just working more, then we can all be happier and more productive in the future.




April 8, 2020 at 11:45 am Leave a comment

Husband and Wife Teams

I have worked with a number of husband and wife teams, many of whom have been effective and successful.  But not without some challenges to overcome, due to the complex nature of their ‘multi-faceted’ relationships.

Whether they run their own business(es), or work in the same company, or even the same team, the first hurdle is to separate their work and their home lives.  Really separate them, as in removing any emotional baggage that has taken place at home when they come into work – not easy!

One way to help is to review how our couples are motivated at work, to enable them to have a deeper understanding of what makes each other tick.  Combine this with clear business goals and the right skills and they can be really focussed on business success.  That is providing they can switch off when they leave the office!

For example, one half of a couple, who ran multiple businesses together, as well as separate businesses, decided to set up a new business.  They knew this would take some time to build and ring-fenced the time to enable them to do so.  However, they soon found themselves under financial pressure from their spouse.

When we looked at their motivation profiles it was clear that one was more focussed on money and the other on quality and customer service.  This was clearly causing some conflict, so it was a relief to both to find out the reason behind it.  They were delighted to find that the common ground between their two opposing views was both achievable and very productive for the businesses.  It also enabled them to ‘park’ external factors and really focus on business outcomes.

Of course many teams can find themselves in similar situations to our couples, in fact being in a team can feel like a marriage at times!  Most, if not all, issues can be resolved by understanding what makes each other tick.  Simple, quick and effective!

May 16, 2013 at 1:43 pm Leave a comment

Understanding motivators helps staff out of a rut

We all know that there’s a strong correlation between motivation and performance.  Recently a leader I was coaching had identified issues with a member of their team, and was trying to find them a role within the organisation that they would enjoy.

The employee had probably been in role for a couple of years longer than was healthy, so by now was very demotivated – the results being variable performance, and consistent mistakes.

The root of the problem was identified when we looked at their motivation profile.  They loved doing new things and solving customer problems, but their role just didn’t lend itself to this.  We discussed the risk of them leaving, but they insisted they wanted to stay at the company, in a different role.

New and exciting roles don’t come along every day, so the action plan here was to really focus on getting the mundane things completed quickly and accurately, to free up time to work on more creative areas.  As well as fulfilling the need for innovation, this approach is far more likely to lead to a new role, as the employee will be getting noticed for the right reasons.

So if you think you can’t get your staff out of a rut, think again.

February 26, 2013 at 1:13 pm Leave a comment

Collaborative Leadership

I find Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, a fascinating character.  As a gradual (and sceptical) convert to Apple products, from an iPod to an iPhone to a Macbook, it is great to hear the insights of how the company, and particularly it’s leader, operates.

In this shortened version of an interview, Jobs explains how he is a ‘facilitator’, not a manager, and how committees are frowned upon.  What I like is the recognition that to attract and retain key people means accepting that they will often know more than the man at the top.

September 2, 2010 at 8:30 am Leave a comment

How Motivation Drives Performance – Builder Profile

So we’ve seen how Directors, those who seek control, can maintain and increase their motivation levels.  Now let’s take a look at the Builder.

If you have Builder as one of your top motivators, you are motivated by money and material things.  You like a high standard of living and you tend to compare yourself with what others have, and want more.  You will regularly review your financial investments, and are likely to have multiple income streams.

August 31, 2010 at 8:20 am Leave a comment

How Motivation Drives Performance – Director Profile

So we’ve seen how Experts, those who seek mastery, can maintain and increase their motivation levels.  Now let’s take a look at the Director.

If you have Director as one of your top motivators, you want to be able to influence the way things happen, especially having control of people and resources.  This includes making critical decisions about how these are used, and tends towards management roles.  You are self-confident and provide clarity for others.  Consequently you like clarity from others, which means clear objectives and strategy from above.

August 24, 2010 at 8:15 am Leave a comment

Leaders – Treat Followers As Equals

Enjoy this simple, light-hearted look at how a leader’s natural skills encourage the initial following, which quickly grows into a movement.

There are many qualities required in any such situation – confidence, self-belief, energy, empathy.  Let me know what else you spotted.  The motivation of the leader is clearly Spirit, and their passion for what they believe in.  But is is their ability to let followers lead others which ultimately makes the difference.

August 19, 2010 at 8:30 am Leave a comment

How Motivation Drives Performance – Expert Profile

So we’ve seen how Friends, those who seek belonging, can maintain and increase their motivation levels. Now let’s take a look at the Expert.

If you have Expert as one of your top motivators, you seek mastery of a subject, and you like to pass that knowledge on to others.  You actively seek opportunities to demonstrate expertise in the specialised fields in which you operate.   Training opportunities are highly motivating for you, though a course is not always necessary, as you enjoy self-development too.

August 17, 2010 at 8:15 am Leave a comment

In It For Fun, Not Money

Before you read this I have to admit to being a Branson fan.  I found Sir Richard’s blog on fun-not-money very interesting and very relevant to the work I do around what motivates individuals and teams, and how that can drive success.

I disagree that most people start businesses because they “feel that they can create something that is going to make a difference to other people’s lives”.  I think people start businesses for all sorts of reasons.  However I strongly agree that people who DO start a business for this reason are most likely to be successful, as they will put customers first.

So perhaps this gives us an insight into the motivators that will make the most successful entrepreneurs?  Making a difference is the Searcher motivator.  Add some Spirit (autonomy) and Creator (innovation) and that could be the recipe for success!

Let me know if you’d like to find out what motivates you.

August 12, 2010 at 8:30 am Leave a comment

How Motivation Drives Performance – Friend Profile

So we’ve seen how Defenders, those who are driven by security, can maintain and increase their motivation levels.  Now let’s take a look at the Friend.

If you have Friend as one of your top motivators, you need to belong to a community – an organisation, a team, a group, etc – with which you share values.  You enjoy building relationships with other people at work and you tend to work more collaboratively.  You may not like a job, but will stick around if you like the people.  You don’t like conflict and will avoid cold-calling at all costs!

August 10, 2010 at 8:30 am Leave a comment

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Alan Adair

Contact Details

Alan Adair

Extra Dimension
Helping you and your teams to be more engaged, motivated and effective.

21 Pelican House
Stone Close
BH15 4GE

Tel 01202 830047



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