Five minute team building with positive psychology

Business professor Adam Grant has shown, through a series of innovative experiments, that simple five-minute interventions can have a lasting impact on team motivation and engagement.

For example, working with call centre staff employed to seek donations for university scholarships, professor Grant arranged for one team to meet with a real-life beneficiary of a scholarship. The meeting was only five minutes long.  Just long enough to put a face to a name. 

This team went on to raise three times more money and record consistently longer and more engaged conversations with potential donors, compared to control groups.  They also showed more loyalty and lower staff turnover.

This finding has been replicated in studies where teams simply read case histories of satisfied customers. Case histories are far easier to arrange than face to face meetings, however the impact on motivation is the same. 

It seems motivation increases when people can see their efforts make a clear  difference in the lives of real people. Leaders who understand this can find innovative ways to showcase examples of good practice and satisfied customers. 

For example, 

*Instead of only collecting client complaints, begin a ‘compliment’s register’ and display the highlights.

*Ensure newsletters, or emails from senior management include specific examples of positive client feedback.   

*Begin regular team meetings with a standing agenda item inviting staff to share examples of a ‘win’ they have had with a client.

You get the idea; get thinking!