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Article: From STALE to FRESH: 5 Simple Ways To Invigorate Your Team Related Resources

From STALE to FRESH: 5 Simple Ways To Invigorate Your Team
by Karen Schmidt

The real issue for organisations

It used to be that the biggest staffing problem organisations had to deal with was high turnover. Today, the real issue is engagement . . . finding a way to get staff to do more than just turn up to work physically. It's about finding ways to engage them mentally and emotionally. It's finding a way to take a stale attitude and freshen it up.

For some organisations lack of engagement is an ongoing issue, perhaps due to the nature of the work people are employed to do. For others it is more circumstantial, such as staff coping with busy periods, adapting to change or even just getting out of a rut. Even organisations with highly motivated staff can find they still benefit from the occasional boost to their motivation levels.

Whatever the cause the result is the same: lack of engagement is a real issue with real costs attached. A survey of 50,000 employees by the Corporate Leadership Council in 2004 found that only 11% said they were fully engaged at work, 76% knew they could demonstrate more commitment and 13% described themselves as actively disengaged. Imagine if you could increase the productivity of 89% of your people, simply by finding a way to engage them.

What happens when people aren't engaged

We've all experienced the disengaged worker at some point. They're the person doing the minimum, blaming others for mistakes and generally creating a negative environment around them. In other words, they are S.T.A.L.E.:

Stressed, Tired and Lacking Enthusiasm

What's really happening here is an imbalance in their skills to attitude ratio. So what happens when these two important factors are not in harmony?

"Green" When most people start a new job (even if they have prior experience elsewhere) they have lots of enthusiasm but lack the skills to do the job.

"Keen" As they develop their skills they move towards the ideal combination of ability and enthusiasm . . . I like my job and I know how to do it.

"Mean" They still have the skills to do the job but not the enthusiasm for it. This could be a temporary situation or something more permanent.

"Has Been" Spend too long in "Mean" and risk entering the final phase when not only is their enthusiasm long gone, but now their skills have slipped due to a lack of interest in staying up to date.

Imagine if all your team were Keen

Isn't that be every manager's dream . . . a team of people who all enjoy their job and know how to do it. Imagine the impact it would have on turnover and sick leave, which would lead to lower error rates, greater customer satisfaction and higher sales figures. The end result would be a dramatic increase to the bottom line results of your organisation.

Imagine also the impact it would have on your role as a manager. It would free up your time from dealing with staffing issues and allow you to work on some truly exciting and innovative projects. The question is how do you achieve it?

Keeping them Keen

Boosting the performance of your team is achievable when you give people a common framework for understanding the attitude factors that lead to success. The F.R.E.S.H. approach formula can help you do that. It is a simple, 5 step process that can be applied to any organisation and adapted to suit the needs of staff and managers alike.

The F.R.E.S.H. approach is all about:

Forward thinking The best way to stop living in the past is to have a clear vision of the future. This allows you to recognise opportunities when they come along.

Resilient The ability to bounce back from the ups and downs of life is vital. Avoid becoming an emotional yo-yo by understanding how to separate what happens to you from who you are as a person

Enthusiastic Nothing worthwhile can be achieved without enthusiasm. Tapping into the passion that lies within all of us is the key to maintaining high levels of enthusiasm.

Stretching Get out of your comfort zone and experience the freedom that comes with it. Find ways to stretch your symbolically and you will see results.

Holistic Keeping it all in balance will ensure your ongoing success. Learn to recognise the dangers signs when you are out of balance in the 6 key areas of life.

How to move from S.T.A.L.E. to F.R.E.S.H.

So now you've recognised the problem and the solution, what's next? How do you Implement the F.R.E.S.H. approach in your organisations?

There are 3 easy steps in the process:

1. Understand the role of attitude at work
2. Give meaning to each factor in the F.R.E.S.H. approach
3. Provide people with practical ways to use the concepts on a daily basis

So if you want to see the results of a workforce that has a renewed sense of purpose and a higher level of engagement, visit my website, sign up for my free monthly email newsletter "A fresh approach" and receive a complimentary copy of my ebook "It's all about attitude".

Karen Schmidt from Let's Grow! is an award winning professional speaker, workshop leader and author on a mission to create positive workplace attitudes that help people and organisations grow!

Karen Schmidt may be contacted at or


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