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How Southeast Asian Founders Motivate Teams for the New Year

Get your team to hit the ground running this 2019

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BY Marishka M. Cabrera - 10 Jan 2019

how to motivate your team

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

For any well-meaning start-up entrepreneur, planning for 2019 should have happened before 2018 ended. The end of the year is the time when the executive team assesses both the gains (and losses) the company has had over the year. It is an opportunity to reflect on which areas need improvement, if there is a need for new talent, and other growth opportunities to be explored.

A detailed action plan may very well be in place at the start of the New Year, but how can start-up entrepreneurs ensure that it gets implemented?

Here are three ways to keep one’s team motivated for the rest of the year:

1. Give praise

For Alden Adison, co-founder of Kuala Lumpur-based sound media solution company VAV Apps, it’s pretty simple. “Since it’s the beginning of the year, talk about the achievements of the previous year,” he says.

He adds it is important to recognize these wins—big or small—because the simple act of acknowledging the team’s achievements over the past year will “motivate everyone immensely.”

Adison says once praise is given, start talking about the goals of the current year. “A good way to do that is by using the past year’s achievements to reinforce [the belief] that the goals are achievable this year.”

2. Be clear on the purpose

It is important to keep the team excited for the year ahead. To do this, founders must be “clear on the purpose of the company and keep everyone aligned with [its mission],” says Vikram Bharati, founder of Singapore’s entrepreneur-focused hotel Tribe Theory.

Bharati shares, “Tribe Theory’s purpose and mission is larger than life—to build an affluent society by connecting, inspiring and empowering the world’s entrepreneurs. So my goal in 2019 is to make sure that our entire team rallies behind this mission.”

Entrepreneur Bruce Eckfeldt recommends in his Inc. article the creation of a theme to demonstrate how goals tie into the organizational purpose and how the success of the team can make a clear impact. A theme can be a concept, phrase or story that encapsulates what the company is all about.

“A good theme will connect to some aspect of your why and show that when you achieve your targets you will be closer to realizing your purpose,” Eckfeldt writes.

3. Do a regular sharing session

Erik Cheong, co-founder of Park N Parcel, a Singapore-based last mile delivery solution, shares that his team always does a quick 5-minute sharing session daily. This allows members to keep everyone posted on their schedule, what they are working on, and the problems they faced. If needed, the quick sharing session is followed up by a longer discussion.

The co-founders also do a team review every six months to explore new verticals (roles) or skills that the team members are keen on taking on. In between, Park N Parcel has team bonding sessions like dinner and drinks or even hiking.

 

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