1) Craft your own unique culture. High morale, excitement and happiness are infectious, especially in groups working together toward a common goal. Achieving this can be done by setting the tone yourself and encouraging the unique personalities of your tribe members.
To make the tribe truly cohesive, it is also important to instill the value and importance of teams and teamwork.
“[Teams] build empathy, foster creativity and strengthen resilience.” Arianna Huffington, Time.com
Another way to anchor tribe culture is to create the space for everyone to share their core values and give their input. This can be woven into regular meetings, so that everyone has the opportunity to both give feedback and see how their feedback previous has been utilized.
2) Have regular team meetings. Regular team meetings ensures that everyone remains on the same page and well aware of happenings, goals and milestones, all of which ensures a motivated group. Team meetings are also a great opportunity to reiterate the projects vision, keeping the passion well lit. Especially in cases when teams are virtual, even part-time, regular meetings are vital in order to keep communication from suffering.
Make standing appointments at least a month out. We suggest a daily check-in, even if brief via the ShareYourself platform, text or email. Weekly phone calls or video meetings are more in depth but still brief, depending on the stage of the project you’re in. If geographically possible, meeting in person once a month will help nourish the team in ways that can only be achieved by in-the-flesh. Schedule one of each for this next month.
3) Keep them in the loop. A good leader shows trust in numerous ways, but one particularly helpful method is to keep employees in the loop regarding company updates. It tells the team that they're trusted enough to have an honest discussion regarding the future of the company and that they have a say in various choices, and the resulting push keeps them motivated and boosts productivity. They see more clearly the impact they have on the company, and it's amazing for overall operations.” - Adam Fridman
Keeping your tribe looped in to happenings with the project - from the deets on an important meeting that happened earlier in the week to goals and milestones, going the extra length to make sure everyone is up to date on the happenings with the project is an important factor in keeping the tribe not only organized and on the same page, but makes them more invested in the health and well being of the project. It is especially important to note that if you update one or few persons, you update everyone as soon after as you can. Updating only some members can not only create opportunity for the context to be tampered with (classic case of telephone) but give the feeling of some people being more important than others, which you don't want!
4) Repeat the vision. “Repeating it ensures that there are absolutely no doubts about the ethos of the company, and it naturally builds a team that believes in the company.” - Adam Fridman
“Startups are difficult because you are forced to do so much with so little. It’s easy for a small team to begin feeling overwhelmed or overworked. It takes a tremendous amount of passion and drive to get a business off the ground, so every little bit of motivation is necessary. That passion has to start with the founders and be instilled amongst your team. However, I think motivation will always come down to one thing: empathy and respect. If you are able to effectively prove to your team that you respect and understand the difficulties and importance of their job, they’ll find pride and passion in their contribution."
- Dave Arel
5) Help them avoid burnout. Take care of your team and stress the importance of a sustainable life both within the project and tribe, but also outside of it. Educate them about balance and burnout. To do this, refer to the module on Staying Motivated. Use these tips and techniques we gave you in that module to keep your tribe members on track also.
Keep in mind - just because a tribe member isn't putting in as many hours as you or another person, doesn't mean they aren't at risk of burnout. They are an integral part in keeping this project alive, and therefore they carry significant weight in their role, and this inevitably taxes them of energy that they will need to fill up on to keep going. Set a good example by staying balanced yourself, and encouraging healthy behaviors.
A leading cause of burnout is overworking. To avoid this, it's important to encourage your tribe members to set themselves working hours and non-working hours. Ask each tribe member to send you days and times (windows) they are dedicating to work and the windows of time in which they are signed off completely.