Challenge: How do you keep up motivation when you miss the goals and go off track?

We’ve all been there: you’ve got 6 weeks left to the end of a quarter, and you’re so far behind your quarterly target that it seems impossible. The team is feeling demotivated and defeated. In situations like this, your team needs your leadership more than ever, and it’s important to establish a planning-execution-learning-loop to stay on track.

To build your team’s confidence and get them performing again, try the Back on Track Gameplan:

1. Gauge the gap

When you’re not making up much ground towards a goal, it’s tempting to stop tracking progress. Team members start to think: “we’re not anywhere near – we know that, so who cares exactly how far away we are?”. But to get back on track, you need to know exactly where you stand and gauge just how big the gap is.

2. Eat the elephant – together

In software engineering, it’s called Elephant Carpaccio, the process of slicing something big into thin slices. You can do this too, sit down with your team and break down the daunting goals into smaller chunks with clear milestones. This has the exact same effect as when a sports team needs to win several games in a row: it’s best to focus everyone on how to win one game at a time.

3. Track progress every day

Tracking progress regularly will help everyone keep an overview of how things are going compared to the plan you made together, and keep them laser-focused on what they can do to move the needle.

4. Celebrate every win

All the great comebacks, start with the first point. Likewise, your team needs to get in a quick win. Find the first opportunity to celebrate a win, and then keep doing this every time you reach a milestone in your plan. 

5. Retrospect on misses and adjust the plan

If you fall behind on your “back on track” plan after already falling way behind your targets, it will crush motivation. So you need to discuss and reflect on a regular basis to update the plan for next week. Ask yourself and your team:

  • What can you change?
  • What can you do faster next time?

There you have it, the Getting Back on Track Gameplan:

  • Gauge the gap
  • Eat the elephant – together
  • Track progress every day
  • Celebrate every win
  • Retrospect on every missed milestone and update the plan

Let us know if this is helpful, and have a good day! As always, be sure to check back for more actionable tips on leadership on our blog!