3 Productive Team Habits to Practice This Year

The beginning of a new year is an ideal time to adopt new team habits. Here are 3 habits to implement that will increase your team’s productivity and overall wellness this year.

1) Set aside blocks of time each day for email and Slack communication

A 2014 study from the University of British Columbia showed that participants who checked email three times a day were less stressed than participants who checked their email all the time.

Setting aside time for communication can encourage your team to prioritize deep work and ensure mindful communication.

Ask your team to schedule morning, afternoon, and evening rituals of 15 minutes to an hour that are devoted to email and Slack, and encourage them not to open their email or Slack outside of these blocks. 

Try it yourself for a few weeks before bringing others on board. Define what constitutes an urgent matter before designating how to handle truly urgent communication.

If your team is in the habit of constant communication, this may be challenging at first. Introduce the new practice with enthusiasm and remain flexible. It may take a while for the practice to become a habit. 

2) Establish regular rituals for recognition

79% of employees quit their jobs because they don’t feel appreciated at work. Retention is not the only reason to regularly appreciate your team: studies also show a strong link between recognition and profitability

Fair compensation, work-life balance, and a path for career growth are key aspects of recognition at the organizational level. If these core aspects are not tended to first, celebration rituals may seem hollow. 

After addressing these core aspects, add on celebration rituals. Get creative, or even silly if that’s what your team needs. 

Here are a few examples of recognition rituals:

  • A “kudos” portion of weekly meetings, where team members have the option to shout out teammates.
  • A #wins channel on Slack
  • Handmade thank you cards sent to teammates after milestones

3) Incorporate physical, emotional, and mental wellness check-ins at your standups

Add open-ended questions like “How are you feeling today on a scale from 1-10?” to your standup meetings.

This habit allows you to gauge the wellness of your team overall, and dedicate time to help individuals who may be struggling.

Practice vulnerability as a leader by sharing when you’re enduring a personal struggle, having a “bad pandemic day,” or simply not feeling great. Sharing your own vulnerability allows your team to feel safe knowing that some of their work days will be off days—and that’s OK. This builds empathy, resilience, and trust.

Need inspiration for better team mental health? Check out our post: 6 Ways to Support Mental Health in the Workplace.

Bonus one: Share healthy habits to encourage self-care

Encourage the team to share milestones from their self-care routines at meetings or on a dedicated channel on Slack. 

Here are some potential self-care moments that could be shared by members of your team:

  1. Sharing a screenshot of a personal streak for daily walks
  2. Completing a 5-day meditation challenge 
  3. Cooking a delicious meal

Fabulous for Work is designed to encourage healthy habits with behavioral science and tailored support. Try sharing screenshots of your own achievements with Fabulous and encourage your team to join in!