7 Keys to Building an Effective Team

7 Keys to Building an Effective Team

If you are looking to create a successful and productive team offsite, you may want to explore the following 7 ideas


  1. Open Communication

Announce to the team how this offsite team-building will actually improve business. Set up live business goals for the meeting – e.g. sales strategy and sales goals for the next year, new delivery of ideas, or product/service lines to roll-out.

2. Allow Time for Networking

There should be scheduled time slots throughout the offsite team-building duration to enable everyone to get to know each other. I recommend that “getting to know each other” activities need not be planned; instead teams should be doing this naturally. It could be a late evening sitting at the pool and chit-chatting, or having a round of “antakshri” or karaoke, whatever the team would like to do post the offsite day work!

7 Keys to Building an Effective Team
                                                                                                            Remember to set aside time for networking!


3. Build A Learning Mindset

Build their skills, and self-confidence by providing constant training. Hold weekly, or bi-monthly team workshops to teach systems and procedures for every element in your business. Teach your employees how to get the most out of the time and effort that they are putting in to reap the most rewards. Also, eliminate the need for guessing when it comes to difficult situations – create systems to specifically manage a crisis.

4. Reward the Results

Set clear and realistic targets for your employees, and keep it as transparent as possible. Targets are proven to motivate employees and give them something concrete to focus on. But don’t treat missed targets as an opportunity to punish your team; simply offer a reward (cash / kind) that will drive your team to meet the targets you set in the future. Check out this blog post for ideas on designing an effective employee rewards system.

5. Don’t Miss the Basic Needs

As an employer, the onus to provide a healthy lifestyle to employees is on you. Here are basics listed –

  • Comfortable, clean and well-lit rooms and sitting place.
  • Break areas.
  • A place for quick power-naps.
  • Flexible working schedules as the focus is on work, and not thenumber of hours.
  • Robust recognition program.

Basic infrastructure at work
                                                       Ensure the working environment is clean and comfortable to maximize employee satisfaction and productivity.

6. Offsite Events

Are overnight events allowing the team to enjoy and relax, having dinner, drinks, music etc, and truly bonding. In my experience, good teams tend to end up staying late, and talk over or brainstorming new, innovative solutions to recurring problems, and work through existing business problems. These sessions are invaluable as team members work together to work out existing problems, setting the scene for new opportunities, and building real relationships in the process.

7. Last But Not Least

Remember it’s important to keep the momentum rolling. If you fail to come out with an action plan, then you will plan to fail eventually. You may have a list of ideas from the offsite meeting, but have no clarity on executing them. Ensure that action planning is clear to all members with identified goals/actions, associated responsibilities, measurement criteria, and timelines of completion. And all of this is documented soon after the event.

This post was guest written by Saloni Kaul, a human resource specialist and corporate trainer.

5 Ways to Show Your Employees Some Appreciation This Raya

5 Ways to Show Your Employees Some Appreciation This Raya

People crave recognition and understanding.


It’s often the case that we’re more comfortable focusing on the negatives, what we don’t have and on what doesn’t work than we are on appreciating the positives, what we do have and on what does work. It is because of our brain’s negativity bias, our way of keeping ourselves out of harm’s way. 


Naturally, if we are open to the idea of showing appreciation, it would be significantly easier if it was in relation to people we loved and cared for. In the corporate arena, it is even more challenging to show others a sense of appreciation for who they are and what they do. Do they need this? Well, ask yourself what happened the last time someone noticed something positive you did or said and mentioned it to you or others? How did it make you feel? The fact is that everyone craves not only to be understood but to be appreciated. The workplace is an environment we devote the best hours daily and also, the best years of our lives. With so much of ourselves invested in our jobs, it’s only natural that understanding, recognition and appreciation be some of the things we focus on as both giver and receiver. 


This Raya, let’s look at a few simple yet effective ways we can show others that we appreciate them. 


Raya gift hamper


  1. A Raya gift hamper.
    The store-bought ones are easy, convenient and presented beautifully but you could easily assemble one yourself to suit your budget and to bring a level of personalisation to the task. Remember that it’s not the size that counts – what matters is the thought that goes into the gift.  



  1. The green packet.
    Originating in the East, the red envelope or ang pow has been adopted also by other cultures including the Malay Muslims especially as part of the Eid al-Fitr, or Hari Raya,  The difference is that instead of red, green packets are used, for its traditional association with Islam. Again, in a corporate setting, where numbers may be greater than in a family, this may place a lot of financial pressure on the giver but the focus is on the act of giving as opposed to the size of the gift. It’s an opportunity to get to know your colleagues a little better and these packets can be given to your colleagues’ kids. 




  1. Put old grudges to rest. 
    This is perhaps truly invaluable for it provides a chance to reset and renew. Sometimes, when enough time has gone by, you can forget the reason for any fallout in the first place, with pride and ego keeping things as they are unnecessarily. In the spirit of renewal and forgiveness, the first step you take to start again, to forgive or ask for forgiveness can be indeed powerful and priceless. 




  1. A simple thank you note.
    The handwritten ones on a thoughtfully worded card or beautiful parchment may blow the receiver away. In the age of always on, social media, pings and waves, the time taken to craft something longer than a quick phrase and emoticon may indeed have the impact desired. Recognition beyond any expectation.  The cost? Maybe ten dollars. The effect?  



  1. Organised free rides home.
    This would be particularly appreciated by those who rely on public transport. A free ride home, organised in advance, is a signal that you understand the individual circumstances and needs. A simple touch that can go a long way, this is once again a quick and easy to do step that can have tremendous impact. 


Showing appreciation is simple. Make it about the person and their circumstance because often, the fact that it’s not a one size fits all approach is what makes it golden. Keep things simple because it works. And engagement, empowerment, recognition, reward and appreciation are not the purview of the employer alone. Every one of us is part of our organisational loop, being affected by and affecting others which means we ourselves can and should show appreciation to those within our circles of influence. 


On behalf of SelfDrvn, we would like to wish all Muslims, Selamat Hari Raya dan Maaf Zahir dan Batin. To all non-Muslims, wishing you all a wonderful break and happy holidays this festive period. 

Build A Feedback System That Works

Build A Feedback System That Works


Springing up from your desk when your colleague informs you that your boss is calling you in a cabin to give you feedback with questions in mind like, “What have I done?”, “Did I make some huge mistake?”, “Are they going to fire me?” or “Am I not doing my job properly?”. This mindset of people makes the word feedback so negative and you are spoken to or given feedback only when you do something wrong or incorrect.

Today let’s dive into the depths of this word which makes people sweat and see if there can be a positive change which will help people develop their skills or motivate people to continue with the same effort and produce strong output.


Positive and negative feedback

Everybody knows that there are two types of feedback one is negative other is positive. As the names suggest, positive feedback is when an employee has achieved a milestone or has been performing exceptionally well. Negative feedback is the other side of the coin, i.e. when the performance is not up to the mark, behavior or professionalism issue. It is easy to give positive feedback as there are no awkward silences or discussions that take place. However, one must be very cautious while providing negative feedback as it can be demotivating and the person at the receiving end might lose their morale.


One on one and group feedback

The generic feedback that applies to a group or all the team members that do not specify a person’s performance can be provided during a team meeting. However, it is of utmost importance that individual feedback should be given in a one on one manner. Discussing feedback in front of others can cause low self-confidence, and it might be difficult for the employees to trust you with any concerns they may be facing, or they would be reluctant to approach you which can hamper productivity.


Ensuring regular feedback

It is very crucial to provide regular updates and feedback as an employee will feel looked after and have a clear mindset of the target to achieve and how to progress to achieve the same. Keeping your employees updated about their performance, checking for any difficulties and challenges that they might be facing. It can get tedious to provide constant feedback to employees, so use a software that helps ease your life; employees can share their problems on these platforms, or you can use social media to be in constant touch with your team members. If you are approachable or available to your team in their time of need and there is a healthy bond between team members the feedback given gets implemented much easily.


Mix and match your feedback

Nobody likes to listen to negative things, and neither do your employees. Try and understand why there is a downfall or dip in the performance of an employee, start with the positives and do not compare. When you include positive and negative, it cuts down the negativity, and the employee feels that they are appreciated for the work they are doing. The sense of being critical to the organization develops a bond which can benefit both the employee and the employer immensely. With this technique, the negative feedback is taken as a guide to improve their performance rather than a judgment.


Two-way conversation

Feedback should never be one-way it should always be two-way conversations. Every day is a new day, and we learn many new things from our peers and colleagues. When you implement feedbacks and get critiqued for your work is when you grow as it helps understand the right method to get the assigned work completed. You can achieve your goals and a post in an organization that has or follows to and fro feedback system. If management is open to feedback from employees, it will enhance the work environment and functioning. Be a leader, not a boss and strive to improve your team alongside, learn and grow together to attain goals and immense job satisfaction.

People spend more than half of their life at a workplace, and if one does not feel valued and do not get the opportunity to grow, work can seem hectic and stressful. Hence, it is significant to tend to your employee’s needs and assist them to develop with accurate feedback. You will grow when your team grows. No matter how great or poor the outcome is, always give and receive feedback positively.

Do not let your emotions or perception about someone command over your better judgment. Try and place yourself in your employee’s shoes before you give feedback to understand what the reaction might be or if you sound harsh as words cut through sharper than a knife. Just like Frank A. Clark states, “Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.”

Employee Engagement Done Right

Employee Engagement Done Right

Strategies that drive a deeper emotional commitment.

How many of us have worked in organizations where the employee engagement survey is rolled out, questions are asked and yet, nothing is ostensibly done about what is suggested or complained about? How many of us find it difficult to figure out just where the moral problem lies? Employee engagement is complex and some of the methods we’ve used to address it may sometimes be flawed in and of themselves, leading to other challenges. At its crux, employee engagement brings certain issues to the forefront.

Building trust

Trust, for one. People need to be able to trust their leaders and know there will be no retaliation for telling the truth. They also need to know that their leaders are interested in what they have to share and will take relevant and timely action on feedback given. Authenticity plays a part. Feel good tactics will eventually be noticed for what it is.

This is why a platform that incorporates gamification and real-time feedback, one that puts the employee in the driver’s seat, may be what works.

A singular approach

Morpheus Consulting Pte Ltd is an eight year old company providing business consulting, application development and IT infrastructure consulting. Even with 78 employees, they found that they had limited tools and resources to hear from their employees. Their communication channels were ineffective, and as is the case for many other companies, they had limited resources for reward initiatives. They looked to SelfDrvn to help them achieve multiple aims with their employees – engagement, motivation and performance recognition all delivered through gamification.

“Using SelfDrvn has given us deep insight and understanding about the concerns of our staff and what they would like to see us implement in the company.”

Violet Tang, HR Manager, Morpheus Consulting

Embodying variable components and plug and play options, SelfDrvn is an all-in-one platform to retain, reward and engage their talent. It has helped Morpheus Consulting through a number of touchpoints including employee pulse surveys, reward and recognition programmes, peer feedback loops, goal setting, wellness games and leaderboard competitions.

Gamification as a tool

Gamifying wellness – how does that work? Since physical health is increasingly a concern that impacts organisational success and the bottom line, ensuring that companies take a positive and proactive step to address this, will add value.

But how do you do that without encroaching on an individual’s preferences and choices? Enter gamification.

Gamification has been used by companies for a long time, according to Gabe Zichermann, author of Game-Based Marketing and CEO of Gamification.co. As Jennifer Van Grove mentioned in her article, Gamification: How Competition is Reinventing Business, Marketing and Everyday Life, the military, Hollywood and the hospitality sectors are three such industries that have employed game mechanics for many years.

Gamification is used in the corporate world for educational purposes, to encourage customer loyalty, to create buzz or for social proof. Fad or here to stay, the true power of gamification lies in how well we can align it to our business objectives. And in this context, SelfDrvn’s offering can help in retaining talent, engaging and rewarding employees, capturing and holding on to intellectual capital, perhaps even plug skill gaps. In this way, it is addressing the most common and pressing business issues with modern day solutions that work.

SelfDrvn is your all-in-one platform to retain, reward and engage talent. To schedule a 30 minute obligation free consultation, email contact@selfdrvn.com today.

7 Tips for Designing Employee Rewards and Recognition Programs

7 Tips for Designing Employee Rewards and Recognition Programs

Notes from Total Rewards & Wellness Conclave 2018

Written by Munch Lam

We attended the Total Rewards & Wellness Conclave held in Mumbai on 12th of January 2018 which was a huge success. The event hosted a distinguished line up of keynote speakers, panel discussions, master classes and product showcases which were a great source of learning and inspiration.

Kudos to the People Matters team for once again, exceeding our expectations and delivering yet another event packed with insightful content and inspirational speakers. Below are some useful tips we’ve learned from TRWC2018.


7 tips for designing Rewards and recognition programs


Make Your Employees Brand Ambassadors

Make Your Employees Brand Ambassadors

How do you encourage your employees to be brand ambassadors?

  1. Embrace social media.
  2. Make employee advocacy a corporate goal.
  3. Cultivate a positive working environment that has an inclusive and fun culture. Instill pride in your employees. Regularly curate good content about your employees and company events on social media. Give the public a glimpse into how life is like in your company.
  4. Share news on social, recreational and corporate social responsibility activities that make them want to share with their network.
  5. Make employees feel welcome and appreciated, with formal recognition programs for high performers. Share them publicly on your internal social network.
  6. Have programs in place to encourage employee advocacy. For example, rewarding employees with loyalty points and prizes based on the number of shares on social media and number of successful job applicants referred by them.
  7. Sharing specific company posts such as job advertisements and new product launches.
  8. Job applicant referrals to apply to the company.
  9. Referrals of new customers to the company.

Make Your Employees Brand Ambassadors

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