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Developing Motivation When Rebuilding a Team

A lot of communities will have a Sexual Assault Response Team that meets for a while, may accomplish some good work, and then, the team disbands. There are a lot of reasons of why long-term sustainability of the team is a struggle; many communities face this issue. However, many folks reach out to SVJI for technical assistance when they are trying to rebuild their community’s team. Typically, a lot of new or returning coordinators face low motivation to re-start the team. However, there are a number of strategies to get community agencies excited about the work of a team!

  • Present an issue in the response to address. Many teams have discussed feeling as though they “meet just to meet” and are hesitant to begin doing that again. A key motivational strategy is to come to the table with a specific issue you see happening in your current SV response. When you present an issue impacting victims/survivors with a clear set of steps needed to make a critical change, you can build buy-in and harness that fresh start effect.
  • Kickoff with a training or training series. A lot of rural service providers communicate that they don’t feel as though they get as much training as their urban counterparts. A way to build up team motivation when rebuilding your team is find a training that can refresh the team. This doesn’t have to be in-person, big-name, very-expensive training. It can be a webinar (SVJI can help) or it can be an interagency series, where your team members put together mini-trainings. There are many options for using trainings to help kick start your rebuilt team.
  • MOU Signing-Party. This is a pretty neat thing to help build up that motivation. You develop a renewed MOU. When it’s ready to sign, invite the agency representatives and their leadership to come to a small party to sign on to the MOU. You can do a breakfast or an afternoon snacks and punch. Maybe it’s a pizza party or potluck gathering. Whatever it might be, this kind of party can bring levity and camaraderie to the team’s re-commitment process.
  • Meet-and-Greet Gatherings. This is another one that can really help mend fences (should they need to be mended) as well as introduce folks to new staff or develop warm referrals. Some teams do things like a local park summer cook-out, a happy hour at a favorite local establishment, or agencies take turns hosting an onsite meet-and-greet. Through developing stronger interagency relationships, you increase buy-in and motivation to work together as a team to accomplish change in your sexual violence response.

These are just a few ideas to get you motivated to motivate your re-formed team! There are many more options on how to develop motivation for a rebuilt team. Remember, you all want the same things—to end sexual violence in your community and improve the response. That’s always going to be the best motivator of all!

If you have experience or other ideas to share with folks who are rebuilding their teams, please share your thoughts in the comments!