Unstick Your Team with These Ideas for Yearbook Staff Motivation

yearbook staff motivation

After the holiday break, it’s easy to slip into a little bit of a funk. The winter blahs are setting in and your yearbook progress might begin to stall. Don’t let that happen.

Whether you decide to give your yearbook staff motivation through playlists, famous movie clips, or good ol’ fashion praise, it’s your job as the editor to make sure everyone stays pumped. And it’s not too hard to do. Read on for the best motivation ideas you’ll find for your yearbook team.

Show Your Progress

The road can look exhausting until you turn your head and realize how far you’ve already come. Take a moment to celebrate the victories of the first half of the year and show how much you’ve already accomplished.

One idea is to create an infographic to show the progress by the numbers. HubSpot has a library of infographic templates that you can download, and they’re even available in PowerPoint format. Here are some ideas for stats you can capture to give your yearbook staff motivation in the new year:

  • How many spreads have been put to bed
  • Which sections are complete
  • How many photos have been taken
  • How much you’ve raised in ad revenue
  • The number of quotes you’ve scooped
  • How many words you’ve written
  • The number of yearbooks purchased

Remember, it’s perfectly acceptable to showcase accomplishments without staggering numbers—there’s a lot to be said about creating “one amazing theme” or designing “one imaginative cover.” Take pride and share all these factoids with your team.

Another way to show progress is to do a little show-and-tell. Select five or so of your favorite spreads and share them with the team. If you have a designated space, you can create a Wall of Fame. If not, create a quick email blast to your crew telling them, “This is why I am so proud of us.” This will unite the group and get them driving again towards a common goal.

Set Goals to Create Urgency

A little bit of urgency can also go a long way. After these breaks, there’s guaranteed to be a little hiccup, because people need to get back in the groove, and they might not know where to start. But if there’s no reason to dive back into battle, your committee won’t really feel the need to jump back in right away—which can turn a little hiccup into a big traffic jam. Here are some ways you can help to create a sense of urgency with your team:

  • Make it easy for the team to get back to work by creating a punch list of things that need to be done within the next two weeks.
  • Set a timeline in the form of a countdown. Figure out how many days you have left until your final deadline and break it up into smaller, more manageable goals. Share the whole timeline but emphasize the most immediate deadline. You can create a poster, write it on a whiteboard, or send an email with the subject “8 Days to Go!”
  • When items are checked off the list, show some appreciation. Send a nice note, give a high-five, or share a motivating quote. Recognition is always important, but this is the time of year that your team needs to feel like rockstars.

Light a Fire

Forgive the sports metaphor, but let’s be real—it’s halftime. If Hollywood has taught us anything, it’s that this is the point where the coach gathers the team and gives a heartfelt and inspiring speech, so the players are ready to get back out there, rally, conquer, and win the game. Taking this opportunity to give your yearbook staff motivation can carry your team to the finish line. If you’ve got the soul of a coach, just go for it:

  • Gather the committee into a tightly-knit group—preferably in a huddled circle. (You can even ask them to take a knee if you want to make an impact.)
  • Tell your committee what they’re going to do, who they’re going to do it for, and how they’re going to do it—together.
  • Instill confidence and pride, steal a few lines from Braveheart (or Independence Day, Knute Rockne, or what have you), and let them know what’s what.

If your inner Madden isn’t quite ready for his debut, you can always bring the pep through an alternative source. Share a famous halftime speech from Youtube, create an “Eye of the Tiger” playlist on Spotify, or reach out to a peer to motivate the team. Honestly, it’s the intention that counts—show them you care.

At the end of the day, you just need to get your team to shake out the cobwebs and get a fresh start. Your committee is amazing and they want to do great work; they just might need a little push to get things started again. Show them how far you’ve come and create an atmosphere that will produce the excellence you need in the coming months. Your yearbook deadlines will thank you.