Structuring teams

Small, medium or whopper; whatever (almost) your organisation size, teams will help engage your employees in your campaign.
Teams don't work as well if you have less than 20 participants altogether.

Here's 10 years of knowledge on structuring teams in 2 points:

1. Design your team structure

Structure your team however you choose, but know that existing bonds and communities can be powerful.  

Consider your overall project aims, your culture, and the size of your teams. Teams are often structured by department or location.

We recommend between 10 - 100 people per team and no more than 150 people, if possible.

If your team sizes vary, that's no problem. Our leaderboards can sort teams based on pledges or carbon per person, accounting for slight variability.

1. By location: innocent drinks pitted their offices against each other, with a champion in each office given responsibility for promoting their campaign locally.

2. By department: Hill + Knowlton Strategies split their staff into teams based on work teams, as this was where rivalry was strongest. Team champions could then share updates in their team meetings.

3. By team leader: SSE asked people to put themselves forward to be team leader - luckily each business unit was evenly represented. Everyone in the organisation was then invited to join the team of their choice.

For Universities: 
1. Halls of residence: Unite Students have been asking resident students to record pledges, with properties competing against each other city-by-city. It’s a great way to engage and influence first year students at a very formative time of their lives, helping them to form energy and waste saving habits that will stick.

2. Student societies: A team of students ran a hugely successful competition between sports clubs and societies at the University of Edinburgh. If engaging students is the aim, and you have strong links with student committees, this is the most effective route in.

3. Green Impact team:
 University College London integrated their pledge campaign into their Green Impact programme, with each GI team gathering pledges from their own colleagues and students. It supplemented their GI Workbook, giving everyone something to do, no matter how involved they were.

If you're a small organisation with less than 30 people, you may need to skip teams for now. 

We can offer more support and advice about team structures to Do Nation Plus subscribers. 

2. Recruit the best team leaders

People follow people; we are heavily influenced by who communicates information to us, so recruit wisely. You're looking for highly engaged team leaders who:

  • Are enthusiastic, care about sustainability, and love friendly competition 
  • Encourage people to share what they're doing and learning (internal comms channels like slack, yammer and teams are great for this)
  • Can customise their team's campaign page, if you give them editor rights.

You don't need senior people as team leaders, in fact - being a team leader is a brilliant opportunity to practice leadership skills and build internal networks. Having a little confidence and bags of enthusiasm is a great starting point. 

Team leaders are the champions for your programme. The more engaged they are, the more action happens!

One highly successful programme recruited team leaders by asking for volunteers. Volunteers just had to apply by saying why they cared, along with one thing they'd do to engage people.

The programme launched with 42 team leaders, made up of people from all levels and locations within the organisation. 

Employees were able to choose which team to be part of and team leaders could recruit people to their team. The power of competition drove record breaking engagement and made the programme fun and people-focussed. 
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