How to keep a Support Team motivated - Guest Blog

By Philipp Thei├čler

A fully functional team is of the highest priority for me. The question here is, “How do you keep a team, constantly confronted with problems, motivated?”

I want to give you a little insight on how I try to keep my team motivated and the measures and tools I use to do so.

We get questions from angry users very often. We then attempt to review these in our daily stand-up meetings or share it with our team on Slack. One could say- a shared problem is a problem halved.

We also get a ton of positive feedback. We are always eager to share this with our team and on our Happiness TV.

Happiness TV

The Happiness Tv is located right in our office. The content shown has been created by myself and my colleagues.

It will display positive reviews from our users, funny passages from tickets, motivational quotes and graphics, our company values, company as well as team goals, reminders for special events, our vision, and rankings of the recent C.B.F.

Which brings me to another measure I take to keep my team motivated. The agent with the most positive versus negative reviews on his/her tickets will become the C.B.F. (Customers Best Friend). Every Wednesday there are celebratory nominations with a video on the Happiness TV.

An example slide for the happiness TV.

Special Events & Reminder

To promote team spirit, several special events were established:

  • Sweatpants Thursday-On this day the team is not only allowed, but expected to show up in really comfortable pants. The style factor is still very high on this day.
  • Push-ups Thursday- On this day, we do as many pushups as we can at 8 am and then at 9 am. We use the Runtastic Push-Up App to do this. This forces awareness about our apps and we make use of it and get some exercise for the day.
  • Deutschdienstag- On this day, we try to talk exclusively in German, since the language of the company is English. Our company is located in Austria, so even though we regularly speak German, we motivate our internationals to speak more German on this day.

Reminders of the events mentioned above are displayed on the Happiness TV.

An example for a weekly event reminder.


Fun at work? Sounds too good to be true. Not around here though.

In our achievement/ reward system, the agents get points for different performed actions. Points are given for positive user ratings or editing special tickets etc. The agents receive badges for their good work based on these points. In addition to that, these points can be used as a ‘currency’ for goodies in the integrated reward store in Zendesk.

Agents can buy rewards with their points.


On a big whiteboard in our office next to the Sprint overview from my more technical colleagues, there are many loving and motivating pointers, inclusive of a Sock Wars Leaderboard. Yep! Sock wars! Every morning we cast our votes on the Slack polls to select the employee wearing the coolest socks. We hashtag the funniest statements and situations, as well as the quotes from us or quotes stolen from the interwebs.

There's a mood barometer showing the current status of the agents in the office. We also have a fun corner where we stick postcards, letters, and memes. Lastly, we have developed a Translation wall given that our team is so diverse. The most frequently used words from different languages are translated and placed on the wall.

The Runtastic Christmas invite.

Team first

All of these measures and tools would, however, be worthless without the special team spirit burning in all of us. I am always thinking about new ways to bring my team together with group activities that strengthen team spirit. As part of a DONI*, the word "HAPPINESS" is written in a very special way on the white wall of our new office. It is filled with tiny details, inside jokes, and words that describe us to create an artwork.

*"It (DONI) is the Day Of New Ideas – or as we lovingly call it, our DONI. On this special day the whole company presses pause on their regular activities and routines to collaborate on exploring new ideas, creating something new or improving something already in existence.", People Management Team Runtastic

Once every quarter we also do a team event where we leave the work at home and try to eat together in a relaxed atmosphere. This way, we get to know each other better, which proves to be helpful in day to day business.

A fun portrait of the Runtastic happiness team.


A job must be fulfilling and demanding at the same time. That is the only way it stays exciting, challenging and ultimately interesting. If you are only interested in "assembly line work" with technical support, then I'm sorry to disappoint you. I attach great importance to transferring responsibility to my team.  Everyone has another area of responsibility besides the processing of tickets. They are also responsible for various apps and services. Responsibilities include direct contact and reporting to our product managers or creating Help Center content. This varies the work routine eliminates monotony and motivates the agents.

Talent Pool Happiness Team

I would like to emphasize that hard work, extraordinary cohesion, contagious motivation, knowledge of processes in the company and the interdepartmental cooperation helps my team to stand out. They are often sought after for different positions internally. The Customer Happiness Team of the HR Department is called a talent pool and this makes me incredibly proud and shows that it pays to invest in the motivation of your employees.

Finally, I would like to mention that in a day-to-day job filled with many challenges, criticism, and complaints, the right attitude as a team, honest cohesion, and a good dose of motivation is key to success. Only then, will you feel satisfied at the end of the day and go home with a smile on your face.



About Philipp Theißler

Philipp Theissler is Head of Customer Happiness at Runtastic and convinced that when leading teams, you can think

outside the box and resort to unconventional means to form a motivated team.


Philipp Theißler, Head of the Customer Happiness Team at Runtastic




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