Motivation Articles

SparkTeam Leader FAQs

Tools to Make the Most of Your Team Experience

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Congratulations on starting a SparkTeam! As a SparkTeam leader, there are lots of ways you can customize your SparkTeam page.

How do I set Team goals?
Under the Message Board forums on your Team page, you'll see a section for Team Goals. To create goals for your Team members to join and track, click the ''Add/Edit Team Goals'' button in the bottom  left corner. Then click the ''Add a New Team Goal''  button and follow the steps to create a goal for your Team. There is a limit of five goals per Team. Goals can be related to nutrition, fitness, overall health, or something specific to the purpose of your Team. If you want the Team Goals section of your page to show a progress bar, showing how your Team is doing, you must enter a Target Number when creating your Team goal; otherwise, your goal will not have a progress bar next to it (an optional feature).

How do I make a Team Announcement?
Only Team Leaders can make announcements, which will be listed at the top of the Team wall for 48 hours.. You can make announcements to let your Team know about new challenges, goals, or anything else that's relevant to your Team. To  post an announcement, type your message on the team wall, check the box for ''This is a Team Announcement,'' then click ''Post Now.''

How do I select sticky topics?
You can make up to three threads in each of your Team’s forums ''sticky,'' which means they will stay at the top of the forums. For example, if you have a thread in your Introduce Yourself Team Forum for new members to say where they are from, you might want that to stay at the top so it’s the first thing they see as they look at the threads in that forum. To select your sticky threads, click on the name of the thread you want to be sticky. Below it, you'll see links that say ''Make this the 1st (2nd or 3rd) sticky topic.'' Click on any of the appropriate links to make it sticky! You can ''un-stick'' a topic too, if you choose. To do that, click on the sticky thread. At the top, next to the ''Sticky Topic'' icon, you'll see a  link that says ''Remove Sticky.'' Click there to remove any sticky topic.

How do I appoint another leader, change leadership to someone else, or remove myself as a leader?
You can send an email to another member, requesting that they become a co-leader or take over leadership of your SparkTeam. To do this, go to your SparkTeam page and click on the dropdown box - on the right side labeled ''Team Leader Actions.''  Select ''Add/Remove Leaders'' from there.  You'll see options with detailed instructions to choose one of three options: change the leadership of your Team, request a co-leader, or remove yourself as Team leader.

How do I send an automatic welcome to new Team members?
As a Team administrator, you have the option to create a welcome SparkMail that each member will receive when they join the Team. To use this feature, click on ''Edit This Team''  on the right side of your Team page and scroll to the bottom. This is a good opportunity to welcome people to the Team, explain how the Team is organized and where they should post, and share any other important Team information. Each SparkMail will have the same title (''Welcome to the SparkTeam - ____ Team!''), but you are free to personalize the body of the message to meet your Team's needs. Please be aware that each Team leader has the ability to send a welcome SparkMail, so you'll want to make sure you aren't duplicating information or sending too many messages (if your Team has multiple leaders).

How do I send a mass SparkMail?
As a Team administrator, you have the option of sending a mass SparkMail to your entire team to announce new challenges, updates, changes or reminders. To use this feature, go to your SparkTeam page and click on the dropdown box  on the right side labeled ''Team Leader Actions.''  Select ''Send Message to Team.'' Carefully consider how many SparkMails you send to your Team, since Team members might not be happy to receive large volumes of messages. We recommend putting the name of your Team in the title of the SparkMail, since it does not automatically designate that the message is related to a specific Team.

How do I keep up with new posts and new members?
To keep all Team members up-to-date on the activity of your Team, we have added a few features. On your ''My SparkTeams'' page, all of your Teams are listed, along with checkboxes next to each one. Here you (and all Team members) can select the option to receive an email when a new topic is created in your Team's forum and/or when a new member joins the Team.

How do I create a Team URL?
You can create a unique URL (web address) for your SparkTeam. Instead of typing a long address for people to check out your team, you could shorten it to an easy word or phrase. For example, if you had a SparkTeam for coffee lovers, you could create the URL http://teams.sparkpeople.com/coffeelovers. To change your Team's URL, go to your team page and click ''Edit This Team''. At the bottom of the page you’ll see where to change your URL. (In our example, you would just input ''coffeelovers'' into the box labeled ''SparkTeam URL''.)

How do I link our Team image to a webpage?
The team administrator has the ability to link the main team image to any webpage. Some ideas of where to link are a relevant article on SparkPeople, or any other webpage that supports or connects your team. To use this feature login to your SparkPeople account and visit the team of which you are the administrator. Below your team's picture you'll notice a text box that allows you to enter any web address. Enter your selected URL and the hit ''update URL'' button, now all visitors to your team can follow that link wherever you point them.

How do I delete posts or inactive members?
Leaders cannot remove posts. As threads become inactive or new threads or started, older threads will drop down to the bottom of your Team's forum. Hopefully the threads you want members to see will stay at the top because they are active, or because you have made them sticky posts. Leaders also cannot remove members from their team.

How can I utilize our SparkTeam forums?
Even if you aren't an active message board user, your Team forum is the most effective way to communicate with your Team members. Your Team has 2 default forums:  General Discussion and Introduce Yourself.  You can also create up to 3 additional forums to meet your Team's needs (such as Weekly Challenges).  Start your Team's conversation by visiting your SparkTeam page and clicking on one of your Team forums, then click the ''Create a New Topic'' button. You can create a new topic about anything, but starting with a ''Tell us where you're from!'' thread is one example of how your Team members can get to know one another.

How do I start a challenge?
Is your Team ready to work together to meet a healthy goal? If so, consider starting a challenge for weight loss, nutrition, consistent exercise, or more. These challenges encourage Team members to participate  and record their results in a Challenge thread that you'll create in the Team forum. Consider making your Challenge topic ''sticky'' as long as it lasts, and pick a time frame, whether general or leading up to a special event.

Thanks for being an active part of the SparkPeople Community! We hope you enjoy and take advantage of these SparkTeam features.

*Please note: Teams with no Message Board activity for at least 90 days will have an ''Inactive Team'' notice posted at the top of the Team page. To keep your Team active, members must be posting in the Team forums. 

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Member Comments

  • Thank you for this information.
  • I don't have a problem with not being able to remove people from my team that actually have a SparkPeople persona, but I have members listed that cannot even be found. Is it possible to remove those?
  • Where can I find the best image size to use for the team image?
  • It would be great if team leaders could delete posts and/or change the name of threads!
  • How do I spread the word about my team and raise awareness about my cause?
  • For those that left comments about 'team leaders should be able to remove people because. . '
    Just because someone doesn't blog does not mean that they aren't getting inspiration from reading other people's entries, this is after all a site to "inspire" people to lose weight, like themselves more, exercise etc. if u don't want someone reading your stuff, don't post it on virtual media, write it down in book for yourself.
  • Very good information...
  • GOLDDUSTTWIN
    Also how do we make a team goal....defined?
  • GOLDDUSTTWIN
    Since this is FAQ....I didnt see an answer to my question & hope someone can steer me in the right direction.
    I became leader of a team that had been leaderless for a year. I have worked on this team and added many items of interest. My question is how do I change the Team Digest content which shows under NEW TEAM POSTINGS the same link, announcement, etc that were there a year ago...in other words...how do I add a new link to the Team Digest and add photos here and announcements? I see the previous leaders posted the ones showing and our only show up if you click the link : See More Team Postings. Our current postings should be showing under New Team Postings NOT those that were posted almost 2 years ago . Thank you for the help or for steering me in the right direction to get it.
  • I totally agree that a team leader should have the right to delete/remove a team member. This is especially true on "private" teams!!
    By not having that right...it can make for an uncomfortable situation for other members.

    Team Leaders of "Private" teams should also have the right to delete the team entirely. There are times when a small private team has only a few members who are also part of a larger team.....this makes posting redundant...and hence the private team with a few members no longer is used and should be deleted!!
  • I think the team leader should be able to remove someone from the team. For example having someone on the team that is just lurking or watching what others are posting and never contributing makes the rest of the team feel unsettled. Especially on a private team.
  • LINDA67241
    I think that any member who has not blog for at least 30 days, should be removed from the team.

    I myself think that it is of no value to see a team that says it has 500 members and half of those members haven't been on SPARKS for 90 days or more.


    Sparks should have a way to send a team member a e-mail automatically saying "you have not posted in x amount of days. Please be aware that you will be removed from a the team you have not blogged on. If you wish to re-enlist to that team, you can do so.

    This is just my thoughts....
  • I've been thinking about starting my own team, to help me be more accountable to my own goals as well as to help others. Thanks for the info.
  • Interesting the idea of being a Team Leader... Hmmmmm..... dare I picture this? Leadership is always something I flirt with but never dance with. Well, time will tell.
  • Thank you so much for this information. I was just about to write the SP Community Team regarding several of the matters brought up in this article.