Motivation is defined as the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way. When the energy, knowledge, and skills of a motivated group of people are combined, it creates an effective atmosphere where almost anything can be accomplished. Yet, a team’s motivation can rise or fall depending on a myriad of factors.
5 tips to motivate your team:
– Time and time again, people explain that their most successful and rewarding team experiences have always included a clear purpose, focus, or mission. Furthermore, many people have noted that their long-term motivation stems from an overall team purpose or mission that aligns with their personal wants and needs.
– Key: A team’s purpose needs to be in line with the team member’s wants and needs.
– Strategy: Throughout a team project, periodically check back over the original purpose or mission to see if it still aligns with the team member’s wants and needs.
– When presented with a challenge, our defenses are automatically alerted to move to action. Many people claim that their most rewarding team experiences resulted from some sort of challenge.
– Key: Team’s need to be periodically presented with stimulating challenges.
– Strategy: Make sure to present challenges that are not too easy or seemingly impossible. Challenges can create high levels of motivation if done right.
• Worries about the future
• Self-doubt about their own abilities
• Excessive concern about the abilities of a team member
• A lack of confidence that life always works out for the best
– People who are a part of the same team and genuinely like each other, work hard to develop and maintain their relationships. On the other hand, when team members dislike each other, it often relates to a lack in understanding the other person or people.
– Key: Team relationship building is extremely important for motivation because it creates open and direct communication, frequent praising of each others contributions, and mutual support.
– Strategy: Expand team members understanding of each other by designing an off-site bonding activity.
– In general, people and teams are motivated by being given responsibility
– Key: Teams that have been given both responsibility and authority tend to maintain motivation over longer periods of time.
– Strategy: Allow teams to work up to more responsibility and authority. Yet, keep in mind that responsibility can be demotivating if the consequences of error or failure are too great.
Warning: Signs that your team is lacking motivation
• Difficulty maintaining momentum and focus
• Increasingly short-tempered, demanding, and/or quick to take offense
• Engaging in meaningless conflict
• Quickly blaming other team members
– Personal and team growth is another basis for sustained motivation.
– Key: When people feel that they are moving forward, learning new concepts, adding to their skill-base, and/or stretching their minds, motivation tends to remain high. Personal growth adds value to the individual, enhancing self-esteem and self-worth.
– Strategy: Team leaders should look for opportunities that help add knowledge and skills.
When a team member is being difficult, it’s tempting to put blame on that individual and penalize them. Yet, it proves far more productive to take their negativity as a sign that they are in need of some serious motivational improvement.