Of course you know that team motivation is important, and you are always thinking about ways to improve motivation in your team. What is the best thing you’ve ever done to improve team motivation, and was it enough? How much time do you spend considering the different motivations of each team member?
Different things motivate differently
Different people get motivated by different things; in fact that sounds so obvious that it’s not even worth typing it. But my point is how much do you think about that simple statement when you think about your team’s motivation?
Heather and I have worked together for seven years now and in many ways we are similar; but when it comes to motivation we both work differently. I want continual feedback and data, a reward doesn’t really do it for me. Heather sets herself targets and gives herself a reward.
Both of us use a ‘Fitbit’ to track steps and help us to improve (or at least try and retain) our fitness. Some time ago mine stopped working, so I no longer had continual data on my activities. There was nothing to reinforce my habits, and they stopped.
After a while I realised that I was piling on weight and not exercising, as a result I become less productive at work. Eventually my brain kicked in! I got another one and then with the aid of a continuous data feed got back on the straight and narrow. I’ve lost 10 Kg this year and now am starting to feel much better. The data and keeping a positive record on my activity log was motivating to me. Heather chooses to set herself a target and reward herself.
What motivates your team?
My point is that if two people with many similarities, co-running a firm can have totally different motivations; what’s it like in a team of 5-6 (or more) people with different roles, skills, ages and backgrounds? If you are reading thins and thinking more about your own motivation, perhaps you should read “How can I improve my motivation?”
Team motivation tips
If your team get motivated by different things, it’s worth knowing and acting in different ways to different team members. How can you work on team motivation, without treating people so differently that they think it’s unfair? If at this point you are thinking about money being the best motivator, maybe you should read “The ugly truth about performance related pay“.
- Understand each person. Do you use your annual (or more regular) appraisals to think about what motivates each person? Have you asked the simple question, perhaps a variation on what can I do to help you feel more motivated at work.
- Smile and take micro action. Small, personalised and regular actions make a lot of difference. I don’t mean a daft grimace, can you take a minute every day to interact and show an interest in each team member?Can you afford not to take that time? I suspect that you prefer to be treated as an individual, and like it when somebody takes a real interest; how about your team?
- Clarity. Is each team member clear on what you want from them as a person? I don’t mean have you told them, have they told you what they’re doing?
- Feedback. Do you give them good feedback on what they do – both bad and the good things? Read “7-tips-to-give-better-staff-feedback“
- Consistency. Are you consistent in the way you deal with them?
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What would motivate your team and should you link it to performance or just apply it to each person?