Team Motivation

Motivation plays an impeccably valuable role in any organization. It is a trait that should be instilled in every employee of an organization, despite their designation or responsibilities. Having stated that, it is imperative that senior management looks at ways of increasing team motivation within an organization.

Team structures may vary depending on the function in an organization that is assigned to a group of people to the mere fact of a group of people belonging to an organization.

Whatever the nature of the team formation is, it is important that such groups of people falling into one or more teams act in harmony and in line with an organization's ultimate goals.

Two Main Approaches for Team Motivation

1. Negative Team Motivation

On the outset you may feel that some managers really enjoy belittling employees and shouting at them all the time.

Such approach to motivation is guided by the fear factor principal and is a very primary approach; one that we know from our childhood. Therefore, the effects of such negative motivational techniques will surely be effective in short term as against the desired result of long term.

Some managers also tend to set unrealistic goals before their teams in hopes of getting team members to work harder and more effectively.

However, as this delusion takes its stance, employees will become understanding of the unrealistic nature of the goals and also will feel demotivated at the same time due to the lack of achievement orientation.

2. Positive Team Motivation

Since the primary approach of negative motivation techniques have not brought about effective results, more and more managers have now turned to positive motivational techniques.

Guiding a team's motivation based on positive reinforcement involves a few steps:

  • You will need to understand individual strengths and weaknesses and how these strengths and weaknesses affect the person and his/her team when operating within a team.

  • Building self-esteem of both the team and individuals.

  • Assigning value to each team member (e.g., seeking their opinion, sharing information and allowing their contribution to play a role in team decisions).

Dynamics of Team Motivation

1. Don't allow assumptions to rule

So you may evaluate an individual's strengths and weaknesses and may falsely conclude that this person will not function effectively within a team due to his/her personal traits.

But unless otherwise you put this person in a team environment and observe the team dynamics, you wouldn't definitely know the outcome. Therefore, the rule of the thumb for any manager is not to isolate their team members due to assumptions that you may hold.

2. Know that people are different

Secondly, it should be noted that people differ from one another. Therefore, when it comes to team motivation, the managers will need to do certain things to balance out negative effects.

You will be dealing with different personalities therefore, although there are set of rules by which a team operates, your diplomacy and flexibility in operation too will contribute to successful team motivation to be retained.

3. Don't isolate the black sheep

The third factor is not to isolate black sheep. Any family or any organization will have black sheep. These are radical individuals, who seek extra attention.

Therefore, rather than isolating these characters, you will need to be skillful enough to reassure a sense of belonging to such individuals. The truth of the matter is that once such individuals feel secured and important, they will become very loyal to his clan.

4. Understand the psychology behind things

A little bit of psychology goes a long way in motivating teams. You do not need to have studied psychology formally to understand the basic concepts.

However, it would come in handy if you have read about a couple of motivational theories and motivational factors that contribute to human dynamics. When you know underlying factors of a certain concept, you will be better able to address the issue.

5. Lead by example

If you are mentoring a team and if you are trying to build team spirit among the individuals, but if you are not a good spirited individual yourself, it will become extremely difficult for you to get your team to achieve a sense of identity as a team.

So a team should always have someone leading by example in order to become motivated sufficiently.

6. Work and fun equilibrium

And lastly but not in the very least, try to strike a balance between work and fun. Every team needs to engage in work and non-work related activities to build up their spirit.

Therefore, make sure that your team received plenty of opportunities to mingle with one another and share a good laughter. Little things go a long way in human dynamics and such spirits built over a cup of coffee will take your organization a long way at the end of the day.