As a parent of two sons, manager of ITCE, project manager of large international projects and course instructor, for nearly 20 years I experiment with the variety of approaches to engage people in learning, work and projects. Here are some tips for team motivation that I share from my experience:
The psychology as a science proves concepts of motivation that business ignore and is too passive to accept. One of the books that give me many answers and ideas is “Why we do what we do” by Edward Decius, 1996. The author describes experiments that prove that money doesn’t stimulate or motivate, but can negatively affect our desire to work. However, massive companies today still continue to call remuneration schemes as motivational.
Get off the high position.
You are not an instructor, project manager or parent in order to control. Your responsibility is to create an environment in which people in your position are eager to work or study.
Think about the people’s competences.
People feel happy at their work, if they are strong and competent in what they do. Accept the fact that people are different, with different strengths, interests and competencies and allow them to choose the role and the projects in which to participate. Provide time for learning and mentor, if their role requires higher level of competence.
Give feedback to people.
People naturally seek to improve themselves and develop their skills and knowledge. Positive and negative feedback give insight on how they progress. It is important not to do it by the way or quickly. It is the quality of feedback that is crucial. Open all feedback options in the project – from the client to the team. Rituals such as periodical demo to the client and retrospective lessons learned for the team are very valuable.
Stop with the control.
Do not be deceived by the fact that the people themselves declare that they want someone to tell them what to do and hang over their head. Help them develop their own identity and independence by giving them more freedom and responsibilities.
Reduce rules and restrictions.
Freedom is a very important factor for motivation. Recently, at ITCE we removed the working time as an unnecessary rule. We are focusing on the quality of planning, limitation of the open projects and tasks and structured documentation as basic rules that provide the necessary structure of the work.
Give people the right to make decisions within their roles.
Let them just consult with experts and those who are affected by their decisions without seeking formal approval. For example, let the team plan the work alone and decide how to carry it out. This will make them feel the projects as their own and will bring satisfaction and happiness at work.
In conclusion, I share that beside my long experience, I still continue to develop my own motivation and to experiment with different practices and rituals, and I advise you to do the same at home and in the office.
Nina is a highly qualified consultant and leader with more than 20 years of experience in leading highly complex projects and transformations. Nina is a well-known name in the field of Agile, Business Analysis, Enterprise Architecture and IT Service Management.