10 Ways to Motivate Your Team

The most seasoned leaders can struggle motivating their teams. Millennials have been the recent target of many articles, defined as a great mystery to motivate. Each generation has thought that the up and coming generation is difficult to motivate, so this is not a new issue. Motivating people is difficult! The greatest challenge involves the variety of motivations in existence and learning how each individual is motivated. This article is the second on this topic, read the first here, for I continue to be asked about motivation!

My toddler continues to befuddle me. How can I motivate him to pick up his toys,or stop biting his brother? In my frustrated moments I speak firmly to him, hoping for him to change, though I’ve tried it a hundred times before. Why do humans continue to try the same methods even when they failed time and time again? The answer is simply, we treat others based upon two experiences: how we would like to be treated, or how others have treated us in the situation. The problem is people respond to different motivators. What would happen if I thought for a moment on what motivated by son?

Two of the most common motivators over the years are money and prestige. Pay someone enough and they will stay, or give them enough accolades to feel valuable. For some people this works, but for a majority it does not. Below is a list of motivators found when working with others that may give you insight on how to motivate those on your team.

  1. Money – Financial success can be a powerful motivator for some people. This takes the form of salary, bonus structure, incentives, and the like. Many people will put up with much discomfort for money, though it can cost them in other aspects of life such as emotional health or time with family and friends.
  2. Recognition – Everyone appreciates a pat on the back from a leader, while for some it means the world! Recognition in front of others in a department or yearly meeting communicates sincerity for it’s communicated in front of others.
  3. Impact – Some people desire the chance to make an impact with a product or customer. Data analysis fills an important part of business today. For some this can be challenging if they are motivated by making direct, visible impact.
  4. Fun – Some people can sit in a cubicle or office pumping out work for 9 hours straight to feel satisfied. Others needs to enjoy the environment of work. A great example is Apple or Google with ping-pong tables and beautiful gardens to walk. Or company sponsored lunches, happy hours, or simply having a meeting on a walk.
  5. Altruism – Many enjoy making a difference in others’ lives, are social justice minded, and genuinely care about others. These people love organizing clothing drives or community projects to help their city.
  6. Teamwork – Working alongside others drains some people and fills others. Does a team member thrive when collaborating with others, or move at a snail’s pace when alone behind a computer?
  7. Values – Some companies pride themselves in their corporate identity, living out core values the public see daily. Certain individuals enjoy being part of an organization greater than themselves, standing behind the values they live.
  8. Security – Structured, stable, and predictable work environments are foundational for these folks. They value clear role distinctions and expectations, and they regularly meet set expectations. These people thrive on a consistent work and a steady paycheck.
  9. Client Experience – Is our customer having a great experience? Are we answering all their questions and anticipating their needs? These individuals focus intently on the satisfaction of their clients, seeing their happiness priority number one.
  10. Product Quality – The belief that the product is the best product on the market, with the most research, technology, and parts available is important to this group. An extremely high standard for their products is the hallmark trait for these people.

Understanding the ten types seems straight forward. Learning to look for them in others is the challenge. This list is based off the Motives, Values, and Preferences Inventory (MVPI) by Hogan Assessments. If you struggle to know how your team or a certain inventory receives motivation, take a look at this article to learn how. If you’re interested in support to better motivate your team, send me an email.

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