8 Ways to Motivate Your Team


“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” Lou Holtz (American football coach)

Motivation is strongly connected with the abilities and the attitude of every member of the team. When used correctly, it becomes a powerful tool to determine the success of the project.

Here are 8 ways in which you can motivate (M-O-T-I-V-A-T-E) your team.

1. M = Maximize learning from mistakes
Even though you’ve made a small or a big mistake, you need to:

  • Take over control. Tell the truth, don’t put gasoline on fire! Don’t start to blame things or people. Also, don’t try to hire or pretend like everything is peachy.
  • Acknowledge that it happened. A successful project leader must admit that he/she was wrong.
  • Do things better. Fix the mistake and do whatever is needed to make it right as soon as possible.
  • Don’t make the same mistake twice. You cannot change the past, yet you can change the future. Learn from your mistakes.

2. O = Optimize growth opportunities
Offer the members of your team a work experience truly based on collaboration. Allow your project colleagues to shine within the company. Offer them opportunities, challenges and a space in which they are able to develop new abilities and reach their objectives. This way your team will become more efficient and people won’t be tempted to look for other work opportunities.

3. T = Train them
The three main subjects you need to take into account for team training are as follows:

  • Communication: diversity within project teams involves a variety of languages and customs;
  • Client service: continuous competition on the global market creates the demand for better understanding the needs of the customers;
  • Quality related initiatives: initiatives such as Total Quality Management or Quality Circles involve understanding the concepts, guides and quality standards and implementing them in order to obtain better products and services.

4. I = Invite decision-making
You must understand the way in which the decision making process happens within your team. Determine your weaknesses and craft a coalition of different styles of decision making within your team. This way people will be more involved and more motivated, because they know that their opinion is important and they can make a difference.

5. V = Validate the person
When you validate a person, you allow him or her to express his feelings or thoughts in a safe environment. This way you reassure the person that everything is alright and that he is free to have and express his/her feelings. Thus, you’re showing him/her that you respect his/her perception on things at a given moment. Therefore, the individual will feel like he has a voice, that someone listens to him/her, that he/she is understood and accepted.

6. A = Acknowledge performance through recognition
Write a thank you note to a member of the team for the extra work he/she put in the project. You can even send the note to his home. His/her family must also be aware that the extra work that employee has put in will make a difference in the project and the organization. After all, why not thank the entire family?

7. T = Treasure their successes
Identify the 3 success components…cherish and reward them. See if a member of your team is:

  • Positive and well-liked by most colleagues;
  • Having a sense of excellence without becoming complacent.
  • Devoted and involved while also putting in extra work even though he/she isn’t asked to.

8. E = Exhibit good ethics and core values
It is unacceptable to trample on everything only to reach a certain objective. Maintain the team relationships efficient, while also taking into account the win-win solutions.

Ultimately, the members of your project team are your most valuable assets. The success of a project depends 100% on motivating the employees that work to reach the same goal.

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