Understanding Motivation: 4 Effective Ways to Motivate Your Team

Oct 18, 2023

As a project manager, you may encounter team members who are skilled but unable to contribute effectively to the project. The probable cause? Lack of motivation!
The Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace: 2022 Report estimates that disengaged workers cost the globe $7.8 trillion in lost productivity, or 11% of global GDP. Employee motivation —the drive, enthusiasm, commitment, and creativity that an employee brings to their job— directly affects productivity. Motivated employees can perform 20% better and deliver quality work consistently.
Motivation is a critical success factor, and its importance can’t be overstated. A motivated team is better at collaboration and adapting to change. However, keeping your team motivated is often a tricky task. Understanding the importance of individualism and realizing that a manager cannot use a “one size fits all” approach to motivate the team is crucial. Taking the time to identify the motivators for each individual will aid in creating a personalized approach to motivation for the team. This blog explores the various motivation theories for effectively motivation your team.

Understanding what motivates people

The various motivation theories outlined below help us understand the factors that drive motivation.

McGregor’s Theory X & Theory Y:

  • Theory X & Y stipulates that there are two types of management styles. Managers who use Theory X of motivation tend to believe that their team members lack ambition and want to avoid work at all costs, which leads them to implement an “Authoritarian” and hands-on approach. These managers keep a tight rein and use rewards or punishments as motivation.
  • On the other hand, managers who believe in Theory Y view the team members in a much more positive light and think they are intrinsically motivated, enjoy their work, and want to excel. Thus, Theory Y managers implement a more participative approach to management.
  • It is crucial to assess which category your team members fall into and tailor your approach accordingly. Understanding when to use a “hands-on” approach and when to take a back seat would depend on the situation and the type of team you are working with.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs:

  • According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, our behavior and actions are dictated by our physiological and physiological needs. Maslow categorized them into two types – Deficiency and Growth needs- and believed these needs play a major role in motivation.
  • Maslow suggested that people want to be self-actualized (reach their ultimate potential). However, a person will only attempt to strive for those advanced needs if their basic needs are met. Organizations can use this theory of motivation to their benefit by ensuring that their employee’s basic needs are fulfilled, and teams are motivated to be the best version of themselves and work towards bigger goals.

Herzberg’s Hygiene Motivation Theory

  • Frederick Herzberg worked with 200 engineers and accountants to understand employee attitudes and the drivers of those attitudes. Based on his research, he postulated that human needs are classified into two categories, i.e., Hygiene needs (company’s policies, your co-workers, your supervision, pay, and benefits) and Motivation needs (sense of achievement, recognition, nature of work, responsibility, advancement, and growth).
  • The absence of hygiene factors leads to demotivation, but their presence does not ensure motivation. For a team to stay motivated, the organization must focus on the motivating factors to improve job satisfaction and align the team with the organizational objectives.

McClelland’s Theory of Motivation

David McClelland studied the way motivation works and identified three types of motivation needs:

  1. Need for Achievement – Desire to excel and achieve success
  2. Need for Affiliation – Desire to be liked and establish interpersonal relationships
  3. Need for Power – Desire to influence or control others

Success looks different for everyone. Understanding your team’s views on success allows managers to create a high-performing, motivated team. As a Leader, you must enable teams to do their best work and provide growth opportunities. We can inspire teams to achieve great things by using a variety of motivating factors and remaining flexible in our approach to motivation.

At iQuasar, we use the following motivators to keep the team engaged:

  • Align the team members with the company’s vision and mission and create a sense of purpose within the TMs, inspiring them to work with passion.
  • Regularly acknowledge and recognize team members’ contributions, reinforcing their value in fulfilling company objectives.
  • Provide an inclusive culture with an emphasis on collaboration and progress.
  • Enable team members to visualize their growth and provide avenues for continuous skill development.

A team’s motivation journey is an ongoing process, and combining theory and action paves the way for improved individual performance and helps us create a vibrant environment where each team member is encouraged to give their all.

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