Team leaders have a lot of responsibilities placed on their shoulders. They are the ones who are tasked with making sure a team works well and gets their goals accomplished. Many things are involved in that process, but is the task of motivating team members a part of a leader’s role? Or, is it something that the individuals themselves are responsible for? What do you think?
Before we answer that, lets start by defining what motivation is.
WHAT IS MOTIVATION?
The dictionary definition of motivation is “the act or an instance of motivating, or providing with a reason to act in a certain way”. What this means in simpler terms is that motivation is a force which causes someone to do something specific. It can be negative or positive.
Negative motivators are circumstances where something bad will happen if the person does not act in a specific way or accomplish something specific. Positive motivators are the opposite, where something beneficial will happen if the person does a certain thing.
Motivation comes in different forms for everyone. There is a high likelihood that everyone on a team is motivated by a different force to get their work done.
CAN LEADERS ACTUALLY MOTIVATE PEOPLE?
This brings us to an interesting place in the discussion. Are leaders actually capable of motivating people on their teams? There are differing opinions on this subject, but the most convincing argument is this: leaders cannot motivate team members. “All motivation is self motivation” is a common phrase passed around that proves true over and over again. The nature of motivation means that no one can actually make another person motivated.
HOWEVER, leaders aren’t off the hook just yet. Although a leader isn’t able to directly motivate someone, they can create the circumstances and the working environment that will promote self-motivation.
CREATING A MOTIVATING ENVIRONMENT
How can a leader create a teamwork environment that will be motivating to team members? Here are the things that are necessary if employees are going to get motivated:
1. Clear Goals
Without a clear end goal in mind, no team members will be able to become motivated. The only reason that people can work together is if they know they are all working to get somewhere. If there isn’t a clear and visible goal in sight for the team, there will be no cohesion and no motivation to work as a proper team.
2. Individually Understood Roles
Teammates need to know that they all have their own individual roles in the same team if they’re going to be working together. Roles that are ambiguous and unclear can be thought of as unnecessary. Employees cannot feel motivated if they don’t believe they are contributing to the team as a whole.
3. Build Better Relationships And Get To Know Them Better
Having a deeper understanding of how someone thinks and a better insight into that person and their background is key to creating a motivating environment. Knowing whether an individual is more inclined to be motivated by positive or negative motivators allows a leader to tailor his or her approach to get the best out of that individual.
4. Proper Compensation
Motivation isn’t only compensation, but without compensation that’s adequate it will be difficult for employees to feel like they are getting what they deserve for a job well done. If the compensation is not equal to the work being done, motivation will be hard to find.
Respect should be shown not only between employees and team leaders, but everyone on the team. This means that all team members should be showing each other respect. If a culture of respect isn’t present in your team and team members treat each other poorly they will start to lose all their motivation.
6. Create A Fun, Happy & Positive Culture
Create an environment where employees love coming to work because they enjoy the fun, happy and positive culture. Regular team building and social get-togethers will allow staff to bond on more of a personal level, thus creating deeper and more meaningful and positive working relationships.
Individual motivation is not the direct responsibility of a leader, but creating an environment in which employees can become motivated is absolutely part of being a leader.
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