Provide motivation

Motivation is the behavior of an individual whose energy is selectively directed toward a goal. Performance is the result of having both the ability and motivation to do the task. Motivation influences team members to certain behavior. Motivation depends on satisfying the needs of the individuals. Traditionally, motivation equated to extrinsic rewards. Extrinsic rewards are compensation, promotion, and benefits. This aims at satisfying the basic needs of individuals for housing, food, and clothing. Today, people need to be motivated by a higher order of needs such as sense of belonging, feeling of accomplishment, improved self-esteem, and opportunities for personal growth. Teamwork, especially customer-driven teams, provides intrinsic rewards.

Rewards and recognition for individual and team performance is essential for teamwork. The intrinsic rewards are usually sufficient to start teams. Once a team is established, team members covet higher level intrinsic rewards. An example of a reward that is effective in today's environment at that stage is personal development workshops. During all the stages of team development, recognition is particularly effective to reinforce positive behavior. Praise and celebrations are necessary to maintain teamwork. Some examples of recognition include letters of appreciation, pizza party, coffee and donuts and public announcement. Particularly effective is a pat on the back with a "you did a good job" comment. In the early stages, extrinsic rewards have a short-term effect and they may be actually a negative motivator for long-term teamwork. Extrinsic rewards are important for long-term teamwork, but they must be appropriate for the desired outcomes. Before any rewards are instituted, they must be thoroughly analyzed to ensure fairness to everyone.

Besides rewards and recognition, the team can provide motivation to team members. The following are some specific actions the team can use to motivate team members:

■ Make clear that goal is shared.

■ Orient, develop, and integrate team members.

■ Institute internal team rewards and recognition.

■ Value individual contributions.

■ Avoid frequent changes of team members.

■ Take time to develop relationships.

■ Encourage sense of belonging.

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