In this article we will see a summary of how to motivate a work team , taking into account tools from work psychology to answer this question. In addition, we will review the concept of work motivation.

What is work motivation?

Before we look at how to motivate a team, let’s look at the key concepts.

Motivation refers to the personal component that is the cause of mobilization in a person to achieve certain objectives.

When we refer to work motivation, we are talking about all those components that motivate the subject to perform his work satisfactorily. When it comes to work groups, this motivation must be collective, and focused on all the members of the team who cooperate with each other.

The idea is that all the subjects that are part of the work team are oriented to fulfill their assignments in a way that is adequate for the interests of the organization as a whole.

There are two sources of motivation, which are internal and external . Internal motivation is everything that originates from the person’s desire to satisfy a personal desire; for example, learning a profession in a real working environment.

External motivation, on the other hand, is motivated by an objective interest. In other words, the subject is motivated by what he or she will receive in return after completing his or her tasks; this could be an improvement in salary, a bonus, etc.

How to motivate a team at work

Now we will see a list of the best techniques and advice on how to motivate groups according to organizational and work psychology; the order in which they are found does not determine their effectiveness.

1. Good leadership

In order to achieve a good performance by the members of a group it is important that their leader does not focus only on the direction of the project, but that he or she is also able to work with the human component of each of the participants of the team.

A good leader does not only demand results from his workers, but also takes care that their needs are covered , as well as taking into account the different personal motivations of each of them.

2. Good incentives

An improvement in salary or some occasional bonus are not enough to encourage the team to give the best of themselves , these are only short term motivations. With them alone, after a while their effects end up being diluted, and the team members will feel uncomfortable or dissatisfied again.

The best work incentives are to provide workers with an optimal work environment for their daily performance, where they do not feel too much pressure or discomfort regarding their work situation. In addition, it is necessary to clearly define each team member’s role.

3. Preventing mobbing

Harassment at work is one of the main causes of workers’ frustration and decreases their productivity and satisfaction. We must be attentive to this situation within our working groups, so that no one is allowed to suffer from it .

4. Extra-labor programs

These types of initiatives are aimed at providing workers with knowledge and tools that improve their quality of life in general terms , and consequently their performance in terms of work will also be increased.

For example, some extra-labor programs could be; emotional management workshops, talks on assertive communication at work, implement the practice of some sport discipline among the members of the work team, etc.

5. Provide information to the team

The more the team feels involved in the project work, the more likely it is that they will perform better with respect to each other’s activities in their respective areas of action. The leader should make sure that he or she provides enough information to his or her workers to make them feel included and aware of what is going on .

6. Recognizing effort

Every good employee likes to have their efforts recognized. Simply letting employees know that they are doing well at a given time will help them feel that their effort is worthwhile.

7. Creating involved leaderships

A fairly common mistake among working group leaders is to think that it is enough to give the necessary indications for the working group to do the rest; nothing is more counterproductive than this for the motivation of staff members.

A good leader not only says what needs to be done, but also participates actively in the process of carrying out the activities . He shows the workers that he is also one of them and teaches by example.

8. Moderate rotations

No team member will like having to go through constant adaptation processes; that is why you should be careful when implementing rotations as a working method for your project. If you abuse this resource you might notice discouragement in your group.

The ideal is to create stable groups where each member of that department feels secure in his or her position and does not have the uncertainty that at any moment he or she will have to take his or her things and change places.

Bibliographic references:

  • Rodríguez Fernández, A. (2004). Psychology of organizations (1. ed. edition). Barcelona: Editorial UOC.