What motivates my team?
Throughout my experience in the HR area, I have been able to observe that the day-to-day of organizations prevents them from generating spaces in work teams, to be able to dialogue and inquire about the motivations of each of the people who are part of organizations.
Motivation is what drives an individual to act, according to Richard Ryan and Edward Deci, they mention that behind the decisions of each person there is a motivation that has no external influence. This is called intrinsic motivation and it refers to doing an activity by itself because it is interesting and generates satisfaction. We must take this into account in our daily work with our teams to get the most out of them.
Due to the current situation in which we live, in our company we decided to work in “home office” mode, that is, we stopped going to the offices and started working from home. This occurred throughout 2020 and our style and way of working changed, from being face-to-face, from having meetings in-person to having to communicate only by phone and videoconferences, leaving behind the personal contact that we always had. In addition to this, our workload increased, which meant that our time was devoted entirely to labor issues, neglecting the personal part.
My work team is made up of 10 people in total. We are in the service industry and handle all processes related to personnel, including hiring, selection, training, development, organizational communication, and employee welfare. In recent months the work meetings were constant but we spent little time talking about personal issues or simply sharing without talking about work. It is for this reason that I decided to share with my team, a Management 3.0 practice called Moving Motivators:
Moving Motivators: A Management 3.0 Game
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The objective of this practice is to know what are the main intrinsic motivations of people so that we can take them into account in day-to-day work and always try to influence them positively.
The dynamic consists of sharing with the participants the 10 cards that this practice gives you, with the intrinsic motivators, and the participants must order them according to their importance to them. We started the meeting remotely with my work team, using a collaborative tool, and followed the following sequence:
- I explained what the practice consisted of and they were given a total of 30 minutes to develop it.
- I asked each of them to order the cards with the 10 motivators, placing them from the most important on the left side to the least important on the right side.
- Then they had to share each one, about which were their 03 main motivators and the last one.
- I asked them to think about the last 02 weeks, to put the motivators that had been positively influenced above the line; those with no influence were placed above the line and those with a negative influence were placed below the line.
- In the first three, they had to write activities or actions that they could take this week to make a positive difference.
During the process I was able to appreciate the openness on the part of all the participants, this is largely because there is a very good relationship in the team and everyone was interested in the development of the activity, listening carefully to what each one had to say.
As a facilitator, I learned that the information that can be obtained when each one shares with the rest of the team is very rich. Therefore it is important to spend a few extra minutes for each team member to explain their motivations. Also, do not interrupt them and let each one feel the freedom to share.
The main lessons learned by the team were:
- Despite having known each other for a long time, we did not know what motivated each of us.
- Motivations can change over time and especially at this time where we undergo increasingly rapid changes, so this practice can be reviewed periodically.
- It is important to place action plans to positively influence motivation. That makes it more real.
- For me as a team leader, it helped me understand what is important to each member of the team and that led me to take individual actions with each one to help them and positively influence their motivators.
My next experiments with this practice will be:
- Have a file shared with the entire team where the actions proposed by each team member appear and review them weekly.
- After a defined time together with the team, we will review the order of the motivators to see if they remain the same or one of them has changed priority. Then we would compare them to the original order.
For the next facilitation, I would go over the meaning of each motivator with all participants, to make sure it is clear to them and there are no doubts.
In subsequent meetings with my work team, the actions with each team member and their compliance were reviewed.
As a leader, I was able to rethink our plans and projects with each member of the team considering their motivation.
As a team, we were able to find a new space that we hadn’t spent time in. This allowed our relationship to become even stronger and we can continue the personal conversations that are always important.
One piece of advice I can give is that many times we think that we know the members of our teams, either because we are in contact with them all day or because we have been working with them for a long time. I invite you to ask if we know what concerns you have, the motivations that you shared with us at some point, remain the same, or have changed.
I invite you to be encouraged to carry out this practice of “Moving Motivators”, let us remember that nothing better than dedicating spaces to listen to our teams and not only for labor issues, they will thank us and we will also strengthen ourselves as leaders.