Team Motivation: Encouraging self-improvement

A corporate team that goes the extra mile for its employer. A motivated team, one of whose creeds is to surpass oneself. Surpassing oneself as a source of team motivation. Do you dream of it? This article explains how to proceed as a good entrepreneurial manager.

This article is the second in a series devoted to the motivation of a team in a company.

A great source of motivation consists in encouraging the team to surpass itself. In other words, encourage the transcendence of the personnel that make up your company.

Let’s face it (remember your life before): transcending or surpassing yourself on behalf of a company is not a given. It must be recognized that an employee generally has his or her own sources of fulfilment outside the company: the culture of our company does not favour fulfilment through work. All the more so since we are talking about motivating people whose remuneration is free or almost free of charge.

Sharing: the key to helping a team to surpass its limits

Sharing knowledge, sharing experience, sharing individual and collective successes, sharing what binds team members together, sharing added value… it’s sharing that encourages team members to surpass themselves.

Two elements make me write that surpassing oneself depends on sharing:

The company is a system of which the team is a part…

The team is part of the company system. Each workstation allows the system to function and evolve. Each work center is dependent on another work center. The components of the company system are interdependent:

When a salesman in a masonry company increases his sales by 10%, the workload of both masons potentially increases by 10%. The workload in accounting/invoicing increases relatively also by 10%. And so on and so forth. The reverse is theoretically also true if the sales of the salesman would decrease by -10%.

In the same company, if one of the two bricklayers was arrested for 1 week, the workload of the second bricklayer would theoretically increase by 100%. But this is not possible. This stoppage therefore also has an effect on the salesman: in order for the system to continue to function, he will be asked to shift the dates for the completion of the work to take into account the absence of one of the two masons for one week.

With this reasoning, we consider that each workstation has the same value as another. If a receptionist receives badly or is absent, this means less work for the salespeople. So less work for those who produce the products and services. And so on and so forth.

Anyone who wants to progress in their work

It goes from the operator to the manager. Every person wants to grow intimately at work. Even if they don’t say so openly. It’s not necessarily a question of eventually changing jobs, but of making the job more complex or moving it in a direction that the person likes.

The manager has two choices in this regard: either he or she locks each person into their position and the team will eventually be torn between each person’s frustrated egos. This will ultimately destabilize the system. And it will be very complicated to put things back in order. Either he considers these desires for evolution in his projects, and integrates them into the evolution of the organization system. As a result, the evolution of the system will be coherent and consistent.

Which brings back to team motivation by encouraging the surpassing of oneself…

Share with the team to identify sources of exceedance

Beyond the objective information we have about a person (CV, etc…) it is necessary to listen to him/her to identify in which fields this person wishes to evolve. What he would like to do, what he would like to do.

You, you know what you want to do with your company. You have in mind the current system on which it is based as well as its possible evolutions. So you can bring the team’s wishes closer to your own company project: how can you make the team’s wishes compatible with your own project? How can you integrate the team’s wishes into your project?

Giving the means to surpass oneself

Half the road is done: it is not enough to consider everyone’s desires. It is necessary to give the team the means to achieve its desires and expectations. On an operational level, the integration of desires implies support from you so that these desires are realized in the more or less long term.

You must therefore decide what you can do to help make this happen. As well as the limits of your support. The help that is possible varies according to the company and the situation. They can be :

  • Logistical: giving a little of yourself to give the person the basics to orient themselves towards their wishes.
  • Financial: estimating the value of an envelope that would help the person.
  • Relational: mobilising networks, transmitting contacts of people likely to help the person.
  • Organisational: bringing together the wishes of each person and checking whether a person A could take over tasks from B if these tasks are compatible with the position or changes in position desired by A and B.
  • Training: either by specialized organizations or in self-training.

The limits also vary from one company to another. They may be the same as the aids set out above.

Limitations are also relative to the person’s current work. Since it is an extension of current work, it is necessary for everyone to make efforts to make it a win-win situation. It is not a question of the person spending most of his time dealing with his personal development… the collective system could be destabilized! The limits must therefore be discussed so that the effort is mutual. You give a little to encourage fulfilment, in exchange for which the person gives a little for his or her fulfilment within the company.

The company seen as a system, a technician as important as a director, the team’s desire for development as part of the company project… in short: invest in the staff to encourage self-improvement through the motivation generated. To (perhaps?) reap the rewards… later…

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