As any good team manager knows, team motivation can significantly impact engagement, satisfaction and output. Teams that are not motivated are often not happy and simply cannot produce their best work. After all, tech teams rely heavily on strong engagement to see them through project planning, revision and production stages — phases that can take months or even years.
But finding the right methods to generate motivation can be difficult — team members are individuals. So what are some of the best ways to motivate tech teams, and keep them inspired, especially for the long term? To help you find what works, seven members of Forbes Technology Council, below, share their preferred methods, as well as talk about why. Here’s what they advise:
1. Understand Member Goals
I find it helps to start with a solid career planning process. Understanding the short-term and long-term goals for each team member is a critical component to their long-term happiness. It’s also necessary to provide very clear expectations for everyone, as well as continuous feedback on their progress toward their goals. And don’t forget to sincerely praise their accomplishments. – Brent Yax, Awecomm
2. Provide Recognition And Praise
It is important to provide recognition of a job well done and be cognizant of when burnout or overwhelming tasks are taking place. In addition, recognizing when a team member finds an issue, and giving them ownership and the authority to make decisions when necessary, keeps them motivated. They are most happy when they know that I, as their CISO, have their backs. – Dave Summitt, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
3. Utilize The ‘Triple E’ Method
My team’s motivation stems from what I call the “triple E” method — enlighten, engage and effectuate. Each day, team members enlighten each other by sharing new tips and tricks on a work collaboration site. We engage other teams in weekly contests to sponsor healthy competition and a collaborative atmosphere. And effectuating our own self-improvement is the path to true happiness. – Brian Patrick, GREENLIGHT Inc.
4. Re-Emphasize The Big Picture
Teams stay motivated and happy when they are doing work that contributes to the big picture. Constantly re-emphasize the big picture and the goal of the team. Connecting daily tasks to the big picture keeps team members engaged. – Jeff Capone, SecureCircle LLC.
Read more in Developing The Bigger Picture
5. Provide Opportunity, Then Exceed Expectations
To keep your team motivated and happy you must provide them with opportunities that challenge them and invest in their careers so that they can properly meet those challenges; You must also exceed their expectations for compensation, including tangible and intangible rewards. – Jerry Nelson, Beyond Impact LLC
6. Celebrate The Feeling Of Ownership
At our company, every employee has their “first lidar image” moment. It could be a technician building sensors or an experienced engineer bringing a new design online. But everyone has that “aha” moment when everything works just right, and a point cloud shows up on the screen — “their” point cloud. It’s critical to celebrate that first feeling of ownership in the process of becoming part of the team. – Stephen Crouch, Blackmore Sensors and Analytics, Inc.
7. Communicate Clearly And Openly
By ensuring the team has a clear understanding of the vision both short and long-term, the staff members are able to communicate clearly. This, in turn, affords clear dialog and transparency, which enables execution at the highest level. This creates an environment where team members are fulfilled and content. The key is clear and open communication in an organized fashion. – Kevin Howard, AWM Smart Shelf