Does external motivation work for project teams?

Home Forums Program and Project Management Does external motivation work for project teams?

This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Mark Hammer 5 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #158011

    Bill Brantley
    Participant

    Provocative posting from Curious Cats – Stop Motivating People – They Hate It. The argument is that if you hire the right people and provide them with the right tools and environment, they don’t need motivation from you. Is this true? What about the times when you don’t have the right tools and right environment?

  • #158015

    Mark Hammer
    Participant

    Read Deci & Ryan. (http://www.selfdeterminationtheory.org/ ). The tricky thing for organizations is to figure out how to cajole teams into thinking that their self-generated motives, and those of the organization, are one in the same. Figure that one out, and you have it made.

  • #158013

    Josh Nankivel
    Participant

    I don’t believe trying to motivate directly works. The most effective thing project managers can do is create an environment and management style that allows people to want to do their best work.

    Contests for example in any organization are crap, in my opinion. They may push short-term results on a particular aspect of the organization, but they also always have unintended consequences. The best example I can think of off-hand are contests between operational teams in a call center for lower handle times, higher sales rates, etc. Other aspects which are not being measured always end up getting dropped on the floor. And internal competition among teams that should be working together as part of one big team has always turned out negative in my experience.

    Awards for recognition are nice, but I don’t think they motivate.

    No, motivation comes from people doing work they love in an environment they love to work in. You can influence the environment or the work to some extent, but the rest is up to them.

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