Motivating teams

The effective final push

An adjusted version of this post was written by Timen Baart and first published on LinkedIn.

You will see this happening in many organisations across the globe. When the end of the month, quarter or year approaches, it will be time for office games. Don’t get me wrong; they can be fun. But are they the most appropriate way to motivate employees?

Leaderboards, half a day off for team drinks, gift swap competitions, and raffles. If you work in an office, especially in sales, you will know what I’m talking about.

These games are meant to get teams work just that little bit harder, to deliver a project a little earlier, or to push just beyond the quota.

Having something to aim for indeed increases productivity.

But office games aren’t always the best way. Studies show that gamification reduces overall motivation. And as Gartner’s Brian Burke advises: “Think of the audience as players, not puppets.” Office games dismiss the importance of the role, and of the professional.

What does work to motivate teams?

Every person has her own goals. A holiday, a promotion, a house, learning new skills, or working on cool projects with people they like.

Match these goals with the company objectives. As a manager, you are the link between your team and the company. Provide the trust that they can achieve their goal, and help them to get there. Besides motivation, it will increase happiness.

Photo by Sam Owoyemi on Unsplash

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