Keeping a group of people motivated is no easy task. Each group has its own dynamic, and each individual in a group has his or her own motivations and drivers. Finding the balance to keep a team at work motivated will often involve a multitude of efforts. Here's how we keep our Sioux City law team motivated.
Play to Your Strengths
Each person brings to work his or her own background and reasons why they are driven to succeed. At Goosmann Law, each team member takes a test, the Strengths Finder test, which highlights the person’s greatest strengths. This is because we believe that every person operates best when working within their strengths. Rather than one person working to improve on his weaknesses, he can instead team up with someone whose strengths dovetail with his weakness. Then each person focuses on what he or she is best at, which also improves satisfaction. It also highlights when a person is more likely to be driven by things like recognition over bonus compensation.
Find What Drives
The same traditional reward system has different motivating effects on different people. Dan Pink has an enlightening talk on Ted Talk which discusses how motivations vary. http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pink_on_motivation For instance, a person who is already very financially comfortable will not be as motivated to achieve a bonus which would play a huge role in driving a younger teammate. Although these two people have different motivators, it’s still important to offer a team incentive to promote camaraderie. That is, although the more comfortable member won’t be as motivated for a nice bonus, he would likely not want to let down the other team members.
Bonus programs can be tangible ways to create team spirit at work; but so can things like casual days, volunteer events, and, of course, firm events outside of work. These work events allow us to interact in a more relaxed environment, and discover things about each other we didn’t otherwise know. For instance, one GLF team member is an accomplished composer! Varying the rewards also helps to capture incentives that every team member appreciates. Several of our attorneys and staff are very competitive (shockingly). So programs which play to that competitiveness can get people into team work. We rarely set these incentives to compete against each other; rather, we set group goals and then go after them. Reaching those goals then can further solidify our group as a team.
Creativity will go a long way toward encouraging your firm to act as a team. Paying attention to different motivators allows us to create the most effective environment to establish and maintain camaraderie.