Building effective teamwork in the workplace is vital to any organisation’s success. Find out how improving motivation can directly increase team performance.
Following the first post about improving team cognition, in this second article we will look at Affective – motivation – How people feel about the team, each other, the task and the goal.
We know that team performance is likely to improve when people share a commitment and attraction to task. When you are enthused by what the team is working towards and can see the value in achieving it, that engagement fuels better output.
Leaders in a changing world are often not always crystal clear on the team’s aims and goals. Middle managers often get vague or moving briefs from above. Senior managers often spend a lot of time talking about operations, but not much time coaching the next level down on their part on turning the bigger vision into reality.
But if we as leaders are not clear, vocal and passionate about the goals, how do we expect other people to buy into them and get motivated towards them?
There is also the question of team efficacy. When people believe that they are capable of achieving their goals as a unit, they are more likely work more effectively together. This is most true when a team does a lot of work together and are highly interdependent.
Another important motivational element is that when people have commitment and attraction to each other, you will see benefits to the team. You don’t all have to be best friends, but high levels trust, respect and appreciation for who each other are and what each other can bring serves as the oil that makes the team machinary move efficiently.
Such affinity for one another is essential if the team is going to properly support and help each other. Without it people will not go the extra mile for their team mates. Similarly, they are less likely to be honest and/or constructive with each other about problems and weaknesses. Many of our larger clients have prioritised the giving, receiving and application of feedback as an essential business behaviour. Feedback doesn’t happen, or doesn’t work if you haven’t got your affective-motivational ducks in a row!
So, when you see that people are not collaborating as much as they need to, ask yourself: Do they trust and resepct each other (competence and/or character)? Have I made the team goal or task compelling enough for them to invest in it? Do they believe it is possible? Do I believe it’s possible and have I demonstrated that? How is the team spirit?
Good leaders spend time and energy understanding these affective – motivational factors and addressing any weak points. Ensure people get to know and trust each other well. Highlight and celebrate indiviudal and team successes and milestones. Your investment will pay dividends.
In the next and final post, I will focus on the ‘B’ of CAB: Behaviour – What the team actually does when working together.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below.
Read the first part of this series looking at team cognition here
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