Do You Know What Motivates Your Team?

Motivation as a topic is a common area for discussions I have with clients across the globe. 

It normally centres around: 

  • The lack of motivation in a team 
  • How to re-engage teams through motivation 
  • How to establish a culture of motivation 
  • How to identify different reward strategies that will work 
  • The eternal question: Why are some people motivated differently to others 

…….. and the list goes on. 


A Definition of Motivation Today 



Motivation has received many definitions over the years. Today, with data and research from Dan Pink and the people at MotivationaMaps, motivation is recognised as being a combination of internal and external factors, all interacting to create both individual and team motivation. 

These factors stimulate our energy, desire, ambition and inclination to be consistently interested and committed to something. In a work context, this might be a role, job or project where we continually apply effort to achieve a result. 

The interaction of both conscious and unconscious factors creates our motivation to act. 

As an example, this might include. 

  • Expectations of an individual and their peers
  • Reward and recognition related to achieving the goal 
  • The intensity of the desire or need. 

I am sure many of you reading this post can refer to all these examples playing out at some point in your workplace setting. Let’s explore this more. 


Why Motivation Is Critical in Business  

The ‘tell’ style of management is long gone, and in today’s hyper-connected world, working with motivation at every level improves both productivity and engagement. 

Why is this? 

Let’s look at the facts.  

Today’s workforce is made up of several different generations — the dominant player being the much-maligned Millennial. According to the Office of National Statistics by 2025, over 75% of the global workforce will be Millennial. Organisations like Accenture and Ernst and Young already report that Millennials make up two-thirds of their employee base. 



This being the case, it’s essential to know how to ‘motivate’ these individuals to peak performance. 

Read any of Simon Sinek’s work, and you will understand that this generation is different. In a recent post here on the Zestfor blog, I shared ideas on managing Millennials, part of which included understanding their drivers and motivations; logical, when you consider that motivated employees are incredibly productive, which leads to an organisation improving performance. 


Your Employees Are Disengaged 

Look on any recognised leadership website and you are confronted by data which confirms we are working in times where employee engagement is at an all-time low.  According to Gallup’s most recent survey, only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged at work. 

Engaged workers stand apart from their not engaged and solemnly disengaged counterparts because of the effort, enthusiasm and motivation they consistently bring to their roles. These employees willingly go the extra mile, work with passion, and feel a genuine connection to their company and the work they do.  

These individuals will drive innovation and move your business forward, compared to disengaged employees who repel customers, drive their managers crazy and their fellow team members to distraction….. or the nearest recruiter. 


Your Employees Motivational Needs 



If an employee isn’t as engaged as they used to be something has gone wrong. Taking a considered look at their motivational needs and then act on the data you receive, and you will be able to nudge your employee back over the line from unengaged to engaged. 

Improved motivation starts with ticking off the basics. 

An appropriate salary and benefits package and a pleasant place to work are vital as Maslow’s triangle of needs reveals. I’m sure you have this in hand. 

Though you might be surprised at the environments that some people work in. A good friend of mine in the NHS works in a small, and I mean a small room, with no natural light with three other people – so not everyone has the working environment they want. 

Human beings are wired to achieve goals.  

Are your goals clear and communicated passionately? A recent post on HBR quoted a study, where 63 per cent of employees reported that they wasted time at work because they weren’t aware of what work was a priority, and what wasn’t.  

As a leader, it’s your job to work with the members of your team to set clear goals. If your team aren’t clear what the bigger goal is; no wonder they aren’t motivated. 

Motivation can be quite simple, can’t it? 

What about development and collaboration to motivate; who doesn’t want growth or an opportunity to work on an exciting new project? 

Conversely, is it necessary to micromanage so much or run endless meetings? 


What Next? 

However, in today’s workforce, where business results rely on both individuals and teams working together, it’s vital to look at motivation related to where individuals and organisations are on a spectrum of motivation. 

Here at Zestfor, we now offer this as a unique programme called Motivational Maps. If you would like to find out more, then send a quick email here. 

Until next time, 



Can We Help?       

Zestfor specialises in developing Training programmes and resources scientifically tailored for technical markets – including Pharmaceutical, IT, and Life Sciences.      

Our blend of in-classroom, online, and virtual live-stream delivery methods will engage and assure even the most introverted team members from the first meeting – whether face-to-face or virtually. To have a brief chat, call us on 0845 548 0833. Alternatively, please email our team here.