Hard to Motivate Teammates

Hard to Motivate Teammates, Continued

Working with teams, we often find that individual perceive motivation differently. For example, some people may feel that their teammates are hardly motivated because they move slower than them, or because they don’t show the same level of excitement. While it may be true that people who lack motivation may not move fast or act excited, there may be some individuals whose nature is to be calm and methodical.

It is good to know and understand you how your own personality type may affect your perception of others, and to learn to communicate about personality style to avoid conflicts.

Some individuals are afraid that teammates won’t pull through, and check on their peers’ progress constantly. Most people don’t like this “over-the-shoulder” approach from managers, much less from peers. On the one hand, it is important to allow people autonomy to do their job the way they prefer. It is helpful in every project to define the outcomes, and to point out where autonomy is encouraged.

Take into consideration that unmotivated employees may feel that they don’t have autonomy. Explain to them where they are allowed to exercise this autonomy, and how it benefits them. “What’s in it for me?” is often a question that goes unanswered in projects. Help teammates see the higher purpose of what they do, and the value their autonomy in the project brings to them.

Hard to Motivate Teammates

Strategies to Motivate the Low Performer

Anyone who has worked in a team environment has had the experience of dealing with that teammate who wasn’t performing to the level he or she could. Situations like this put pressure on others to take on additional work and emotional pressures as they struggle to confront the poor performer. So what can you do? Let’s take a brief look at a few tips to manage low-performing teammates.

What are the rules? If there are no rules or if the rules are not known, there is no expectation for accountability. In other words, start by setting clear goals and expectations. Use a SMART goal approach to help you define clear goals.

Point out the light at the end of the tunnel. Even when goals and deadlines are set and clear, team members will feel demotivated if they feel the goals cannot be achieved. Help your team understand how the goal can be achieved in realistic terms. This implies that you should help your team identify the necessary tools and methods they’ll need to use to achieve their goal. Without the right resources, they will simply give up.

Find the challenge and the meaning. Individuals perform better when they feel challenged. Nobody wants to do boring and meaningless tasks. Granted, sometimes completing a task requires doing things most people don’t find interesting or worthwhile. You must find ways to put these tasks into the larger context so even the most menial tasks become part of a larger challenge. Remember, going to a gym and walking on a treadmill can seem pointless, until you consider the reward in the end. Set challenges, and point to the reward.