What motivates the members of your team?

What motivates the members of your team?


By Lori A. Hoffner

What kind of people would make up your perfect team? Do you know how you would want them to contribute to the success of your overall goals? How are you communicating your expectations, and does it motivate the members of your team?

Everyone is motivated by different factors. In fact, according to the David McCelland motivation theory, we all have varying degrees of motivation from one of three areas: power, achievement or affiliation. So, whether your team is made up by paid staff or volunteers, do you know what motivates them?

If a member of your team is motivated by power, they can probably serve in a leadership role for you and your organization and be highly successful moving your mission forward. Recognize their strengths in ways that allows them to direct the efforts of their team to accomplish expected goals. If a volunteer is motivated by achievement, they will enjoy taking on challenging tasks to meet a realistic goal. Those motivated by achievement need regular, job-related feedback for a job well done. Finally, when someone is motivated by affiliation, they are your go-to person for networking. They might thrive in a customer service environment and can tell you what customers are requesting to help you determine the best product and services to provide.  

So how do you respond to in a way that meets their needs and keeps them motivated on the job, but also helps you meet the overall goals and expectations that you are responsible for? It requires everyone to be a part of a very exclusive team, a team that understands ‘we’re all in this together.’ Here is an opportunity to huddle up and explore some examples from the playbook that everyone can follow:

Be authentic. “Fake it ‘til you make it” can work in many different situations; however, when you’re dealing with relationships and individual people, the best rule of thumb is to be authentic. People can tell when you’re not genuine, and if you want your staff and volunteers to know how much you appreciate them, it requires your willingness to be sincere. Find a way to be specific about the contribution that people are making and be willing to share that information…and not just at the end of an event or review time.  

Encourage motivation and recognition practices between staff and volunteers. Ideally, you’re creating an atmosphere of support for your staff, and by modeling intentional recognition you are, in essence, giving permission for all staff to recognize each other and the volunteers that are providing additional help. Think about any sports teams you watch. Rarely are the players waiting for the coach to say good job, they hear it from their fellow players, and it has as much, if not more, of an impact. They are motivated and energized by a particular factor and it is reinforced by their colleagues. By encouraging this behavior, everyone begins to support one another and creates a culture of ongoing respect and appreciation. Staff can create an intentional recognition program among themselves that reflects the core philosophy of being timely, being specific and being frequent. When this is done, the entire team works together to achieve the overall goal of the organization.  

Facilitate Positive Actions. Supervisors, managers or whatever you call your leadership team is not in place to only achieve goals. They are, by definition, those that model leadership abilities.  To be certain that members of your team are engaged, your leaders, too, must be engaged with your staff. Research from the Jackson Organization states that high-employee engagement results in customer satisfaction that is 20 percent higher than those of their lower engaged competition. How do you make certain that your staff is engaged? Make sure that they see themselves as a valuable and worthy part of your team by providing positive recognition for the work they do, and by acknowledging what it is that motivates them on the job.  

So what about you? Like your staff and volunteers, you are motivated to some degree by power, affiliation or achievement. How are you using your motivation to create a strong, successful and winning team? If necessary, use the minutes during halftime for a little chalk-talk and be authentic to get everyone energized, engaged and ready for a big win.

Lori A. Hoffner, Professional Speaker ~ Trainer ~ Consultant, draws on years of experience of leadership in both the for-profit and non-profit business world. She can offer staff-development programs which help promote a cohesive internal team and positive culture of support within your organization that helps benefit your bottom line.  

To learn more about creating a positive culture in your workplace, and learn more about the training’s that Lori can offer, visit www.SupportingCommUnity.com or call Jenn Garber – Director of Sales and Marketing 720-315-5655. 

Motivation Team Recognition Volunteer Success

Related Stories

Subscribe to our newsletter to get NAYS blog updates emailed to you!


By Date

By Category