Teamwork and Motivation

Motivation is defined as forces within the individual that account for the direction, level, and persistence of a person’s effort expended at work. Direction refers to an individuals’ choice when presented with a number of possible alternatives. Level refers to the amount of effort a person puts forth. Persistence refers to the length of time a person sticks with a given action. (Schermerhorn, J)

Teamwork is a group of people with various complementary skills, working together towards a common vision.

It generates performance greater than the sum of the performance of its individual members. There are some tasks that cannot be done individually, but can be easily accomplished by working in a team. Teamwork compiles the ideas of several people. It is not “too many cooks spoil the soup” but rather a combination of ideas, skills, helpfulness, leadership. Slower project momentum from working alone reduces morale. The highs of a project are more motivating when working as a team. Celebrating an achievement with teammates is a great way to boost morale.

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If you work alone, who are you going to high-five when you get something working? So teamwork is quite encouraging in college, in university and in company.

Benefits of Teamwork

Work Efficiency

Teamwork enables us to accomplish tasks faster and more efficiently than tackling projects individually. Cooperating together on various tasks reduces workloads for all employees by enabling them to share responsibilities or ideas. Disagreements among the team mates maybe happened in a discussion and can lead to conflict, but conflict can be good.

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If ideas are not presented and debated, the team will miss opportunities to find the best solutions to problems. Respect for the thoughts and ideas of the other team members will be developed through healthy debate. Teamwork also reduces the work pressure on every worker, which allows him to be thorough in the completion of the assigned roles. In sharing ideas or responsibilities, every employee should have a role that suits his specialization. You should also consider employees’ levels of interest in the project at hand, which positively influences the efficiency or speed of their output in accomplishing the task.

Improved Employee Relations

Teamwork is important in an organization because it provides employees with an opportunity to bond with one another, which improves relations among them. Workers who constitute a team working on a project often feel valued upon the successful completion of such tasks. A situation in which all of them find a chance to contribute towards the tasks improves relations within the team and enhances their respect for each other. Improved employee relations also result from the fact that teamwork enhances cohesion among members, thanks to increased trust among them.

Learning Opportunities

In a group of people, there are different skills from every people, many intelligent minds and brains working. When team members work together as a team, they can learn the skills and capabilities of each other and advance their knowledge. Cooperating on a project is an opportunity for new workers to learn from more experienced employees. Teams often consist of members who differ from one another in terms of skills or talents. Working together is a great opportunity to acquire skills that an employee never had beforehand. Unlike working alone on a project, teamwork affords people the opportunity to challenge the ideas of each other and come up with a compromise solution that contributes to the successful completion of the task.

In the discussion, questions may be answered more quickly and concepts more rapidly understood. In addition, the group may avoid certain mistakes, which improves the efficiency and reputation of the team. As employees become more knowledgeable, their confidence and attitude improves, as does their job satisfaction. The employees also may come to focus less on the negatives of work and more on work outcomes.

According to Alexander Hiam, (Author of in Motivational Management: Inspiring Your People for Maximum Performance), Managers have a tough job. By definition, they must accomplish their goals and do their work through the work of others. The old saying that ‘‘If you want something done right, do it yourself’’ has a ring of truth to it, because it is usually harder to get employees to do a challenging job well than to do it yourself. Yet managers must let go of their own urge to just step in and make things right, and they must instead nurture the necessary competencies and commitment in their employees. I believe that if you have the most qualified leaders that encourage positive attitudes within the organizations, then half of the battle is won. The motivational plan that I would put in place will be comprised of several Motivational theories such as MBO, Equity, and Expectancy theory.

Motivational Plan

Step 1-Establish Organizational Objectives and Goals

The organizational goals and objectives would be clear, concise, and obtainable. The goals will be outlined on a quarterly basis with and ultimate goals identified. Revise the mission statement and identify preliminary employee incentives. The immediate objectives will consist of identify the causes for product defect, come up with a solution, and put the plan in action. Therefore, we can decrease our cost by 30% and decrease our delivery times by 50%.

Step 2- Communicate Objectives and Goals to Employees

In order for everyone to commit to the same goal, a communication plan should be developed in order for employees at all levels to have the understanding of the organizational mission. This will be done by conducting strategic meetings with each department so that specialized attention can be given to any employee who is unclear about the newly implemented processes. During this time, suggestions will be taken for the company’s reward system.

Step 3- Identify Cross Functional Team Members

A cross functional team of leaders will be set up. This team would consist of managers from each department such as Sales, Production, Technology, and Administration. These leaders would meet at regular scheduled times to work together utilizing their expertise and team thinking in order to create a environment in which everyone is working toward a common goal. This team member’s responsibility would be to identify performance goals with active participation from the lower level team members, promote growth, and be the voice for their individual teams.

Step 4- Develop Formal Teams Within Each Department

These teams are comprised of work units that would perform the tasks assigned by each departmental manager which would be a part of the cross functional team. The employees should be paired with correct task according to their area of expertise. The formulation of this team would allow every employee the sense of interpersonal relationships with their co workers, participation- every employee has a voice in the organization, and accomplishment. The manager would then have meetings with his or her team and report progress and/or concerns to the cross functional team.

Step 5 –Monitor Team and Individual Performance

The evaluation of the performance of the employees will be done on annual basis for performance objectives, and quarterly for team performance. These evaluations will be conducted through a 360 degree evaluation process, in which peer, bosses, subordinate, and self evaluations will be utilized. The manager would be in charge of identifying exceptional work among the team and upper management would be responsible for team evaluations.

Step 6- Evaluate and Reward Performance

The evaluation of the performance would go hand and hand with the rewards program. Teams would be rewarded quarterly for timely and effective objective accomplishments as well as various categories in which each team member would be rewarded for his or her part in the team. Employees would get merit increases annually based on the evaluation of their peers, bosses, subordinates, and self evaluations. Employees will also have the right to earn individual bonuses for exceptional work, for those employees who go over and beyond for the organization. These rewards would consist of intrinsic and extrinsic rewards.

Methods of Employee Motivation

Motivation comes from various places. Motivation should start with the individual, so it is important to attract and hire motivated staff. The key is to keep them motivated by allowing them to feel that their contributions to the organization matter and that they feel appreciated. It is also been my experience that you have happier employees when they see grow within the organization and it is then shared within the organization by granting promotions and salary increases.

My two methods to motivate the employees in the organization are:

  1. Opportunities for creativity and advancement- By including all employees in to some kind of team such as the cross functional teams or functional team should give the employees a feeling of belonging, commitment, and allow them to be creative by giving feedback and idea sharing at the team meetings.
  2. Team building workshops and retreats- The organization will host workshops for team building as well as annual retreats. This will allow the organization to get to know their colleagues on a more personal level, which in turn brings about a sense of camaraderie. This camaraderie then turns into a team with respect for all members within the team. The retreats also serve time for everyone to unwind and come back refreshed and ready to work.

Methods of Motivation for Minimum Wage Employees

Minimum wage employees are very difficult o motivate at times. They are typically young with little experience and low pay. But just like any other task, all it takes is some effort to understand the needs of your target. I have came up with some ideas to motivate this calibers of workers, they are:

  1. Training opportunities – I would provide training opportunities by implementing a mentoring program pairing the employees with older more experience workers so that they can learn their jobs faster and develop confidence in their abilities. I would also have tuition reimbursement to encourage these employees to build on their knowledge of the field they’re in.
  2. Opportunity for advancement – Along with adequate training, I would also offer the option of Job rotation so that the employees can gain experience in other areas of the organization, therefore when there is an opportunity they already have some experience in the area and they can be promoted. This would also allow staff to find out if they are good at other things in other departments.
  3. Rewards – I would recognize employees who demonstrate exemplary efforts by presenting them with certificates in front of their team and posting their names in the company news letter, or recognizing them as the employee of the month with a nice write up about their accomplishments at the retreats. Also, there may be a monetary bonus given to a remarkable employee quarterly. This gives all employees something to work towards.
  4. Motivating work environment- Creating this type of environment is very important because if management isn’t leading in a way that promotes growth, then the organization fails as a whole. I would make sure that all managers are properly trained to be leaders as well as mentors. Everyone at some point needs words of encouragement and I want my managers to be equipped with means of providing the staff with words of encouragement.

Clayton Alder’s ERG Theory supports my motivational effort. This theory states that there are three needs: Existence needs- desires for physiological and material well being. Relatedness needs- desire for satisfying interpersonal relationships, and Growth- desires for continued personal growth and development.

The Individual Worker in Today’s Organizational Context

Judith Heerwagen wrote “Although many factors ultimately contribute to the changing patterns of work, organizational theorists point to two key drivers: Increasing pressures on organizations to be more competitive, agile, and customer focused—to be a “lean enterprise.” Communication and information technology breakthroughs, especially mobile technologies and the Internet that enable work to be separated from time and space.” Over the past few decades Organizational structure and demands have evolved. Because of the rapidly technology advancement, the skills required by employers are increasing. It used to be enough for you to have the skill set to one particular job, but now you are required to be interchangeable between multiple positions.

They want you to be a broad thinker, which is thinking “outside the box”. There are now increased use of teams and cross unit work and more pressure for communication and information flow. That means that before you needed to be “a team player”, now you are required to be part of a team. In today’s society, there is little room for the individualist, now in organizations you are looked at as a part of a team and your success is tied to the success of the team and not as an individual. This unfortunately means less opportunity for advancement, which indicates that you would normally be recognized as an outstanding employee and when the opportunity presented itself, you received a promotion. Employees are now hidden within the team and not recognized for individual efforts which can make employees loose motivation. There needs to be a way for employees to feel that they are making a difference even as part of the team, or there will be more loafing going on than actual teamwork.

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Teamwork and Motivation. (2016, Mar 24). Retrieved from

Teamwork and Motivation

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