Team motivational strategy

Team motivational strategy

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According to Hu & Liden (2015), organizations need teamwork to effectively respond to today’s complex and ever-changing environments. The authors also note that the motivation of team members is the key to effective outcomes. This means that team members have to be motivated for effective teamwork. In our case study, it is clear that the team members lack motivation. This is proven in the grim financial report and dropping numbers. A lack of motivation also explains the competition and a low level of trust in the team. One of the most relevant theories in this case study is McClelland’s need theory.

According to McClelland’s human motivation theory, motivation within a team is determined by social motivations. These social motives differ from team member to the other. Every team member has a motivation that drives them in a social setting. These social motives encourage collaborative behavior in teams. This means that managing a team requires an understanding of what motivates each member (LaBelle, 2008). When organizations know what motivates every team member, they can enhance motivation in the team as well as collaboration.

McClelland proposed the needs theory in 1961. The theory focuses on three motivators. According to this theory, humans have three motivating drivers. However, one of these motivators dominates others (Rybnicek et al., 2017). When these needs are not satisfied individuals will not be motivated and the team will have trust issues. This is the reason the theory is identified as the most relevant in our case study.

These motivators are; first, achievement needs. Some team members will be motivated by achievement. Such people enjoy taking personal responsibility in solving complex tasks (LaBelle, 2008). They strive to achieve their set goals. They need ample feedback from collaborators. This is because they use feedback to measure their progress. This can help explain Betty’s case in the case study. The absence of ample feedback to measure her progress causes her anxiety and lack of confidence.

The second motivator is affiliation. People motivated by affiliation need friendly relationships. They enjoy interacting with colleagues. They need to be liked by colleagues (LaBelle, 2008). Looking at our case study, Casey could be motivated by affiliation. In the process of look for motivation, there is a probability that Casey has an affiliation with a gang linked to increased bullying in a group.

According to McClelland, the third motivator is the need for power. This can have two aspects. The positive aspect occurs when an individual is motivated by resources and authority. These people are motivated by leading others to achieve success. However, on their way to achieve success, they do not wish to dominate others.  Then, there are other people motivated by the negative aspect of power (LaBelle, 2008). These people tend to be selfish and insist on their way. They enjoy winning. They also want to influence and control others. This motivator helps understand John’s case of backstabbing behaviors and taking credit for the work of others. John’s behaviors have one purpose, to gain power. He could be engaging in this behavior because the current working environment does not give him the power to motivate him.

In our case study, the team members lack motivation leading to a lot of competition and a low level of trust. A study on the influence of social motives within a team shows that when individual social motives are satisfied, there will be high levels of trust within a team (LaBelle, 2008). This indicates that the social motivates of team members in the case study are not satisfied. This leads to a lack of motivation evident in the undesired financial report and dropping numbers.

Based on McClelland’s need theory, a personality-based motivational strategy would be more effective in enhancing motivation within a team. This strategy includes considering the motivators of individual team members and working towards satisfying these needs (LaBelle, 2008). When the needs of each member are satisfied, motivation within the team will be improved. This will also help promote collaboration and build high levers of trust within the team. The first step is identifying the dominant motivators of the team members (Latham, 2011). This information will then be used to motivate each member.

            For people motivated by achievement such as Betty, fair, balanced, and ample feedback will be provided. This will help them know their progress with the set goals. They will also be assigned challenging but possible tasks to enhance their motivation. For team members motivated by affiliation, personal feedback will be provided (LaBelle, 2008). The focus will be on building close relationships by emphasizing their good working relationship. This way, people like Casey will stop looking for affiliation through the wrong channels. This strategy will help them know that other people like them increasing their motivation.

Lastly, for team members motivated by power, they will be assigned goal-oriented tasks. They will also be encouraged to further their career goals. This will give them the control and influence they desire (LaBelle, 2008). Eventually, every team member in the group will be motivated.  Also, when all their needs are satisfied, there will be team collaboration and high levels of trust essential for better performance.


Hu, J., & Liden, R. C. (2015). Making a difference in the teamwork: Linking team prosocial           motivation to team processes and effectiveness. Academy of Management Journal,      58(4), 1102–1127.

LaBelle, D. (2008). The Influence of Social Motivations on Performance and Trust in Semi-      virtual Teams. Thesis. Drexel University, 1-154.

Latham, G. (2011). Work Motivation: History, Theory, Research, and Practice. SAGE          Publications, Inc.

Rybnicek, R., Bergner, S. & Gutschelhofer, A. (2017). How individual needs influence           motivation effects: a neuroscientific study on McClelland’s need theory. Review of             Managerial Science. DOI: 10.1007/s11846-017-0252-1

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