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Team Dynamics for Managers

1. The project is complete. The team did a great job. How do you reward the team for a job well done?

2. As a manager, you are responsible for a team that has been struggling with a difficult project. They work well together and have been highly motivated to complete their project, but you sense the frustration building. What incentives might you consider to help this team reach their goal? Consider team and individual strategies in your response.

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Please see response attached, including supporting information.

1. The project is complete. The team did a great job. How do you reward the team for a job well done?
Reward is about motivating employees, even once the project is done, as the motivation is linked to the next project, and the project after that, and the project after that. This is somewhat controversail as some pople thing external rewards are most important motivator, while others fosud on internal motivators; while others argue for a comgination of both (this seems most likely). (See attached article for thse views).
When you think about it, the success of any facet of your business can almost always be traced back to motivated employees. From productivity and profitability to recruiting and retention, hardworking and happy employees lead to triumph. Unfortunately, motivating people is far from an exact science. There's no secret formula, no set calculation, no work sheet to fill out. In fact, motivation can be as individual as the employees who work for you. One employee may be motivated only by money. Another may appreciate personal recognition for a job well done. Still another may work harder if she has equity in the business. But you can boil down employee motivation to one basic ideal -- finding out what your employees want and finding a way to give it to them or to enable them to earn it. Here we've gathered some of the best and most interesting motivational techniques used by successful entrepreneurs. We hope they'll motivate you, too (http://www.inc.com/guides/hr/20776.html).
So this is an interesting question, with no definition answer. It depends. However, these are some of the incentives that have been sued by others:
1. Monetary rewards (i.e., De-emphasize the Merit Pay System - can decrease internal motivation)
2. Promotions (i.e., Make Sure the Promotion System Is Unassailable)
3. Praise and encouraging the team as a whole -> motivated to meet goals and take ownership of project and thus, taps internal motivation (i.e., intrinsic motivation that comes from doing a good job and helping their company be successful).
4. Celebrate (i.e., Fun night out, find out what they employee want to do to celebrate and do it - Achieving goals and surpassing milestones deserve credit. Celebrating these accomplishments underscores the value that each person brings to the table and confirms expected behaviors -- all while serving as motivators for future learning.)

See attached article (available on-line at http://www.poppendieck.com/pdfs/Compensation.pdf) for more considerations, as well the pros and cons of the above incentives.

2. As a manager, you are responsible for a team that has been struggling with a difficult project. They work well together and have been highly motivated to complete their project, but you sense the frustration building. What incentives might you consider to help this team reach their goal? Consider team and individual strategies in your response.
Motivation is important, and different theories of workers motivation exist. However, people designated as leaders because of their actions, rather than title alone, know that their success is measured by the success of their employees. Such leaders know that if they foster an inhospitable environment, then only the hardiest of employees will flourish. The most skillful leaders uncover and help nurture individuals potential, using missteps or mistakes as opportunities to augment and build on strengths. This approach elevates the performance of the group, and also supports and reflects well on the leader. In fact, many popular evaluation methods, such as performance reviews, focus too heavily on identifying areas of low performance or weakness. Concentrating on these weaknesses, without also highlighting strengths and emphasizing how weak areas might be strengthened, may result in a self-fulfilling prophecy: you build a poor image of the employee and he consequently performs " down to" his potential. It can also lead to wasted resources, and you' ll end up getting a minimal level of performance from an employee with star potential.
For example, results of under-expecting the performance potential of employees include low morale, unsatisfactory performance, and higher degrees of employee turnover. In fact, many surveys suggest that employees often leave a company not because of dissatisfaction with the company or work itself, but because of poor relationships with a manager and/or unpleasant interpersonal issues. So the question remains: How can you unearth and nurture your employees' strengths within this group project scenario?
1. Make time for positive recognition. Whether in casual conversation or a formal performance review, think about and genuinely express positive feedback for the employee. Be specific about what she' s doing well, and share examples. The benefit is two-fold: The employee knows what behaviors are most valued, and you help shift your thinking from " can' t do" to " there' s potential here."
2. Identify ways to apply existing strengths in new ways. Thomas Edison saw sewing-thread as light bulb filament. How can you look at your employee in new, different ways? What qualities has your employee demonstrated, and how can these translate into needed skills? Start by throwing traditional title and responsibility-norms ...

Solution Summary

Based on the two scenarios, this solution discusses how to reward the team for a job well done, as well as the incentives a manager might consider to increase motivation to help a 'frustrated' team reach their goal. It considers both team and individual strategies. Supplemented with an article on compensation strategies.

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