How To Motivate Your Team?

Bas de Baar asked this question in his blog Project Shrink and asked his readers to suggest their opinions. I have always thought that having motivated people is the key to the project success but I really haven’t got “a recipe” how to motivate a software team. In fact, I know a lot of things that you can do to undermine your team’s motivation and trust, a lot of classic mistakes you can do but I didn’t have a ready answer to that question so I had to think a little deeper but I finally came up with an answer.

Let you team members be creative!

People in the software business are creative by nature. They have their own ideas of new stuff to do, new ways to develop things, etc. They just don’t have the opportunity to bring their ideas to life. In software development business people are usually overloaded with tasks that are boring and not interesting to them. They end up the working day squeezed like a lemon and they have no energy to work on the things they like. Day by day they are losing their creativity and are slowly transforming from artists to mere office workers.

So here are my advices:

  • Give them some time to work on their own ideas. Make your plans in such a way that there should always be time for your team to think and work on the things they feel interesting for them. This way you will be able to keep them creative and to maintain their trust in you.
  • Listen to their ideas. People need to share their ideas, thoughts and conclusions. Be the one who listens and you will become the one who they trust and who they are going to follow anywhere. Besides, sometimes their ideas might be very useful for your business. 🙂

What do you think about the best motivation? Please, share your thoughts with me.

By the way, Bas offers a free ebook version of his book “Surprise! Now You’re A Software Project Manager” to the one who gives the most interesting answer to this question, so you can go to his post and give your comment there to have a chance to win the book.

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  • John says:

    We encourage our developers to work on creative “sidecar” projects as part of their workday. It gives them a sense of freedom when they can work on something other than the goals of the business.

    And, like you said, it is important to try and incorporate some of those ideas into your business. Our developers are always experimenting and coming up with new and creative ideas. When we adopt one of those ideas into our software, the developers become more excited and dedicated. And, of course, the software benefits from their creativity.

  • Mike Ramm says:

    John, it’s great that you give such freedom to your developers! I believe they feel better about their role in the company and are more loyal and more productive.

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