Motivation of Teamwork Through Relationships

Motivation of Teamwork Through RelationshipsMotivating volunteer workers is one of the most significant challenges for leaders. Despite the presence of a serving spirit among staff and volunteers, it is sometimes difficult to adequately their enthusiasm, participation, and commitment. Misunderstanding the true nature of is a key part of this problem. cannot be turned on and off at will like a faucet. The trouble with this on-again, off-again approach is that it overlooks the pivotal role of relationship building—you can’t motivate people until you have built a professional bridge to them.

Instead of asking, “How can I motivate the members of my team?” ask, “How can I build a closer working relationship with ?” Some ideas:

  • Determine a and mission for your team, but first determine how important it is to the overall mission of your organization. How well will your team’s service be supported by the organization?
  • Create a niche (special place) for each member on the team.
  • Carefully develop and communicate contributions descriptions for each . Specifically include a particular job, approach, length of service, names of other , and invited performance.
  • Promote success by equipping and training . Help them understand through teaching and demonstration how they can excel.
  • Let team members personally participate in running the show. Consult with them when making decisions; remain open-minded and willing to change; help them buy into what the team is trying to accomplish.
  • Listen, Listen, Listen! Be alert to and create opportunities for listening. Let others “unload” on you before you “unload” on them.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate!  Periodically remind people of the team and goals. Keep members up-to-date on team progress and activities. Help them share their personal experiences, feelings about events, personal joys and frustrations, and appreciation for one another. Get feedback from team members on what they are doing and accomplishing for both team and organization.
  • Minimize the demands you make on team members. Keep and meeting demands reasonable. Respect the fact that there are many claims on their “free” .
  • Help members of your team hold themselves accountable for performance. Goals and deadlines must be set, progress reports made, and follow-up taken. Any criticism of performance should center on their actions, not on them personally.

Note: This article is an excerpt from VIRTUAL TEAMWORK: Building Your Own Professional Community of Productivity and Meaning, by

Who is Phil Van Auken?

About Dale Roach

Dale is the creator of "Like A Team." He has been working with businesses, charity organizations, volunteer groups and church groups in the development of teamwork for over 25 years. The goal of "Like A Team" is to help share the knowledge and skills of healthy team creators across the planet.
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