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***For Karl McCracken's personal (mainly triathlon) blog, please visit This blog is an alternative way for you to get access to our TeamTips series of articles. TeamTips is a short, fortnightly article that's aimed at TeamLeaders. Each edition covers a subject that's important for Team Leaders' performance - both in technical issues and man-management.

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

It's Not About The Money (2)

Seven Tips

1. Motivation Is Like A Ladder
Each of us has a set of ‘needs’ arranged in a hierarchy - like the rungs of a ladder. If a ‘need’ is not being met, we cannot progress to the next rung, and are motivated to find a way to have the ‘need’ satisfied. On lower rungs, getting ‘enough’ is a motivator, while nearer the top, the more we get, the more we tend to want.

2. The Bottom Rung - Biology
Basic biological requirements. Air, water, food, and time to rest. The first three are largely taken as given, but what about the last? Work your team too hard, with too many weekends lost to overtime, and I guarantee problems.

3. The Second Rung - Money.
You have to pay people ‘enough’. If they can’t afford to live on what you pay, they’ll move on. Having more tends not to motivate. Think of the last time you got a pay rise - for the first few weeks, you felt great. Then you just got used to having the extra money, and stopped noticing it!

4. Employment Benefits & Security
People will leave good jobs if they feel insecure, or are offered benefits that they value more than the money they’ll miss out on. Benefits can include aspects such as workplace safety, so pay attention to this.

5. Friendship Is On The Fourth Rung
With enough money, and a safe, secure job, people look for a sense of belonging. Use daily team briefings to emphasise this, and regular social events to cement it.

6. Recognise Achievement
We all need to know our place in the social structure of the fourth rung. So make sure that you positively recognise each team members achievements on a regular basis, and reward them with appropriate levels of responsibility.

7. Creativity At The Top
Once you’ve climbed the first five rungs, you need a continual stream of challenges and opportunities for creative expression. Use regular kaizen activities to provide this, creating a spirit of continuous improvement.


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