How to motivate your team?. Discover the seven common gaps that… | by Tiina Golub | Feb, 2024

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Low morale acts like a silent saboteur, quietly eroding the very foundations of productivity and collaboration. While the dips in collective motivation impede progress and stifle innovation, more often than not, they are symptoms of the wider organisational issues. Discover the seven common gaps that lead to diminished morale and the most effective leadership strategies to rebuild team spirit.

Drawing of a person looking through a pair of binoculars.

The drop in motivation can start from a single worker, but, like ripples on a water surface, its effects extend far beyond the individual, quickly permeating the entire team. The insidious consequences of low morale include reduced productivity, decline in creativity and innovation, and decrease in work satisfaction. As a result, both quantity and quality of outputs will suffer, but, more importantly, the disheartened workforce is unlikely to initiate the changes and will quietly quit instead.

This may sound like a lost case, especially when superficial attempts to patch up the situation with motivational talks and small rewards are met with resentment. According to the self-determination theory developed by Deci and Ryan in the 1980s, behind most cases of declining morale lie the same basic psychological needs to be in control of one’s actions, feel competent and establish meaningful relationships with others. Equipped with these insights from the field of motivational psychology, let’s examine the seven common factors that negatively affect the team morale.

On the organisational or team level, there are three common challenges that negatively impact the motivation of its members — the lack of vision, process or progress. Let’s examine each one of them in turn.

1. Lack of vision

In our pursuit of meaningful existence, humans developed a strong need for purpose that aligns with our values and determines the actions we take. Understanding the “why” behind one’s work provides a compass that guides our actions, ignites passion, and fosters a sense of connection to a…

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