Motivation – We all want to work with motivated people. But how can we affect their motivation? According to psychology fundamentals, you are not able to do so, because “motivation is a psychological phenomenon which generates within an individual”.

If someone complains about thirst, you can offer them a glass of water. But you can’t quench this person’s thirst. What they will do with the water depends only on each individual. They can wash their hands with it, spill it, or maybe they will drink it. But if you had offered a slice of pizza, certainly this person would continue thirsty.

That’s what Moving Motivators is about — a dynamic to provide you with tools to be more assertive when increasing individual motivation in your team. To avoid trying to quench thirst with a slice of pizza.

Originally, Moving Motivators cards where created as an individual process, so each person had their own interpretation of these cards and you didn’t need a common understanding in your team.

I used this dynamic with a different objective – to facilitate discussions and to understand the different profiles on the team. That’s why a common understanding of the meaning of the cards was needed on my team. Applying the dynamic in this way, I saw an excellent improvement on the team with empathy across the different profiles and during decision-making.

The 10 profiles:

As you may have noticed, I didn’t mention salary increase for any of the profiles. And that’s right, because salary increase is about recognition, not about motivation. It may appear to work as the latter, but with a very short shelf life.

After defining all your team’s motivation cards, you can encourage them to look at this closely. To have empathy for each other and keep these profiles in mind during your ceremonies.

But it’s all about people, and people change! You shouldn’t run this dynamic only once. Because these profiles change according to the life changes and stages of each member of your team. Getting married, having a child, graduating, all these events are important changes to people’s lives and impact what motivates them. You need to keep a close watch and evaluate the best moment to run this dynamic again. There is no rule — 3, 6 or 12 months, it will depend on each person because IT’S ALL ABOUT PEOPLE.

About the author

Bruna Figini is a Scrum Master at Poatek. In the past she was a backend developer and QA. Passionate about people, she believes that communication is more than speech, that’s why she likes group dynamics and the way they translate the experiences of each person within a group. Enthusiastic of agile methodologies, she lives in an agile fashion in her daily life. She strongly believes that quality is not related only to testing but to process.