Wednesday, March 22, 2017

How to Keep Teams Motivated to the Finish Line

How many times have you been about to reach your goal and for some reason, you lose interest?

I've heard bosses complain that they've just about got their team to achieve a new goal -- and then enthusiasm seems to wane. The bosses try to figure out a way to jump-start the flagging interest, but can't seem to keep the team motivated.

A new study sheds light on why this happens. It seems that in the early stages of competition, the newness of the event and uncertainty about a competitor's abilities makes those involved wonder if they can even win. If a team performs well and jumps to an early lead ahead of competitors, for example, then they start to believe that winning is possible and that feeds into their motivation, researchers say.

But, once the team stops worrying about attaining their goal, then they begin to think about how much more they're going to have to do in order to finish. That causes them to relax too soon and their efforts begin to decline, the study finds.

The key to maintaining motivation? Focusing the team on more than just the position as a leader. Instead, researchers say bosses can keep teams motivated to the finish line by talking about a higher standard -- such as the team's strong finish in other projects. The comparison to past success often spurs teams to push with greater effort in the final stages, researchers say.

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