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A Simple Way to Measure your Teammate Happiness and Motivation

Last post 08:55 pm February 16, 2021 by Areba Khan
1 reply
11:55 am September 28, 2020

As a scrum master, I need to monitor my teammates' motivation constantly and their work happiness towards their teams and projects as well as to help them become happier and more successful.   It is one of my apparent pleasant duties, together with the team coaching and external dependencies resolving since Individuals and interactions are always over processes and tools 😊

Initially, I used to set up 1-on-1 meetings with each of my teammates with 4-6 months regularity, where in a free manner we talked about their needs in the current project, discussed roles, processes, team relationships, and any issues related to them.

But soon I figured out that some shy or tough guys (it’s a common case in CIS, by the way)  don’t like an open discussion regarding any issues where they could face their feelings, they prefer to keep silent instead and say only Yes\No or (that’s my favorite!) I don’t know, I’ve never thought about it before, so it doesn't matter.

Trying to find some tool to settle this goal and make the discussion more open, interesting and save but fruitful at the same time, I came across the Moving motivators technic developed for the intrinsic motivation research. 

The Moving motivators idea is based on ten intrinsic desires: Curiosity, Acceptance, Power, Relatedness, Goal, Honor, Mastery, Freedom, Order, Status.

Each of these 10 needs is important for everyone in degree. The most valuable ones are driving our development, and their meet is an indicator of our happiness.

So, what you need to learn about your teammates’ intrinsic motivation and happiness is to ask them to play the Moving motivators game and discuss the results together afterward during 1-on-1 meetings with them.

As the outcome of the exercise, you will be aware of the most valuable motivators for your teammate in general, and if he/she is happy with their addressing or not within the current project/team and why.

Hereby instead of asking questions that could tackle your teammates’ feelings accidentally and cause some resistance, you would offer a game to start the conversation towards their needs and happiness within the work under the project.

The exercise result should be driving the upcoming discussion much better, as your teammate won’t be taken by surprise with any of your questions.  Instead of that, playing the game, he\she will have some time to realize their needs and feelings by themself without any (even imaginary) pushing.

And here is magic: even coy and silent coworkers do this exercise with interest and they are always ready to share the context whether it based on feelings or facts. All the feelings matter now since we are not just chatting, we are discussing to address their important needs.

As an illustration, I'd like to share an example, when during the Acceptance motivator discussion, one of my shy coworkers told me that sometimes he felt frustrated and confused when his teammates praised him. The communication within the dev team used to be pretty sarcastic sometimes and it was difficult for him to get whether it was a compliment or just a joke, and the team made fun of him.

This pretty sensitive case was resolved very quickly and easy by new team agreement, and the next Moving motivators research in 6 months showed that this coworker became happy with his need in Acceptance. The most difficult thing, in this case, was to bring this situation up and discuss it. I’m not sure that we would handle that together without the Moving motivators help.

 Sounds like an awesome idea for learning each teammate's needs and starting point for improving their happiness towards their project and the team, doesn't it?

Which tools do you use to measure the team/ or personal motivation and happiness within the project?

I wish you to have only happy and self- motivated coworkers! 


10:31 am February 15, 2021

Motivation comes from a sense of mission, not from freebies. Make sure your staff understand your vision and the plan and "Why" you do. Provide them with results, then take the road and help them when they need it. 

Often, during a sprint/iteration, I concentrate on these things. I put a chart on the wall that marks their tension, their trust in the sprint target, their inspiration or the like every day. The metrics are generally accepted with the team and we look at the resulting graph and interpret it every other day at the end of the sprint. How aligned was the team? What's the fluctuation like? All-in-one level? Trends that are positive/negative? Happy events and murderous events?

I typically let the team evaluate and ask questions for clarity only. We always settle on one or two issues after the retro session to improve the "happiness" we want to tackle

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