How We Used Motivation Theory to Overcome Business Challenges

When Maggie, my friend and colleague, left a bit early for her maternity leave, our little department of four banded together to ensure her hard work would stay in play.

Taking on additional work in short order was challenging, but when you work with good people toward a common goal, a sense of excitement and belonging sets in that keeps the momentum going. This kind of motivation comes deep from within us and can have an extraordinary effect on business outcomes as well as produce individual feelings of achievement and pride.

However, this situation might have had quite a different ending.

Motivation theory

Motivated by Teamwork

Originally, our department was created to centralize and lead our corporate marketing strategies by pulling together a team of professionals from different backgrounds and different parts of the company.

Team members were identified based on their unique skill sets, knowledge and personal career goals of what they wanted to achieve at ITA Group. A vision and objectives for the department were provided by senior leadership, and we were off and running.

Because we were evolving our new group, we needed to figure out how we could best work together without getting in each other’s way, yet still be supportive of the greater team’s efforts.

Happily, we had recently moved into a newly remodeled building where a more open office environment promoted cross-pollination and synergy. In addition, this fresh workspace came fully equipped with innovative tools and resources to help us be more engaged with one another. These external factors played a big part in our motivation to work together as it seemed to be a natural component of collaboration and idea building.

It would seem that everything was in place for a winning situation given any circumstance that would come our way. We had the tools, a great work environment, strategic vision and clear goals, a strong leader and the beginnings of cooperative and motivated teamwork.

What wasn’t known was whether or not we’d fail or flourish when disruptive challenges happened.

Paying Attention to What Motivates You

Because ITA Group had the foresight to blend intrinsic and extrinsic motivators for each of us, we were ready. Management had built upon our personal strengths and career needs and surrounded us with a cutting-edge workspace and tools. As importantly, we were given goals and tangible incentives to get the job done in collaboration with strategic leadership.

The attention to balancing different motivators, both internal and external, created an appealing environment where autonomy, mastery and purpose could be realized. 

It’s our belief that an intentional blend of motivators that have individual emotional appeal and rational thought laced together provides the best scenario for a self-directed and highly-productive workplace.

So what happened when individual and team motivation ran high? Three months after Maggie’s leave, she returned to find her product objectives and timelines were met and the product launched with early signs of a successful first campaign. We’re excited to have her back and the team is now working on the next phase of product marketing.

But that’s not the best part of this story. The best part is that Maggie and her husband Cody welcomed their third child, a healthy baby boy they named Sully, into the world!