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Motivation theory is a huge topic and answers here might be partial or not effective in every situation.
There are various models on team motivation and this is also a function of organizational culture and general cultures around the world.
For example, money in motivator in certain situation but not in others.
Firstly, to understand something about psychology. But to condense all the volumes into some basic approaches, you need to know what motivates each member of the team, and the team as a whole. If you know that, then you will know what it is you can or can't do to motivate them. In some way you want their motivation to be aligned with the project or business strategy; that way you don't just have followers, you have advocates.
A few books to get you started:
Greenleaf's Servant Leadership
McGregor's The Human Side of Enterprise
Lencioni's Three Signs of a Miserable Job
Gostick's The Carrot Principle
I distill these into a few principles for myself:
1. The Golden rule (i.e. Do unto others...)
2. Treat folks like professionals and the majority will behave like professionals
3. Recognize people frequently
4. Help connect the work people are doing to their purpose or calling
5. Remove more hurdles from the team's path than you place in their way...
Related to what Kiron, Mounir and Sante have mentioned- try mapping employee needs and desires to a model like Maslow's hierarchy of needs- that basic model can be customized for your team/ org/ etc.
As they say, 'One man's meat is another man's poison'. Each developer requires a unique approach. Here're only some of them:
1) Correct system of rewards: enough salary and other bonuses that they deserved.
2) Clear goals, interesting tasks, understanding of the processes occurring in the team and the results obtained.
3) Avoid useless bureaucracy.
4) Offer your team members opportunities for self-development.
5) Pleasant working conditions, close collaboration within a team.
6) Properly organized system of training instead of punishment for mistakes.
Be a leader- BE AUTHENTIC and people follow, even if only out of curiosity...
From my point of view, a lot have already highlighted by my colleagues, As leader should know the needs and requirement of your people, show your personal example is key to motivate your under command
It has to do with lots of factors. Team members, project environment, organization, your capabilities, etc.
I think we need to encourage ownership. My experience is that team members work hard if they feel the sense of ownership. Also, use the collaborative approach and give everyone a chance to speak.
Company culture can severely limit what a leader can offer in terms of monetary compensation, but as most of our colleagues on this forum suggested, use the methods that you have control over - like promoting independent thinking through autonomy and engagement through simple conversations like the persons' favorite sports.
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