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Is money a motivator for team members?

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My team members are going through a phases where they are all completely demotivated. I have tried almost everything to put them in a good mood: I have reduced their work load, had more leeway when it comes to vacations and days off, and I was more lenient when it comes to using social websites in the office. The problem is getting worse.

I know that most of them have families and more money will make their life easier. Now here is my question:

- Is it OK for me, the project manager, to ask for a raise across the board on behalf of my employees.
- If that raise is accepted, will more money motivate them, will they return to their previous state when they were always happy and glad that they are working with me?
asked 6 years ago by anonymous

1 Answer

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To answer your main question, I think that money can be a demotivator, but never a motivator. Here's what I mean: Let's assume your resources are underpaid, this will make them demotivated, but, if your resources are fairly (or well) paid, then money is not a concern for them anymore, and consequently, not a motivator. They don't even think about money anymore.

I don't think it's the job of the project manager to ask for raises, it's the job of their manager (the functional manager) to do that. Do not step into other people's territory.

Now let me give you my opinion on why your team members are demotivated. I think it's one of two options:

- The tasks you are giving them are not challenging at all.
- The project they are currently working on seems like a never ending a project (maybe you are constantly hit with change requests?). A never ending project can cause a lot of frustration.

The first problem can be solved by listening to them, getting their feedback, see what would they do with these tasks to make them more challenging. Beware falling into the "gold plating" trap though.

As for the second problem, you may start thinking about creating a phase II of the project to handle all those change requests. You need to assure your team members that the project can and will get finished.
answered 6 years ago by humblepm (17,390 points)

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