Wednesday, August 24, 2016

In Research: Team Motivation Drives Innovation

In the scientific community, research and development is seen as an art. It is a sector where researchers are given the opportunity to develop new technologies that have the potential to change the way society works. It is an exciting field that undercuts the existence of all profitable business ventures and technological initiatives. Professionals who gravitate towards this sector typically have strong academic backgrounds and passion for education.

Image Source: Vanderbilt.edu

Every single R&D program or project is accomplished as a team, which can be considered as a unit of success. Research and development tend to attract creative, imaginative professionals, who should be motivated to nurture their personalities and mindsets as creators. Many studies in psychology have singled out R&D, as a sector where motivation is crucial to employee productivity and innovation among those with artistic temperaments.

Management can motivate in many ways. The most recommended form of motivation are incentives or positive reinforcement. Both financial rewards and praise for good work should be balanced, and leaders should recognize, according to timing, which incentive would work best for their team. Each R&D program is unique given the personalities involved and the output.

Salary increases are relatively straight forward. This is based on a system of meritocracy and promotes a healthy sense of competition, which should also be balanced. Jealousy and resentment could irreversibly ruin team dynamics and consequently, the research project itself.

Meanwhile, even as they are generous with praise, managers should maintain sincerity, as employees can easily pick out disingenuousness.

Image Source: cse.umn.edu

Russ Lea has helped many organizations build and develop their R&D arms. For more information about his work, follow this Twitter account.

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