Agile teams, like many other teams, are susceptible to burnout and diminishing enthusiasm. When this happens, productivity will dip and project deadlines will almost certainly be missed.
This will likely result in unhappy customers and damage to the reputation of the company. To keep people inspired, provide financial incentives for certain milestones.
For example, you could give out bonuses or gift cards if a certain deliverable is completed before its deadline. The cash alone will inspire people to push harder, especially given the rising costs of basic goods due to inflation.
If you don't quite have the budget for bonuses, there are other, albeit less effective, ways to inspire your agile team. Those who engage in agile work or ascribe to the agile philosophy are probably very interested in continuing education.
Paying for the team's training for the PMP (Project Management Professional) or CSM (Certified Scrum Master) exams is a relatively inexpensive way to incentivize their hard work. Career advancement and educational opportunities are big motivators for the modern professional.
The biggest mistake I see companies make when it comes to inspiring employees is rewarding good work with more work. It's an odd, ineffective practice that needs to stop.
Contrary to corporate executive beliefs, people don't live to work. Hell, most people don't even like to work.
Find out what inspires people and be humble enough to realize that the same things that inspire you do not inspire others. So, if the team meets a deadline, don't "reward" their achievement with additional tasks.
Instead, do the opposite, and offer additional PTO, or some extended lunch breaks. If you decide to buy them a meal, try not to suggest they all meet up after work to enjoy it together.
To some people (myself included), an after-work gathering is a cruel punishment, not a treat.
To get your creative juices flowing, here are some additional ways to
inspire an agile team
In addition to these methods, another great way to keep the team engaged and inspired is to have fun. Here are some enjoyable and unique activities. Be sure that all of these are optional and that you don't force anyone to participate as that defeats the purpose and is one of main disadvantages of work events.
A nice financial reward system coupled with an environment that encourages risk-taking and free-thinking creates a very engaged and happy team. Mistakes will happen but you should ensure that they are not punished so severely that they keep anyone from trying anything different.
Be kind, thoughtful, and respectful. Always keep in mind that people's personal lives will always be more important to them than their work lives and you will have no problem keeping your agile team inspired for years to come.
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