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Old 20.02.2009, 10:26
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Question on a job application form

[FONT='Book Antiqua','serif']All,[/FONT]

[FONT='Book Antiqua','serif']Had to answer a question on a job application form which asked "how to motivate your team". These were my thoughts... what do you think? What have I missed?[/FONT]

[FONT='Book Antiqua','serif']Motivating a team is about ensuing that you make the most of the different skills of the people in your team. It is above ensuring that they know they will be rewarded for getting it right. It is about ensuring that the team works effectively together. It is about pitching in when things get difficult. It is about ensuring all parties are clear about what is expected of them. It is about ensuring all the members of the team are aware and respect their peers responsibilities. It is about ensuring your people have the skills needed to do the job. It is about giving your team as much support as you can. It is about giving your team the authority to the job. It is about ensuring your team have the tools needed to do the job. It is about understanding your team and getting the balence right with the different members between direction and freedom to get on with their jobs.It is about ensuring you have the budget needed to make this happen. [/FONT]
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Old 20.02.2009, 10:36
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Re: Question on a job application form

Well done... I like muliple use of word "ensuring"
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Old 20.02.2009, 10:49
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Re: Question on a job application form

I don't like the multiple use of the same word. It makes it seem like you struggle with English. Use a thesaurus.

Other points:

1. I think the answer reads very informally. I know power phrases or words can feel a little awkward in usage- but if you're applying to a large multinational, using that language suggests to them that you have expertise working in an organisation like theirs. A few suggestions:
Leverage. Strategic. Engaged. There are obviously many many more.

2. What else motivates you? Rewards motivate me, sure. But short term incentives are things like:
a) additional responsibilities- i.e. management over a project, or having a person report to me.
b) Learning new skill sets.
c) Working with areas that I have not worked with previously.
Think about this.

3. Break down your response into a beginning-middle-end flow.
a) What motivates your staff?
b) What support are you going to provide to ensure your staff has the tools and environment required to remain motivated?
c) How are you going to reward and recognise their ongoing motivation and its results?

Again, think about powerful words. You want to sound really interested by the question, really engaged by it.

Since we're in a similar area if you want me to help you with the application- I'm happy to. Its good to have someone to bounce ideas off.
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Old 20.02.2009, 11:14
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Re: Question on a job application form

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[FONT='Book Antiqua','serif']All,[/FONT]

[FONT='Book Antiqua','serif']Had to answer a question on a job application form which asked "how to motivate your team". These were my thoughts... what do you think? What have I missed?[/FONT]

[FONT='Book Antiqua','serif']Motivating a team is about ensuing that you make the most of the different skills of the people in your team. It is above ensuring that they know they will be rewarded for getting it right. It is about ensuring that the team works effectively together. It is about pitching in when things get difficult. It is about ensuring all parties are clear about what is expected of them. It is about ensuring all the members of the team are aware and respect their peers responsibilities. It is about ensuring your people have the skills needed to do the job. It is about giving your team as much support as you can. It is about giving your team the authority to the job. It is about ensuring your team have the tools needed to do the job. It is about understanding your team and getting the balence right with the different members between direction and freedom to get on with their jobs.It is about ensuring you have the budget needed to make this happen. [/FONT]
In the current economic climate you can Motivate Your Team by reminding them they still have a job.
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Old 20.02.2009, 11:17
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Re: Question on a job application form

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In the current economic climate you can Motivate Your Team by reminding them they still have a job.
Yes MikeB,
I am glad I am not your team.
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Old 20.02.2009, 11:23
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Re: Question on a job application form

MikeB is only being so cynical becuase he manages a team of one... that is to say.. .himself!
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Old 20.02.2009, 11:34
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Re: Question on a job application form

I would give an example on how you motivate your team, rather than a generic statement full of buzz words. You can keep a the buzzies, but still explain the recruiter how you did it, and what you achieved.

Like, during my stay at XYZ, i was given a project that a sort of ugly duckling with unmotivated staff and an obscure scope.... and then you take it from here . It can go from repositioning the project, negotiate with sr management the scope, allow people to have enlarged responsabilites that they normally wouldn't have and allowing more ownership, giving them the authority and place for discussion, allow them to participate in the final decision. Whatever it takes for the drill... Do insist on communications and soft skills. Bottom line is that they want to know how you did it.

Last edited by lucy_sg; 20.02.2009 at 11:47.
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Old 20.02.2009, 11:40
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Re: Question on a job application form

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I would give an example on how you motivate your team, rather than a generic statement full of buzz words. You can keep a the buzzies, but still explain the recruiter how you did it, and what you achieved it.

Like, during my stay at XYZ, i was given a project that a sort of ugly duckling with unmotivated staff and an obscure scope.... and then you take it from here . It can go from repositioning the project, negotiate with sr management the scope, allow people to have enlarged responsabilites that they normally wouldn't have and allowing more ownership, giving them the authority and place for discussion, allow them to participate in the final decision. What you it takes for the drill... Do insist on communications and soft skills. Bottom line is that they want to know how you did it.
That is a fantastic suggestion by Lucy_sg. Actual examples of previous successes are what potential employers like to see. Lots of people can talk the talk but an employer wants to know that you can actually put it into practice.
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Old 20.02.2009, 11:44
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Re: Question on a job application form

I hope just hope Markalex and I aren't going after the same job............. i have writer block and my otherwise always in place bullsh1t mode is now not operative _sigh_
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Old 20.02.2009, 11:48
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Re: Question on a job application form

Similarly like nothing breeds success like success, nothing helps motivation more than results. Once word gets around your successful, everyone wants to work for/with you. When your projects become successful everyone starts saying how involved they were.

If you like, the expected answer is along the lines you're pursuing, think of bringing them in the answer something a little different, and maybe start with yourself.

Nothing motivates me more than the passion/desire my boss and/or the people I'm working with, have for the wished-for outcome. It then rubs off on me, I then try to get it to rub off me going forward!

Most people want to believe, how have you provided them with a reason to and go from there?

Finally, once you made progress, did you mark the occasion, sometimes for small milestones it's can be as simple as bringing in gipfelis for everyone in the morning or something.
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Old 20.02.2009, 11:49
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Re: Question on a job application form

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[FONT='Book Antiqua','serif']All,[/font]

[FONT='Book Antiqua','serif']Had to answer a question on a job application form which asked "how to motivate your team". These were my thoughts... what do you think? What have I missed?[/font]

[FONT='Book Antiqua','serif']. It is about ensuring that the team works effectively together. It is about pitching in when things get difficult. It is about ensuring all parties are clear about what is expected of them. It is about ensuring all the members of the team are aware and respect their peers responsibilities. It is about ensuring your people have the skills needed to do the job. It is about giving your team as much support as you can. It is about giving your team the authority to the job. It is about ensuring your team have the tools needed to do the job. It is about understanding your team and getting the balence right with the different members between direction and freedom to get on with their jobs.It is about ensuring you have the budget needed to make this happen. [/font]
Thanx for the groan man! I didnt mean to radicule antything said above, just to clarify here:

- I would try to use alternative word for "ensuring" instead of multiple usage of this word in a few consecutive sentences, unless you you present it in form of bullets and etc...

- Try to be more formal e.g. Instead of "Motivating a team is about ensuing that you make the most of the different skills of the people in your team. It is above ensuring that they know they will be rewarded for getting it right..." I would rephrase it.

In my understanding, key elements to motivate a team are:
- Optimally utilize the skills of members within the team,
- Provide the required support,
- Reward the achievements accordingly,
- Organize team-building events at least once per annum,
- Often discuss the requirements of individuals to improve their performance,
- Ensure availability of required tool to perform their tasks,
- Provide the training and courses to individuals,
- Proper budgeting and planning,

and etc...
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Old 20.02.2009, 11:53
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Re: Question on a job application form

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MikeB is only being so cynical becuase he manages a team of one... that is to say.. .himself!
It is, however, definitely a Motivated Team.
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Old 20.02.2009, 12:09
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Re: Question on a job application form

BTW: I had a very good Swedish team leader, he used to keep us motivated by:

- organizing scheduled meetings once per month to discuss the progress and open issues within the team (about 2hours),

- once per year team building event e.g. canoe trip and beer afterwards bufgeted from our company,

- responsibility matrix event, where we discussed the responibilities within the team and solution to the problem when the tasks would overlap, planning and budgeting,

- regular informing the team of events, lefleats, broshures and miscellaneous,

- always friendly and helpful.

Just to give the thought on the topic...
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Old 20.02.2009, 12:13
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Re: Question on a job application form

One reminder though:

Some companies google things simply to look if you copied stuff. I had interviews with recruiters that clearly tried to find something online about me to "surprise me" in an interview, I guess mainly to check my reaction.

If they find your text here and look at all posts you ever made, they might have some more insight in your private stuff than you wanted.

Example: "Are you very interested in other peoples savings or salaries?"
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Old 20.02.2009, 12:19
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Re: Question on a job application form

Markalex, your response seems more like a definition of what motivation is, rather than demonstrating how to motivate a team.

I think Lucy_sg is correct in suggesting that you need to support your idea of motivating a team with a real life example.

YOu need to demonstrate that that you are motivated yourself in order to motivate others; that the motivation needs to be focused on clear specific, realistic and achievable goals and that there needs to be recogniotion and reward on the individual.
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Old 20.02.2009, 13:49
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Re: Question on a job application form

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I would give an example on how you motivate your team, rather than a generic statement full of buzz words. You can keep a the buzzies, but still explain the recruiter how you did it, and what you achieved...
To the OP: remember, you sometimes get more points for the working out than for the 'correct' answer alone

Follow Lucy's advice; in an interview they're looking for how you do things, not just what you do.

Should the team need motivating I'd already see that as a sign of weakness in the manager. Something to consider. Empowering the team to get their job done is very important. Any fool can boss people around, but giving them the time and resources to represent you - as the manager - is vital if you want success.

Good motivators don't need to use carrots or sticks; they inspire the team to get the job done effectively. Then they reward the achievers and support under-achievers

Work-place motivation is criminally under-valued, in my opinion. Adding a dose of care on more than just a results level can have great benefit.
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Old 20.02.2009, 14:11
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Re: Question on a job application form

I agree with the above. Use of the word ensure too much does suggest that your English, and your imagination, arent great. Try and use the verbs that have been suggested, varying them all the time.

Another thing that really motivates a team is being thanked for their work, and told often that they are doing well.

I interview candidates regularly, and we like to see that they can be both a leader and a member of a team, that they can appreciate what makes a good team work, and what doesnt, that they can understand team dynamics etc.
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Old 27.02.2009, 11:44
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Re: Question on a job application form

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If they find your text here and look at all posts you ever made, they might have some more insight in your private stuff than you wanted.

Example: "Are you very interested in other peoples savings or salaries?"
Hmmm... Have been thinking about that before. But for that I guess they would have to know my nick, don`t they? Plus, you would have to have really unique name to be found easy or you would have to be VIP to spend hours and days to filter you out. My name googles rather impossible - tried it out already using an advice of some looking-for-job-book. Is it maybe a topic for a new thread?
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