There are various definitions of success, and the ones I like revolve around the topic of happiness. Having fun doesn’t hurt, no matter the situation! And work should be fun: We stand up for what’s fun, we enjoy what’s fun, and we do stuff well if it’s fun. And without even noticing, motivation sneaked up and made us do our work better. And I love better!

HSE Finisher Badge
The HSE Finisher Badge is awarded to those that close and merge git branches

Motivate your team colleagues

In our collaboration with Siemens, we recently realised how much fun it is to be the person who closed and merged the most branches in our GitLab repo, and rub that under everybody’s nose. We even started to keep track of how many branches we would have finished recently, and make sure that everybody knew whenever we finished another one.

Being the competitive sports man that he is, Julian joked about awarding badges and making a ranking. That idea stuck with me, and a few weeks later I surprised the team with what we call the HSE Finisher Badge stickers.

First Finisher Badges
Awarding the very first HSE Finisher Badges

Whoever finishes a branch takes another sticker, writes the name of the finished feature on to it, sticks it to their chest, and runs around with it for the rest of the day. Benjamin was lucky to just have finished two branches that day, so he was awarded the very first two badges – congratulations! 🙂

Motivate your employees

This one is easy and hard at the same time. We never run out of ideas for how to make our lives a little more fun. Finding time for that is actually the bottle neck. Still, every now and then we manage to break out of our routine…

#teamhampelsoft (Moritz, Alex, Joerg, Manuel) @ WUE2RUN 2017
#teamhampelsoft (Moritz, Alex, Joerg, Manuel) @ WUE2RUN 2017
Outdoor Strategy Meeting
Into the wild! Strategy meeting at the riverside
BBQ time! Socializing in the office.
BBQ time! Socializing in the office.

Listening and catering to the needs and wishes of your team is another way to keep the motivation up. Even if that means sitting alone in your posh office 🙂

Empty Office
Empty office. That’s what home office looks like.

Motivate yourself

This one’s probably the hardest to accomplish. The saying goes that you just need to do what you love, and life will be easy. But there’s always just one more feature you need to implement, just one more office task you need to take care of, just one more message you need to answer, and just one more person you promised to call back.

So if your daily agenda is set, and you’re having a hard time breaking out of it, how about slipping a little bit of what you love into what you do?

Now look at that – I had not expected that I’ll need to create a gallery to fit all of the things I enjoy into this post! Lucky me 🙂

What’s your deal? How do you keep your motivation high?

Update: After having a little chat with Steve Watts (read his Random Ramblings on LabVIEW Design!) about life, the universe and everything, I want to stress that it’s imperative to find out what it is that motivates you. Even Simon says “Start with Why“! Some people want to get ideas out there, some people want to put themselves out there, some people just love to hack away at stuff. Some people love the solitude of long walks, others enjoy crowded places. Only if you know what you love and what motivates you can you start getting more from that and less from the rest.

3 thoughts on “Motivation

  1. Loved this post!

    The other day a team member told me “it is great that customers pay us to play”. We enjoy what we do and in fact, that is one of the things we check when taking new projects: will we enjoy it?

    We don’t use happiness as a measure because sometimes you are not happy while debugging but you might enjoy the process of hunting that bug down.

    I was going to suggest a “kind to future me” badge:
    I cleaned my code, added comments if needed, made sure meaningful unit tests were created and pass, and I wrote clear commit notes.

    That would be hard to measure in the moment, but it would be nice to have someone else look you up to give you that badge when they need to do something on the code and one of those things saved them hours. I guess you could also give yourself the badge.

    Thanks for sharing,

    1. Thanks for commenting, Fab! I agree, there are lots of commendable actions that should be awarded. Sometimes, customers get back to you to tell you where you did good. Sometimes, I even congratulate my former self because I left a comment somewhere that turned out to be really helpful 🙂

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