A recent study by MIT showed that team members perform best when they can obtain: Autonomy: the opportunity to self-direct their work. Mastery: the opportunity to get better and become subject matter experts in a chosen area of expertise. Purpose: the opportunity to contribute to the betterment of the common good.
At Project Management Experts (PME) we conducted own informal study to understand what managers and executives need to do to reward team members and encourage the right behaviors that will lead to improved performance, better results, and greater morale. We concluded:
1) Compensation DOES NOT generate the same excitement as that which comes from being recognized for a job well done; and
2) Performance is higher when team members are: (1) confident and passionate about their work (2) their personal life is going well, and (3) they feel they are paid fairly.
This may explain why the newest Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide, seventh edition) focuses less on structured and strict processes and more on people, leadership and team building. This is also reflected in the latest version of the PMP® Exam. No more memorization of inputs, tools & techniques and outputs. PMI is now more focused on how we can deliver value for our customers, support for our team members, and benefits to our community as a whole.