4 Essential Needs you Should Build to Have a Successful Team

Motivating team members is an important role for project leaders. Motivation is sometimes overlooked; however, it is very important if teams are to be effective. A system of motivation and encouragement should be developed by every leader.

The following are recommendations that motivate and encourage team members:

  • Team members are motivated when they clearly understand what they have to do and what is expected of them.
  • Team members are motivated by personal interaction with the project team leader and other team members.
  • Team members should be given the resources to complete their job.
  • Team members should be able to access the necessary training, coaching and mentoring needed to excel in their position.
  • The team and individual members should be rewarded for success.
We will discuss motivation in greater detail in a later module.

Creating a Learning Environment – 4 Basic Needs

In order to achieve maximum success, a project team leader must clearly attend to the special needs of the team and never violate these basic needs.

Basic Needs

  • The need for relevancy
  • The need for autonomy
  • The need for security
  • The need for belonging


No one likes to do something that they believe is unimportant. People tend to be goal-oriented and also want to clearly understand the importance of achieving specific goals and the role they play in the big picture. An effective project leader sets clear, achievable goals and objectives and provides the criteria for achieving and measuring success. Additionally, the project leader clearly explains and continuously points team members to the relevance of the team and its functions in the big picture of the corporation.

The following are some of the benefits of meeting this basic need:

  • Reduces wasted time as the team knows exactly what is required of them and is able to focus on accomplishing their clear goals and objectives.
  • Creates a clear way to measure and evaluate performance.
  • Keeps the team on track.
 What Can a Project Leader Do To Promote Relevancy?
  • Clearly state what is expected of the team as defined by goals and objectives.
  • Clearly identify the resources that are needed to achieve success.
  • Clearly state the criteria for measuring success.


One of the exciting things about teams is its ability to empower and involve members in the decision making process. Team members have a basic need to explore, act independently, and be self-directing and self-governing.

The following are some of the benefits of meeting this basic need:

  • Team members assume responsibility and ownership for assigned goals.
  • Team members develop their individual skills.
  • Team members explore more and search out the best solutions.
  • Team members interact in a more positive manner.

What Can Leaders Do To Promote Autonomy?

  • Treat team members as professional colleagues.
  • Allow team members to suggest solutions and ideas without criticism.
  • Empower team members to make decisions.
  • Allow team members to act as a team leader for various projects.
  • Encourage team members to be autonomous.


Team members are able to explore and grow to their full potential in an environment that is free from threat. Every individual has a basic need for security; a lack of security can impede the team’s progress. If a team member feels rejected by the project team leader or various team members, their concerns about their self image and insecurity can distract the individual from their assigned goals.

The following are some of the benefits of meeting this basic need:

  • Team members get more involved.
  • Promotes a healthy climate for learning.
  • Encourages creativity.
  • Team members interact in a more positive manner.

What Can Project Leaders Do To Promote Security?

  • Interact with team members as a supportive peer who acts as a leader, not as a dictator.
  • Encourage team involvement.
  • Clearly state goals and objectives.
  • Remove any threatening element from the team’s environment.


Team members feel a part of something; they do not feel isolated within an organization. This feeling of acceptance goes a long way in improving morale and fostering creativity. The need for belonging is a fundamental need of individuals. Teams complement this need by providing an environment that adds relevancy, belonging, security and autonomy.

The following are some of the benefits of meeting this basic need:

  • Team members enjoy working in teams.
  • Team members become more committed.
  • Promotes team cohesiveness.
 What Can Project Leaders Do To Promote Belonging?
  • Have team members spend time together apart from work.
  • Reinforce and support each team member.
  • Promote team cohesiveness.
 Creating a climate that encourages learning is critical to the success of any project team leader. By meeting these four basic needs, team members will become more effective and empowered to accomplish team goals and objectives. More topics are covered in our Certified Project Management Program like how to build you team, how to motivate your team and more topics.

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