More and more of the work done in organisations is knowledge-based, requiring thinking and judgment. Performance cannot be ensured by setting targets and by close supervision, as there is no outward sign of the intensity of thinking happening and the assessment of results is often subjective. Motivating employees is often the only way to encourage the required effort to complete complex and knowledge-based tasks. Managers need to understand what motivates employees and be able to motivate others when and where it is needed. In the first part of this Guide we look at the various factors which affect employee motivation and the different theories of motivation.

In the second part of the Guide we discuss teams and teamwork. Groups and teams are an essential part of most organisations and the manager needs to know how to set up a team and how to motivate its members. A manager also needs to know how to lead a team and when to empower a team. The second part of this Guide deals with the different types of team that can be established and how they operate.

After reading the Guide, you should be able to:

  • define motivation and outline its role in achieving organisational goals and encouraging high levels of performance in individuals;
  • outline major motivational theories and discuss their applicability to strategic human resource management;
  • identify different management practices used to motivate employees;
  • define teams and groups and identify the characteristics of effective groups and teams;
  • identify different types of groups and teams used in workplaces;
  • explain how teams develop and exert influence on individual behaviour;
  • explain the role of the manager in motivating and developing high-performance teams;
  • explain the stages of team development and the factors that affect a team’s development; and
  • identify the causes and consequences of team conflict and explain how this conflict can be effectively reduced.

Professionals Australia would like to acknowledge the assistance of Chifley Business School in producing this Guide. The Guide draws from the Chifley Business School MBA, short course, Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate content. For further information on courses, visit the website at or email

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