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7 Simple Ways to Motivate Your Project Team
It can be difficult to push yourself to be motivated at work.
This is especially so when you are dealing with a high workload and a number of other demands. However, as a project manager or leader, you must be able to motivate and encourage people around you so that you have a happy and productive team.
Naturally, you cannot control each employee’s attitude towards their work, but strategies do exist to motivate and excite your team.
Read on to learn more about how to boost morale and motivate your project team.
1. Set achievable goals
While this may seem obvious, sometimes it is still worth re-evaluating your project goals and making sure they are realistic and achievable.
Starting a new project is exciting and it can be easy to overestimate the capability of yourself and your team. Naturally, you want to work as hard as you can and achieve the best results, but make sure you don’t get carried away.
Have a detailed agenda from the beginning of the project so that each team member knows what their responsibilities are and that the work is divided fairly. Good preparation will help you to avoid common setbacks such as allocating too much work to one team member leading to poor quality results.
2. Be clear and direct
Once you have set a timeline and some realistic goals for the project, make sure your team members are aware of their workload and deadlines and that you communicate this clearly.
You ought to facilitate a culture that encourages your staff to come forward and discuss any issues that they have with the work that has been assigned to them. For example, you may think you have set an achievable deadline but your staff member may not agree.
Be receptive to their concerns and come to a unanimous agreement about how the project should go forward. This way, staff will be less likely to withhold their concerns and may approach you with new ideas for the project.
3. Catch up with your team members
Conduct a weekly or monthly catch up session to see how your team members are doing with their work.
If they know that they have to show evidence of some progress each week, they will be more motivated to make sure they are following deadlines and working consistently. It will also nurture opportunities for discussion and collaboration, and address problems as they arise.
Asking your team for feedback on the project will also encourage them to feel more involved. Knowing that a superior values your opinion is a powerful motivator and is likely to contribute to a more close-knit team.
4. Offer praise for good work
Keep up a constant flow of positive feedback for small victories and it will help keep your team feeling motivated and valued.
Offer compliments to employees that you feel have gone above and beyond, and make sure you commend them in front of your team so that other staff are inspired and can see the results of hard work.
Break up long weeks with lunches, coffee or drinks at the end of the day to reward your team. These are small moments where your staff can feel more appreciated and good working relationships solidify.
Remember, as you progress with the project you may experience more stress and pressure, but still take the time to show appreciation to your staff. Project success is dependent on close teams and good communicators. Nurture your team members and they will reward you.
5. Emphasise adult training
Keep your colleagues updated on any short courses or seminars they can attend to expand and refine their skills. Constant learning encourages staff to apply themselves and achieve more within the team, so supporting an avenue to develop this is a wise investment.
Management seminars are great for employees looking to step into higher positions. Gaining an insight into the daily expectations of a manager is important not only for expanding your team members’ horizons, but it can also give them an insight to why you are making certain decisions day-to-day.
6. Get excited about the project
Highlight the benefits of the work to your team members.
Elaborate on how the project is benefiting your company and how it fits in with the wider ambitions of the department and business as a whole. This will help your team members get a detailed understanding of what the project is, why it is important, and the value of their role in regard to the end goal.
Getting your team enthused about the intentions of the project helps to generate a deeper commitment and appreciation for the work they are doing, and can create a snowball effect. Maintaining this momentum can lead to enhanced communication, new ideas and ongoing support for new projects.
7. Keep a clear line of communication
When managing a project team, it is crucial that you maintain a good line of communication with all stakeholders.
Make sure you have several ways in which your team members can contact you so that communication remains fluid and accessible. These can include:
- In-person contact
- Instant message
If one form of communication fails, there will still be many other ways to reach you. This will help make sure that your team is feeling supported as you complete the project.
Motivating your project team is important in order to achieve the best results. When developing a strategy to engage team members both individually and as a collective, take into account their personalities, the scope of their role and out of office commitments.
If you make plans for regular after work drinks, but half of your team have young children, then it’s unlikely that most people will be able to attend. Develop a few strategies that can involve everyone throughout the day on a smaller scale, and you will see the overall morale improve.
They key is to test new strategies and adapt them accordingly. Find out what works in your team, and your projects will run more smoothly than ever before.
About the Author
Helen Sabell works for the College for Adult Learning, she is passionate about adult learning. She has developed and authored many workplace leadership programs, both in Australia and overseas.