Motivating Your Project Team

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As a project manager, part of your success in delivering a high quality end product within time and budget constraints is down to the working environment you create. You will need to use your leadership skills to motivate your project team – meaning each individual within your team strives to generate their best quality work and consistently meet targets.
 
Your approach to motivation will vary depending on the project you are managing, the individuals within your team and your working condition. For example, contractors working remotely  will require a different approach to an in-house project team. Whatever your project type and team set-up, your ability to motivate will be enhanced by considering a few simple points.
 
Understand how to work with different personalities

When motivating people, it is important to understand the individual personalities of your team members, helping you to recognise what motivates them. This will allow you to adapt your approach to get the best from each person – for example, providing feedback to an individual who thrives when given positive encouragement. Alternatively, it may be that a large proportion of your team are motivated by the value they are able to add to a product.
 In this case, ensure you make the time to explain the benefits of the project, and why their expert contribution is so valuable in high-level terms.
 
Create a stimulating working environment

A dull, restrictive working environment can result in a notable lack of motivation, and with good reason. Ensure you create a stimulating, exciting working environment which allows your team to contribute ideas and provide feedback.  This open and honest approach with an emphasis on fluid communication will inspire drive and determination for your team to thrive within a vibrant project setting.
 
Be clear in your aims and expectations

If you do not explain your expectations from the outset, your project team will have no clear focus for their efforts. This will contribute to disinterest and disengagement with the project – so ensure that you are as clear and concise as possible throughout the entire project life cycle – from kick-off meeting to delivery. Working towards specific, defined goals and targets can be a motivating factor for many individuals – so be transparent about deadlines and expectations for each and every task.
 
Provide feedback

If a team member is doing a particularly good job – perhaps offering innovative ideas, helping others or generating high quality of work, let them know. Recognition for exceptional work is a great motivator and will help your team to strive to maintain this. If a team member has really impressed, be sure to mention this to their manager; it may result in a passing commendation or even a deserved positive contribution to an appraisal meeting further down the line.
 
Offer incentives
 
Some organisations may offer incentives for their project teams, particularly if overtime is required to meet a tight deadline. If you feel your team deserve an incentive, make sure you pursue this with management, along with reasons to explain why. Whether a team night out, pizzas to fuel late working or evenlittle extra in their pay packet, the gesture will be appreciated and help the team to go that extra mile. If management doesn’t agree, it may be worth a small gesture off your own back – a batch of cookies can go a long way!

A motivated team will benefit your project enormously and in addition to using your leadership skills to motivate the team you can also consider sending them on appropriate project management courses, many of which are inspirational. You will be more likely to hit your delivery date within budget, and the end result will be of a higher quality as your team proactively contribute ideas for improvement and work hard to produce their best work. Importantly, the experience of working on a projectwill be much more enjoyable too.
 

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Michelle Symonds has 49 articles online and 1 fans

The author is a certified Project Manager and believes all PM professionals should keep their skills up-to-date with the latest project management courses. She also writes a project management.

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Motivating Your Project Team

This article was published on 2013/03/22