Project management is all about striking the balance between the big picture and the finer details. Leading your team is no different and Project Managers often need to find ways to overcome a range of obstacles while working towards the end goal. Change is just one of the obstacles your project management team will face, but it can have a big impact on motivation, bringing in uncertainty and stress to those affected. Here, we share our tips on motivating your team and setting them up for success.
Understand the Individuals in Your Team
It goes without saying that setting project goals is a critical responsibility for a Project Manager. Goalsetting is how the vision of the project is communicated, which means that success is dependent on the Project Manager getting across the vision clearly.
Just as goals for the collective team and the project as a whole are vital to success, it’s important to ensure that all team members have individual goals to work towards. Not only are individual goals great for staff development but they can be an incredible motivational tool (everyone to some extent, is intrinsically motivated).
Much like goals for the team, individual goals need to be unambiguous, measurable and clear. In order to effectively create them, you’ll need to understand the personalities of your team and the things that motivate them as individuals. This is often built up naturally through one-to-ones, reviews, informal discussions and meetings.
Empowering Your Team
Goals are pointless if your people don’t have the means to achieve them. You want to empower the team and this means giving people the autonomy they need to finish their work. Constantly micromanaging people is the easiest way to disengage the team. It comes down to trust, allowing them to make decisions and find the best solutions. It’s why it’s important to remember that these people are experts in their field, so if you have a team of developers, they should make the development decisions. This leaves you to facilitate discussion and support, while ensuring that whatever action is taken keeps the project on course.
Review Progress Regularly
Effective management is a balancing act, like most things. Whilst you don’t want to overmanage your team, undermanaging can put the project at risk too. This is where Regular catch ups and progress reviews come in because they give your team an idea of how the project is tracking, what they need to do and how it links back to the greater project goals. It also helps from a motivational point of view as people walk away with renewed energy and a clearer idea of what they’re doing. As a Project Manager, it also enables you to identify any areas that need support, so you can develop plans to address that.
Celebrate Your Success
While reviewing progress of the project is important, of equal importance is celebrating the good work the team has done. Celebrating successes and recognising the contributions of the team allows people to feel more valued and will only help to increase engagement.
To help keep this in mind, take a look at the important milestones for the project and think about how you would like to celebrate them – especially project completion!
These celebrations could be anything, so get creative. If one of your team members has exceeded expectations, consider sending out a congratulations email to the team or perhaps a voucher to recognise their efforts. Look at taking the entire team out for a meal or other team building events that get everyone together in a positive environment outside of work.
At the end of the day, Project Managers are responsible for keeping the entire team motivated and on track. It’s no easy task, but a few tweaks can help you take your project to the next level. What do you do to keep your team motivated? We’d love to hear your thoughts!