Why is understanding how to motivate the project team so important?
All experienced project managers know that there are times when Gantt diagrams, flowcharts, Work Breakdown Structure, or any other tool are not enough. None of those in those moments will help the project team members to advance towards the finish line.
These are times when the team needs something else: motivation.
In those moments, project managers must find ways to inspire and motivate their teams in order to overcome obstacles and stay focused. This is even more true when things do not proceed exactly as planned.
The figure of the project manager and team leader must therefore also be able to motivate the team that deals with the activities of the plan.
Of course, it is not possible to control all the emotions of the team members. But what is possible to control is the way in which projects are conducted in order to generate more enthusiasm.
Set realistic goals
This is an obvious advice, but always valid.
The beginning of a project can be exciting, and it is difficult not to be into that at the beginning.
If a detailed agenda is not set from the beginning, team members may do extra work and not need to do so. The natural consequence will be that of not being able to respect the chronology of the project.
The feeling is definitely good when starting a new project, but do not forget to plan the workload correctly.
It does not make sense to start with a sprint and at great speed and then remain breathless during the rest of the race.
Setting realistic and smart goals prevents this from happening and not only works as a project development strategy but also as a powerful motivational tool, especially if individual goals are also set.
Give and ask for feedback from the first day
Project managers often give and ask for feedback only when things go wrong.
This is definitely a non-motivational remedy. It is wiser to ask team members to share their opinions throughout the project, from the first day.
Measure the performance
A tool that measures and tracks performance is critical in project management.
A project manager must always evaluate how the project is going compared to the initial planning. If the project is off the track, the project manager has to decide what can be done to get back on track.
Additionally, it can sometimes happen that a team member does not meet his performance goals. This can be because he needs additional training or experience in order to manage the tasks.
Have informal review sessions
Informal review sessions during a project are important not only to discuss the status of the work, but also as a motivational tool.
These meetings should be simple, friendly and, in fact, informal.
Team members should consider these sessions as opportunities to learn, understand what they are doing well and where they can improve.
If team members know that every Friday, they will all be sitting together, in a friendly way, to discuss progress, without anyone being judged, they will be more likely to follow the deadlines and stay motivated to do their part.
Celebrating successes not just at the end of the project, but all along the way, even in the case of small milestones.
The team or even a single team member can be rewarded for achieving small steps.
Recognition can also be showed by simple things, and here the examples are innumerable …
Do team members like pizza? A dinner at the pizzeria together will be perfect. Or are they all sports fans? An active trip can be organized. The ideas are endless.
Know the team
With this, we intend not only to know the skills of the various team members, but also to know them from the personal point of view.
When we talk about rewarding and motivating a team, we have to think about ad hoc prizes. An introvert must be motivated and rewarded in a slightly different way than in the case of an extrovert.
An introvert does not like much attention and most likely will not want balloons or colleagues applauding him during a surprise party. On the other hand, a treatment like this could please an extrovert.
Knowing these personal aspects also helps keep the team motivated and give everyone the chance to shine.
Use a project management software
One of the most intelligent, simple and, above all, welcome methods for motivating a team is the use of cloud-based project management software.
Why this? Because it allows to give individuals and groups panoramic and updates in real time. It will give you a clear idea of what has been achieved, what the team is currently doing and where the team is heading.
Moreover, it brings everyone within the same environment and makes them feel part of something shared.
We have listed our 7 methods to motivate project team members to new levels.
But let’s not forget that there is an absolutely essential eighth point: you must be a motivated project manager yourself!
How can you think of a motivated team when the project manager is not?
Of course, it could be difficult, after all, even the project manager is human and can be discouraged like everyone else.
So, how to stay motivated?
You can create a list of activities that the team has already completed and look at them whenever you feel stuck and depressed. For example, if you use TWproject, you can filter the status of team activities.
Make sure you put aside all your personal problems when you go to work and always try to look for the bright aspects of life and work.
Of course, it may be difficult to keep your head up high and motivate the team, but do not forget that team members rely on you.
And one thing is sure: once you realize that you’ve been able to motivate them, this will surely make you feel good.
We know it too. That’s why we talked about the self-motivation ability in this article.
For this reason, moreover, the TWproject software was built to support the development of projects and make people feel really part of a team, sharing environments, topics, and opportunities.
Have you ever found yourself having to motivate your team in a moment of discouragement? What tools did you use to motivate them? Tell us about your experience.