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How To Motivate Your Team

The growth of a business depends on people, which is why good teamwork is essential for success. So let’s consider how a project manager can improve teamwork.

Projects, of course, involve people; those who have initiated the project, the end-users and, more importantly, those who will manage and carry out the work to make the project a reality. And the success of any project depends on these individuals, which is why good teamwork is essential for successful project delivery. So let’s consider how a project manager can improve teamwork.

It is never enough to have a good project plan, a well-defined risk management process and effective communication even though plenty of project managers would be glad of those right now. The key to successful project management is to ensure the project team is motivated and works well together. One way of encouraging and motivating a team is to identify their strengths and any opportunities that might be presented by the project. By having frank and open discussions with the whole team you can also highlight the weaknesses in the team and any risks to completing the project successfully. Openly discussing such potential problems can help to minimise the risks. This in turn motivates the team because they pro-actively tackle issues instead of just reacting when a problem occurs.

A project team can range from a few people from a single business area to several groups from different organisations across the world, such as an SEO keyword research company. Whatever type of team it is, it has just a few clear, but vital, objectives: to understand what activities must be completed and to finish them to a defined timetable, at a specified cost and level of quality. During the course of the project they must also efficiently report progress, issues and changes to priorities or requirements to all concerned.

By supporting and encouraging individual team members, with the aim of developing a fully-motivated team, the project manager can ensure that these objectives are achieved. To this end, the project manager would typically gather the whole team together in person, wherever possible, at the outset of the project. The purpose of such a gathering is to build the confidence and enthusiasm of the team by putting in place a detailed project plan that includes the team’s input,  ideas and concerns.

What needs to be done to gather the information needed can be very different from project to project but some basic questions that should always be raised are:

  • Has the project been allocated a sufficient budget?
  • Are the required skills and experience readily available?
  • What benefits will the finished project bring to the organisation?
  • Are end-users enthusiastic about the new project?
  • Has the project manager or team worked on similar projects?
  • Who will decide deadlines and provide time-estimates?
  • Will contingency funding be available if required?

Encouraging honest and realistic discussions about both the positive and negative aspects of a project, and promoting a flow of ideas about what tasks can be done well and what problems might occur will motivate and enthuse a team. Remember to build on your strengths, tackle weaknesses, exploit opportunities and monitor risks, and you will find yourself with a team capable of delivering even complex projects successfully.

Less experienced project managers can learn more about team-building by studying for project management qualifications which will provide guidance on the importance of a motivated project team.

9 thoughts on “How To Motivate Your Team

  1. Nice Article with great ideas for motivation. I have a new team and I am trying to motivate them but was having little success. I think I can motivate them more after reading these ideas.

    1. Hi Rita,

      Thanks for reading the article and for commenting. Do keep working at motivating your team because a well-motivated team will always perform far better than a dis-interested team. But, also, don’t forget that the team leader (i.e. you) needs to also be self-motivated so work on that too – Good Luck!

  2. Thanks for sharing these tips, I really appreciate them. I agree that if you can motivate a team then they will go the extra mile to make sure every task is completed to the best of their abilities. If the team are discouraged then they will not give 100%

  3. Nice information about motivating a team – so important that team members feel appreciated and content in their work to… That’s surely the best way to get the team putting in their best work. Thank you for the tips.!!

    1. Thanks for stopping by menujubali – you’re right about the importance of the people feeling appreciated. Sometimes all it takes is a thank you to make team members feel good about the work they have done and better motivated for the next task.

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    In April 2010, Performics and ROI Research found that 33% of Twitter
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    Wait. What?

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    If you were to take one thing away from this research, it’s
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    While money doesn’t grow on trees, it does however, grow on Tweets

  5. I really liked this post, just the sort of thing that’s helpful for the New Year to motivate my team to do better. I will encourage them all to read it…

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