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5 Tips to Motivate Your Project Team
By Martin Webster

Change introduces uncertainty, stress and anxiety in those affected by and those implementing change. Inevitably this has an impact on motivation and performance. Keeping your project team motivated is a challenge for the project manager and crucial to success. Unfortunately some managers use fear or draw from accrued goodwill to achieve results. However, this only works for a while and ultimately damages credibility. A leadership style with a people-orientation is key to motivating staff. Use the following tips to motivate your team. Review performance and your approach to motivation regularly.

  1. Clear Goal Setting – Goal-setting is linked to task performance and is the main source of intrinsic motivation – that is, motivation driven by an interest in the task. Setting specific and clear goals leads to greater output and better team performance. Therefore, set unambiguous, measurable and clear goals with a deadline for completion to avoid any misunderstanding.
  2. Empowerment – Employee participation places emphasis on communication, openness and the direct involvement team members in decision-making. Provide support and facilitate discussion to help the team solve problems. As confidence, commitment and competence increases delegate tasks and let team members take decisions or find solutions to problems.

  3. Appropriate Resources – Change usually implies that the project team has to learn new skills to understand and interpret new ways of working. The project leader must provide opportunity for the team and individual to develop and try new approaches. Make sure your team has appropriate training, development resources, and time to confirm their new skills.

  4. Vision – Defining, developing, articulating, and communicating the vision is relatively straightforward. Inspiring others to follow is the real challenge! To inspire your team you need a simple, clear, and relevant vision of the way ahead. What’s more, you too need to be credible, trusted and believable.

  5. Appreciation – You must invest time and energy in your team. Everybody needs to be appreciated and your team is no different! They need to know that you have a personal interest and commitment in them. Recognizing their worth shows that they are valued and the work they do really does matter.

A leader shapes and shares a vision which gives point to the work of others. – Charles Handy

Martin Webster is Systems Support Manager at Leicestershire County Council. He has over ten years project and programme management experience. Martin’s professional interests include project management, leadership, and strategic information systems planning. Read more at Martin Webster, Esq.

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