Ways to Motivate Project Team Members

Project Management Workflow ChartHow many of you are into project management and actually manage projects? How many of you project managers face demotivated team members after a duration into the project? How many of you wished you have the budget resource to reward performing team members to motivate the others that have slacked? How many of you do not have the money to spend on rewards and feel that your hands are pretty much tied behind your back, so much so that you felt as if you are crippled?

Yes, I’ve been there. Yes, I’ve felt those pain. And yes, I found some ways out. Most if not all projects have limited resources in terms of manpower, time and budget. In order to increase a resource you will have to sacrifice the one of the other. It’s a difficult balancing game.

Time and money are the easiest resource to manage. Humans on the other hand, are a tough resource to manage. For any project to have the best success chance, you need project team members to stick with you throughout the entire duration. Changing team members during projects can be disastrous and usually increases the time taken to complete the project.

There are several motivation theories that you can use to motivate your team members. The one that I often subscribe to is Maslow’s Theory. Maslow said that every individual has a pyramid of needs; broken into 2 distinct needs – basic and growth. In our project management scenario, the basic needs of team members revolve around money-related needs and security.

To keep your project team members happy and motivated (with relatively very low involvement of money), you can try:

  • Belonging – Your team members need to feel belonged in a team. Have your daily team briefing or short pep talk or even get everyone to wear a custom designed T-shirt. You know that it’s easier to survive a storm as a group rather than individually
  • Respect – Give credit where it is due and don’t hesitate to do it in public. Team members will feel recognised and a sense of achievement and appreciation.
  • Understanding – when a team member is cracking over a problem, help out by seeking a solution together whenever possible. Team bonding and understanding of each other will develop and help flourish the relationship.
  • Aesthetics – Give due consideration of the working area. Brightly lit workspace does work wonders in people compared to a dim place. Similarly, work area temperature, space and environment (e.g. real potted plants versus plastic plants) should be given consideration.

For more detailed reading, please visit Valdosta State University and University of Florida.

[tags]project, project management, team, motivate, Maslow[/tags]

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