Motivational Do’s and Don’t In Project Management

22 May

Motivation has been found to be the #1 influence on people’s performance, so how to determine how to best motivate your project team members can be quite difficult.  Assuming that team members are paid a fair salary, project team members can be more motivated by such things as: 

  • Recognition/Attention (From Project Manager/Team Member’s Manager/Executives)
  • Achievement
  • The Work Itself
  • Responsibility
  • Advancement
  • The Chance to Learn New Skills
  • Paid Time Off, as an Appreciation of a Team Members Hard Work
  • Write a Hand-Written Thank You Note to Show Your Appreciation
  • Social Gatherings, such as: lunches, offsite dinner, softball game or movie night
  • Give Each Team Members a Rewarding Job Title
  • Ask Team Members to Take on a Leadership Role
  • Team Spirit Awards or Take a Team Photo to Display for All to See
  • Pizza/Bagels/Cookies/Cakes: Surprise your team members with a special treat
  • Provide Feedback in a Positive Manner

Motivational Don’t:

  1. Don’t Assign Unrealistic Deadlines:  Few people will work hard if they know that a goal/deadline is impossible to achieve
  2. Ignore Good Efforts/Hard Work: People will work harder if they feel like their work is appreciated.  Most times, all this takes is public praise for a job well done
  3. Create a LowQuality Project: If the project is not of high-quality, few people can be proud of working on that a project that is not meaningful or beneficial
  4. Give Everyone on the Project a Bonus:  If everyone on the project team receives the same reward, then high-quality/hard-workers will believe that mediocre work from other team members is acceptable and their effort and dedication of going above and beyond is not valued the same
  5. Make an Important Decision Without the Team’s Input: Getting Buy-ins from your team members is very important.  If the project managers needs to make a decision that greatly affects the members in his or her team, that he or she should involve the project team in the decision-making process.
  6. Maintain Poor Working Conditions: Having a good working environment increases motivation in the team, such as: lighting, desk space, technology, privacy from interruptions, and reference resources.

What tips have you used to help motivate your project team members?


5 responses to “Motivational Do’s and Don’t In Project Management

  1. Glenn Rogers

    May 26, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Like the hand-written note, nice personal touch.

    As for the Don’ts, I don’t think anyone sets out to make a low-quality project, or deliberately set an unrealistic deadline. This comes down to poor project planning.

  2. Lisa Drake

    May 27, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    Thanks Glenn for reading my post and commenting! I agree with you that planning is so important to a project’s success and higher motivated team members.


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