How to Re-Motivate a Demotivated Project Team

7 Tactics to Boost Project Team Morale

Continuing our series discussing how to regain momentum on failing projects, this article examines seven tactics to boost project team morale.

Why Do Project Teams become Demotivated?

Often, the source of demotivation of a project team is that the senior members of the project board are becoming disinterested in the project. Should this happen, momentum fades and resources will soon become unavailable. To combat demotivation, a project manager must use the following seven motivational tactics.

1.      Ensure That All Goals Are Achievable

Make sure that all project stages and every task within those project stages are achievable. Order resources needed ahead of time and explain fully to team members what is expected of them. Allocate the work fairly.

2.      Assess Workload with Your Team

As you explain and allocate work, always discuss this with your team. By doing so you will ensure that the work you allocate is allocated to the best people for each task, and that skillsets and time are optimised.

If concerns are raised, it is important to listen to them. Being open to feedback encourages the trust that is essential to maintain momentum should issues arise. Developing solutions with your team rather than for your team engenders joint ownership of the project. This helps to motivate positive action.

3.      Stay in Touch with Your Team

Hold regular catch-up sessions to monitor work and maintain an eye on progress. Encourage your team members to be open about any problems and tackle them as they arise. A good project manager is part of the project team.

4.      Recognise Hard Work

Make sure you praise people for hard work and good work. Positive feedback keeps energy levels high – especially if praise is given publicly.

You might also break long days with impromptu lunches or an end-of-day drink. Such ‘meaningful moments’ show your appreciation and make tough days a little easier to bear.

5.      Provide Opportunities for Professional Development

By its very nature, project work offers the potential for people to develop their skills and abilities. Make sure that this happens. People who learn remain motivated and have more value to the team going forward.

6.      Be Excited about the Project

If a leader is not excited about a project, they cannot expect their troops to be. So be that excited leader. Manage with enthusiasm. Ensure that you discuss the project benefits regularly and reiterate how far you have come toward the final goal.

By discussing such details, your project team will have a better understanding of the project. This helps to build commitment to it.

7.      Communicate Effectively

Make sure that you communicate effectively. Plan your project communication by understanding your project stakeholders: who needs to know what and why; when stakeholders must be communicated with; how each stakeholder prefers to be communicated with.

In Summary

While these tactics will help to re-motivate a demotivated team, experienced project managers don’t wait until there are signs of demotivation to employ them. These tactics should be in place and used from before the project starts. However, if your team is suffering from project fatigue and becoming demoralised, you should revisit your motivational strategy and make certain that you are employing all the above motivational tactics every day.

For more information about project management, contact Your Project Manager:

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