It's time to kick off that new project and keep the team you are working with motivated. I have never had any great managers or leaders around me, but I always learned from personalities from different walks of life. I am a huge sports fan and follow a lot of team sports, that is how I have learned to lead and manage. I have grown up watching many interviews and documentaries and how influential people kept their teams motivated. I take a lot of influence from that in how to lead, manage and motivate the teams I have worked with over the years.
So, we had been working on a project for months on end, with many long hours and nights. And I just always try to be there for them in any capacity possible. One evening I come with pizza and worked with the team through the night to keep them motivated.
Before every new project, one of the big things is to motivate the team before, during, and after the project whether we complete it on time or there are any delays. It is important to keep the team motivated for the next project or task. The lessons I learned from working over the years with different teams are things that I try to bring to my teams today and improve on them. There are times, of course, when I as a leader forget about my team, and I must be reminded how important it is to keep them and myself motivated and engaged.
Set Realistic Goals
It's great to be excited and enthusiastic when we start a new project and formulate our plan, but don't neglect to get feedback and agreement from team members about the capacity. Have you ever been caught with work that suddenly emerged on the timeline without input? Everyone hates that. I don't want to do that to my team and I have found that setting realistic goals and targets for the work they must do avoids that from happening.
We need a means that processes and tracks performance. How are we doing versus the timeline of what we were going to do? Are we on time? Are we off our timeline and track, and if so, how do we get back to making the project on time? How do we meet the targets that we set? As the project manager, what assistance or help might my team need to get us back on track? There can be a variable of tools, and we keep using them whether that be Jira, DevOps, MS Project, etc. Sometimes it may be one team member not meeting their goals because they need additional training or knowledge to handle issues they are running into. Offer the support and means and keep on measuring the performance to see how they are doing.
This is a big one for me personally. Celebrating successes not just at the end of the project, but all along the way, every small milestone acknowledges that. Be happy about it and look forward to the next. Reward the team for accomplishing success and more notably, for working collectively as a team, so the focus is not on one star. We can do that with simple measures. Me, I like having lunches and dinners with the team. Or create posts for them and put them on social media so not just them but their families can see their success.
Understand Your Team
Knowing about your team and understanding the team members is crucial. Whether or not a team member is shy or introverted or extroverted. When we talk about rewarding and inspiring a team, we motivate an introvert a little other way than we do an extrovert. A shy person doesn't like a lot of attention, whereas an extroverted might. Know their abilities, skills and knowledge, expertise, quirks, what they like and what they don't like. Knowing these kinds of things helps you to keep your team motivated. If this is a detailed assignment, is the individual working on it detail-oriented? If they are not, we need to know that and get them some support or who else can we put on that task? These small things matter in long term and this way we can groom others as well.
In conclusion, simply be mindful of the individuals on the team, where they are in the project, and what they need to be successful. Be thoughtful to treat people with respect. You are the leader, so it's your responsibility to make sure your team is motivated for the duration of the project.