Throughout your project management training you will hear lots about inspiring your team. It is your job to help them see the bigger picture and inspire them to do their best on every single project, which is no mean feat, especially when you’re completing small repetitive projects. Lots of articles talk about inspiring your team at the beginning of the project. However, what a lot of people forget is that no matter how amazing your team is, it is likely that initial wide eyed excitement at the beginning of the project will wane over time. Whether that’s through negative gossip, repeated milestone misses, or just naturally forgetting that exciting ‘beginning feeling’ – your team will not keep that same inspired feeling throughout the project if you don’t top up their inspiration levels.
Here are some tips to help you top up your team’s daily inspiration levels:
In The Beginning
As an excellent project manager, you will of course ensure that your initial plans and meetings in relation to the new project are full of inspiration and excitement. You’ll want to fuel a mighty fire that burns strong enough to keep the embers of inspiration burning throughout the good times and the bad times that are to come.
A good thing to do, is to set up individual and group goals that will keep your team going throughout the project. So if you know a particular team member is looking to enhance their skills with project management training coursesand you know that this particular project would benefit from the extra skills then set that up for them so that they have their own individual reason to pursue project success. Just make sure any promises you make are fulfilled, otherwise you’ll look like a bad manager and all round untrustworthy person.
You can also create group goals that are related to the project, but not exclusively. Perhaps add milestone incentives like coffee and cake, cinema trips or even comedy prizes. Or simply explain what each milestone success means to the company, not just to the client. The beginning is the time you set the seeds for success, the process is where you nurture those seeds.
Don’t Include Everyone In Group Meetings
We’re not suggesting you leave anyone out of group meetings of course, but it is important you make the most of your working time every day, which means not inviting everyone to meetings if they don’t need to be there. Brainstorming and troubleshooting should be done with the whole team, but discussing minor issues doesn’t need to involve everyone. This wastes time and doesn’t keep everyone focused on their own individual goals, which saps away inspiration. Consider having a short full team meeting and then hold individual chats throughout the day. You could also try to keep as much communication as possible on project management applications, which is efficient. Just make sure everybody knows they can come to you in person if they need to.
Don’t Be Negative
Don’t be negative around your team. Every day you should be coming into the office full of beans and ready to take on whatever the project throws at you. If you are negative, you will create a negative environment.
Be The Inspiration
You can’t inspire people if you don’t set a good example, so you need to be the inspiration. When people get negative, be the positive one and remind them why they are doing what they are doing. Be on time, get stuck in and keep communication going – your team should always feel like you are passionate about milestones and goals, even if they aren’t. They need to be able to look up to you. If you don’t seem inspired, why should they feel inspired?
Remember, it’s not all tricks, games and team building – as long as you remember to inspire daily, you will. Being mindful that it needs to happen daily is the first and most important step.