Of all the resources a project manager has to learn to control, their team is probably the most complex. Keeping your people motivated, enthused and focussed on the finish line is critical to the successful delivery of your project, but how do you do that exactly? Here are 12 things you need to start doing if you want to have a motivated project team:

1. Start with you: A team will not be motivated without a motivated project manager at the helm, so whatever sort of a day you’ve had, pull it together and be a role model of positive energy whenever you’re in sight.

2. Share information: Keeping everything as open as possible will lend a sense of ownership to the project. Team members will feel a part of the process, and will often provide excellent suggestions for improvement.

3. Discuss problems: Take your problems to them and let them help you talk it out and brainstorm solutions.

4. Set milestones, and let them know when they get there: Milestone setting is a critical part of the project planning process, and most PM’s will remember to do this. However, many forget to feedback on where they are, and to congratulate when milestones are achieved.

5. Give positive feedback more often than negative: Try to give at least one positive with every negative when it comes to feedback time. Remember to praise up achievements as often as possible.

6. Listen: Listen to their gripes, their worries and their ideas. Never assume that because someone worries often that they worry about nothing; often team members will spot disasters long before they happen.

7. Give them ownership: Let your team have responsibility and a degree of autonomy for their own part of the project. Allowing them to take control will give them ownership and a sense of personal responsibility.

8. Take their feedback: As well as feeding back to them, allow them space to feed back to you. This can be on your own skills, the project plan or anything else to do with the job.

9. Reward high achievers: Team members who consistently reach their goals should be rewarded appropriately. Whether that’s a fiscal reward, shopping vouchers or a bottle of wine is up to you.

10. Eat together: Humans bond over food. Fact. So plan a team lunch where someone gives a work related presentation, killing two birds with one stone and building bridges with your team.

11. Plan a treat: Remember how hard it is to work on a busy project team, and plan a treat either at the end of your project or when you reach a significant milestone. This could be a lunch out, a half day or a party, whatever you feel is appropriate. By giving them
something to look forward to you are confirming how important and how valued they are.

12. Create a happy work environment: People enjoy work when they are given freedom and trusted to get on with things. Believe in your team, and trust that they will appreciate you taking a step back. Also ensure they have the skills required to do their job well – if necessary send them on one of the relevant project management courses to improve their PM skills and up their motivation.

Author's Bio: 

The author is a certified Project Manager and believes all PM professionals should keep their skills up-to-date with the latest project management courses. She also writes a PM skills.