Secrets to Year End Motivation

By Drew Stevens, Ph.D.

Let’s face it, the year has been stressful and while things are becoming better, there is still over 90 days to this hapless year. With numerous budgets sliced and time running short for year-end deadlines the stress and drive are affecting many project managers. However, there are methods that managers can do to help instill contentment to staff while getting all to work collaboratively.

Communication. It is vital for project managers to communicate effectively. In fact, the gravest misunderstanding about project management is communication. Surveys show that many managers assign tasks, delegate issues and leave people alone. It is imperative for managers to meet with the project team often and discuss the myriad of issues. Research shows that 67% of job productivity is attributed to the relationships between manager and employee. When managers communicate often with employees productivity and morale improve.

Communication 101. In the age of the internet and the proliferation of text and email it is easy to get lost in the quagmire of electronics. Individuals perform better when they have direct access to project managers and can openly discuss many project issues. It is easy to get lost in lazy methods of communication. If you want to have a higher performing team then offer direct telephone and face to face meetings.

With More Time Better Relationships. Since time is available and perhaps the stress of completing projects is lessened perhaps now is a good time to get to be more personable with staff. It is a good time to have luncheon meet and greets or even a sack lunch and simply get to know your staff.

Milestones. The single greatest effort for every project is reaching key milestones and ensuring that staff are accountable. However are your milestones celebrated? It is very easy to criticize, condemn and complain but how often do you compliment? Morale improves when individuals are acknowledged for their efforts. A simple “atta boy” goes a long way towards collaboration and comfort.

Future. The time is now to have open discussions of previous project flaws or discovery of best practices. With the use of town hall meetings, project managers can conduct post-mortem examinations to determine key project attributes. These highly successful meetings can produce positive practices for future projects allowing better execution on-time and on-budget.

Many projects managers chafe at the idea of turbulent times. Now is the time to relish them. Turbulence is simply a time for change and a pre boom period. Turbulence enables you to look in the review mirror and abandon poor practices and techniques. More importantly turbulent times allow for time with your greatest project assets- your employees and your development team!

©2009 Drew J. Stevens PhD. All rights reserved.

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