I am sure, as a manager, you must have encountered a situation where your team has been working very hard for past few months to get that next product out of the door. And due to this situation, everyone in your team feels under-appreciated and overworked. And you don’t know how to keep your team motivated. Does this sound familiar?……..Through this blog, I would try to give you some tips through which you can keep your employees motivated during this crunch time.
Provide feedback: As far as feeling under-appreciated goes, this has to be the #1 killer of team’s motivation. During the crunch time, our focus is so much on the end result that we forget to provide feedback to our team. Sometimes it is very crucial to provide constant feedback to your team on how they are doing. This behavior not only conveys the message that you care for your team, but it also gives you the opportunity to correct any mistakes in your current process.
Communicate purpose: The second biggest killer of self-motivation is negativity. When we set personal expectations at a level that are unattainable, we start to invent reasons for why we are not achieving our goals. We start thinking about past failures that have not gone our way and weak points in our character or at least in our working style. This causes us to come up with all the reasons that we can’t succeed. Hence, to keep your team motivated, you not only need to accept that the timeline given for the project was too aggressive, but you need to also provide them with the reason of ‘why we are doing, what we are doing’. This will provide your team with some background on why you are having these aggressive deadlines, and how it will impact the business, if you don’t meet those deadlines. Also, (if possible) you need to provide them with some blueprint of the plan, so that this doesn’t happen again.
Positive reinforcement: During these tough times, I would recommend you to remember old success stories, and recognize it for what it was. The power of this kind of positive reinforcement and positive feedback can’t be underestimated. Make sure that your team is getting the positive feedback from you that they need. Always make sure to restate your team’s and individual achievements during your team meetings and one-on-one meetings with your team members. This will encourage your team to keep going.
I hope these tips will help you to keep your team motivated in the crunch time. What would you do in this situation? How will you keep your team motivated?
Thanks. – Bhavin Gandhi.
August 21, 2012 at 4:25 AM
This is an excellent post that will benefit many project managers on how to motivate their team members.
I would like to republish it on PM Hut (where many project managers will read it) under the motivation. Please email me or contact me through the contact us form on the PM Hut website in case you’re OK with this.
August 21, 2012 at 10:00 AM
@PMHut: Thanks for reading my article and considering it worthy enough to be republish on your website.
I don’t have any issues in republishing my article on your website, as far as you link to the original article there. After all, I am here to share my experience and enrich other leader’s lives.
Let me know, if I can do anything else for you. Thanks – Bhavin Gandhi
September 27, 2012 at 4:44 AM
This is very true. Whenever I don’t get appreciated on the output of my work for a long time, it makes me feel ineffective. I don’t feel inspired to do better or work harder. Good thing it doesn’t go for a month without me hearing a “Good job” or “Keep up the good work.” It always reassures me that I’m doing something I’m good at.
However, good and positive feed backs doesn’t keep me from getting distracted. Social media accounts and funny videos can easily suck my time without me even noticing. That’s the reason why we use an awesome time tracking software called Time Doctor. It often reminds me to work if I go Idle for a long time.
October 1, 2012 at 2:58 PM
@Conor: You are absolutely right. These days, we have various platforms in which our employees can be spending their time. Especially in the world of Software Development, where people are always using Internet to get access to more information, they can get distracted at any time.
But I believe in complete freedom. And hence, I would not like to monitor my employee’s Internet usage. By monitoring their Internet usage, I might be putting myself in a difficult position by creating a micromanagement work environment. I believe that we are all professionals, and we are all responsible on how we use our time effectively.
Most of my team’s work is measured against their specific MBOs (Management by Business Objectives), and hence, I try not to monitor their Internet usage. I would rather measure their performance against MBOs.
But that’s just me. Maybe there are other managers, who might be benefited from your time tracking software. I wish you good luck with that. Thanks – Bhavin Gandhi
October 1, 2012 at 4:24 PM
You’ve got a point. Every manager is different. Some (especially if their employees are working from home) want to see their workers productivity by using a monitoring software and some depend on the performance and the output of their employees. Thanks for taking the time to reply, Bhavin. 🙂