Employees feel a huge sense of achievement when they finish a project successfully. They see their hard work materialize in front of them in the service or product they worked on. A new project comes along the way, and the employees dread the thought of starting all over again. It is of the utmost importance to motivate your employees to produce the same or higher quality than the previous project.
As a manager or a team leader, it is your responsibility to motivate your team and make sure they complete the tasks assigned to them successfully. There is no need to panic, as there are various ways to motivate employees and make them look forward to the next project enthusiastically.
Why Should You Motivate Your Employees?
Before knowing how to motivate employees, you must know why it is important to do so.
A motivated employee will finish tasks with precision and in a timely manner while an unmotivated one will put off their tasks and waste time. Motivation pushes employees to put more effort into their tasks as they look forward to finishing the next task in line.
Higher Level of Employees Engagement
The more motivated the employee is, the more engaged they will be in the project. A high level of engagement means that the employee will feel a sense of ownership of their work and will try to come up with new ideas to improve existing concepts.
The quality of work will be different when the team is motivated as they will look forward to the result of their work. Being motivated will increase the level of focus and inspiration which in turn affect the quality of work.
Retaining your employees is one of the most underrated tasks in the business world. Motivated employees are less likely to quit their jobs. Employee turnover affects the project as you will need to wait for new hires to learn the ropes from the beginning. Additionally, hiring new employees takes a lot of time and effort that could otherwise be put into the new project.
Ways to Motivate Your Employees for a New Project
Motivating employees isn’t all about money and benefits. While these are important, there are things that hold greater significance for employees such as work-life balance, peer motivation, and boss motivation. You need to know what works for your employees as some motivation tactics may not have the desired effect.
Open communication with your team will open your eyes to what matters most to them. Talk to them and listen carefully to what they have to say. You may even come up with new ways to motivate them and make them look forward to going to work. Nonetheless, here are some ideas that will help you in keeping your employees motivated.
Celebrate Project Milestones
It is a new project, so why not celebrate it? The employees will look forward to executing this new project. You can even make it a company tradition, so the transition from one project to another will go smoothly. Once you have a vision of how the project will be executed, set milestones that will be celebrated. The employees will want to reach each milestone to have a celebration.
Additionally, you can celebrate other professional and personal milestones of employees, whether it was a promotion or a birthday, by organizing an outing with Sydney Harbour Escapes boat rentals for an unforgettable experience. The celebration can be an office party, outside-the-office party, small tokens of appreciation, effort recognition, or even words of encouragement. It all depends on your budget and what can be done without affecting workflow and productivity.
Give Employees Room to Grow
If an employee feels like they are growing and acquiring more knowledge and skills, they will be motivated to put in their best efforts. A new project is a great opportunity to give some employees bigger roles or tasks. They will feel that you trust them with these new responsibilities and they will try their hardest to never fail you. Growing within the company gives employees a sense of achievement as well as more money, but usually, the psychological effect is more powerful than the monetary one.
Reward Hard-Working Employees
“Why should I reward them for doing their job?” is a question that some inexperienced managers often ask. There is a big difference between doing a job and excelling at it. To keep your employees motivated, setting up an incentive program will ensure that they will meet the expectations to earn their rewards. The rewards can vary from monetary to non-monetary rewards such as:
- Quarterly bonus.
- Additional healthcare benefits.
- Days off.
- Paying for some or all of the additional credentials or qualifications they are seeking.
You can come up with a list of rewards that your employees will enjoy and that align with their work.
Setting Achievable Goals
Setting goals that are hard to achieve in the allotted time is a sure way to demotivate your team instantly. With each new project, the manager or team leader might overestimate the capabilities of their team. The employees will feel overwhelmed and their productivity will decline. Obviously, you want everyone to work hard and produce high-quality work, but there is a balance that must be accomplished.
Setting a detailed schedule or agenda of the new project from the beginning to the end with realistic goals will make each team member know what their responsibilities and tasks are and when to deliver them. Knowing what to expect will remove any anxiety that your employees might feel and make them motivated to reach planned goals.
Sharing Positive Feedback
Navigating uncharted territories in a new project can be intimidating for a lot of employees. It will cause stress and anxiety. However, if they receive positive feedback on their work, they will know how to do it better or if they are going in the right direction. Managers must know how to share their comments and feedback in a positive way so they can motivate their team members.
However, delivering feedback at the wrong moment will have a negative effect on the employee. It is essential to pick the right timing, and according to influencer marketing expert Kurt Uhlir, you can set up regular meetings to share feedback with your team, if the customer sent good comments regarding the work, or if an employee asks for feedback on the quality of their work.
Propose Flexible Scheduling
The pandemic has changed the way we look at work. Some jobs can be done from the comfort of your home, while others require fewer in-office hours than they used to. Depending on the industry and type of job, you can offer flexible scheduling for the next project coming up.
Working from home or having flexible working hours will motivate some employees to work within the time and place suitable for them to bring out their best work. Keep in consideration all the logistics that come with scheduling and the laws and regulations of the country or state you operate from.
Some new projects come with new challenges and require new skills or knowledge that your team members might not have. Preparing them for the new project will raise their self-confidence and motivate them. You can arrange seminars, courses, or technical training sessions to improve and refine their capabilities.
When the company invests in its employees, they feel recognized and appreciated. They also feel that the company is trying to develop them which gives a sense of loyalty from the employee to the company. Feeling ready to tackle new challenges will always motivate your team members.
Make Life-Work Balance a Priority
Maintaining a healthy life-work balance for employees is good for their mental and physical well-being. Overloading your team members with endless tasks that will take most of their day to accomplish will put stress on them. Their anxiety levels will rise and they will be too demotivated to produce good work.
Moreover, when your team finds that you care about their lives, they will trust that you want to do what’s best for them. You can arrange dinners outside the office with no work-related conversation to be sprung up. Give them time off to come back to work refreshed and to spend time with their families. All these little things will make your team do their best at work.
There is no motivation tool better than feeling you had a positive and meaningful impact on your job, especially on a new project. Nothing is set in stone, and creativity can turn a good project into an exceptional one. Starting a brainstorming session with your team can allow room for amazing ideas, not only for the new project but also for the company, rewards, and countless other concepts.
Every idea is worth exploring no matter how far-fetched it might seem. Never belittle any idea that comes your way as you can demotivate the employee who came up with the idea. Every seemingly insignificant idea can be brainstormed into something bigger and more meaningful.
Ask Your Team What They Want
Communication is key when it comes to bonding and understanding the needs of your employees. If you are not sure what they want, stop guessing and ask them about what they would like as incentives. You may be surprised by the answers as some employees won’t need but a few words of encouragement or recognition.
Understanding Your Employees
To truly understand your employees’ needs and feelings, you must be equipped with the right skills and mindset to provide greater motivation. Humans are different, and each person has their own likes and dislikes, and what motivates a person can have no effect on the other one. Here are some things you should do and understand that will help you along the way.
Skills You Need
There are some skills that will enhance the communication and understanding between you and your team members. Picking on emotional cues can help you know how they feel about what you do or say such as body language, tone of voice, and other non-verbal means of communication.
Active listening can make you understand your team better by checking your understanding of what they want to say and clarifying any misunderstandings. You should show sensitivity towards your employees’ feelings, fears, and dreams by acknowledging them. You can help them with these skills and motivate them better.
You don’t have to agree with everything they say, but you should be sincere about everything you say. Humans have an innate ability to detect insincerity and pretending to be sincere will have consequences such as losing the trust of your employees. Even if you struggle to understand someone, you can be honest with them and tell them that you don’t understand. They will trust that you are putting effort into knowing them better and open up to you more.
Empathy works similar to sincerity as the other person will feel if you are understanding how they feel or you are just pretending. However, some people suffer from a lack of empathy or empathy overload. If you lack or avoid empathy, your team members will not approach you with their problems, fears, or concerns, which can affect the quality of work and demotivate them over time.
It is essential to open up with yourself and your employees to understand and be aware of their feelings. However, some people get overwhelmed by empathy as they feel others’ feelings “too much” and it affects their own life. If you are one of these people, you should practice self-control to manage your emotions better and separate others’ feelings from yours.
Motivating your employees for a new project might seem like a daunting task at the beginning, but with enough preparation and organization, you can manage it easily. Understanding the needs of your employees doesn’t mean you will agree with anything they say, but that you’ll acknowledge their feelings and recognize that you have different points of view. Keep an open line of communication between you and your team members at all times, so they can reach you whenever they need you. They will feel that someone is having their back and they will be motivated to work harder for that person. Doing the right things for your employees will ensure that your new project will sail smoothly.