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Building project team morale: Lessons from the farm?

As the saying goes, “happy cows make great cheese.”

project teamsThis is a concept that can definitely be applied to a project management setting: Happy employees deliver great project results. It’s important for your project team to have high morale- happy employees tend to develop better relationships with team members, demonstrate positive attitudes, and sustain motivation towards projects longer. In addition, engaged team members produce at a higher quality. But most importantly, employees with a high morale are more fully aware of why the project matters.

Happy project teams: It’s about relationships…and tools.

As we all know from personal and professional experience, maintaining relationships can be hard work. Establishing strong team relationships is especially critical to the success of a project. All team members need to be on board, and on the same page. Projects are bound to come across some rough patches, and team members need to trust in one another and their abilities to pull through as one centralized unit.

Therefore, in order to keep project teams motivated, project leaders must:

1. Keep the team positive. Positivism is a mindset. As Henry Ford once said: ” Whether you think you can or that can’t, you are usually right.” Keep the team positive by providing them with continuous direction and the confidence they need to believe in the project at hand.

2. Give recognition when needed. Let’s face it, we all love to have our egos stroked but its more than just that pat on the back. Knowing that you are an important part of the projects success can make the difference between a dedicated project team member and one that sits on the sidelines. Explain to your project team exactly how their actions impact the end goal.

3. Remind project teams of the common goal. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in what we are doing we forget WHY we are doing it.Ensuring that your project team has a firm handle on the project’s goals and objectives, and how those goals relate to their personal accomplishments will make it easier for them to maintain focus especially during high stress and bumpy periods of the project.

4. Provide them with the right tools. Project management teams do not operate in a vacuum. Often times project team members have to interact and collaborate with other departments including Marketing, Product Management, Engineering and Support and Sales. In some organizations, teams are geographically dispersed or disconnected from the process altogether. There are solutions, like OneDesk, out there that can help you integrate product and project teams, increase communication, and promote the sharing of product related information across projects.

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