7 Mar

Project Managers: Motivate Employees with These 5 Tips

Posted by Brad Holtkamp

Motivating employees is something most business owners and project managers are concerned with these days. Study after study shows engaged, happy employees are more productive. Motivation and engagement play a key role in keeping employees satisfied with their jobs. In turn, they’re less likely to leave. Your turnover will be reduced and your company productivity will improve. 

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Who doesn’t want more motivated employees? They can be difficult to find and even more difficult to create. If you’re hoping to keep your team members motivated and engaged, adopt some of these five tips.


1. Set Clear Expectations

Do your employees know what they’re supposed to be doing? You may think they do, but many employees feel lost. Their job descriptions may not match up with their daily duties. Their duties may not align with their expectations. Expectations and goals may be vague. 

This situation can lead to a lack of motivation. Project managers can motivate employees simply by setting clearer expectations. When employees know what’s expected of them, they can work toward those goals more readily. Clear goals and expectations show the employee the path forward.


2. Help Them Set Goals

Expectations are one thing. Goals are another. You may give your employees clear expectations but find they’re not much more motivated than they were before. What they may need are goals they can work toward

Goals provide your employees with a challenge. Not only do they provide an endpoint or something to work toward, they often aren’t easy to achieve. When they are achieved, they provide a sense of accomplishment for the employee. 

Challenges and achievements motivate employees quite well. Project managers usually find this is one of the most effective tips for motivating their employees. If your employees don’t have personalized performance plans and goals, look to remedy that right away.


3. Offer More Training

Most project managers assume their employees know exactly what they’re doing. They also assume their employees know how to do their jobs. If an employee seems unmotivated or isn’t meeting goals, you may want to ask yourself why.

Sometimes, the problem isn’t so much motivation as it is a lack of understanding or training. An employee may be highly motivated to do their job, but they can’t perform. They become frustrated and then dejected, eventually seeming unmotivated and disengaged.

Motivate employees by keeping their skills up to date. Even if your employees are proficient, learning new skills and develop in their careers could help them become more motivated and more productive. When employees have opportunities to continue learning, they’re often more motivated to both learn and continue applying those new skills.


4. Recognize Good Work

Project managers, how often do you congratulate your employees on a job well done? Even a simple “thank you” can go a long way toward motivating your employees.

Many employees become demotivated at work because they feel their contributions aren’t recognized or appreciated. They may feel undervalued or even invisible. If no one’s paying attention, they reason, then their work ethic doesn’t matter. They stop working as hard.

Keep both motivation and morale high by recognizing good work whenever you can. When employees see you notice their efforts and appreciate them, they’ll be motivated to turn in their best performance.


5. Reward Them

Recognition is a type of reward, but project managers can also offer other types of rewards and incentives. Awards, certificates, gift cards, and cash prizes are all rewards that motivate employees to do their very best and achieve even the most difficult goals.

Many project managers wonder how they can motivate their employees. With these tips in hand, you can stop wondering and start doing.


Topics: Hiring

Brad Holtkamp

Brad brings 15 years of Canadian and international staffing industry experience to his role as vice president, Western Canada. He’s an HRIA and TEC Canada member and has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Saskatchewan. Brad has significant experience providing staffing solutions for customers, with specific expertise in permanent search, contract recruitment, and payroll delivery. With a love of sports and the outdoors, Brad can often be found in a rink, on a bike, or in the mountains with his wife and two daughters.

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