Whilst it is essential to motivate your whole team, by far the easiest way to achieve this is by actually motivating the individuals first. As someone new to a project and being in the role of Project Manager, do not fall into the trap of believing that a few well chosen words or bonding sessions away from the project will motivate your staff. Sure, at the time you’ve giving the talk or engaging in the team building activities all the staff will be engaged and the feed back will be great but, unfortunately, such sessions do not motivate at a personal/individual level – and we all like to be treated as individuals.
Do some research.
If you’re motivating individuals don’t think that one approach will suit all of the staff. You need to some research to find out what makes them tick as individuals. What gets them up in the morning, what do they hope to achieve through their work, where do they see themselves in the future? The answers to questions like that will fall into two categories – the intrinsic and extrinsic needs by which they are motivated. Most of us require a mixture of intrinsic and extrinsic motivations to get the best out of us. Intrinsic ones could be something as simple as being praised for doing something well and extrinsic ones could be something like there being a clear bonus structure for meeting/exceeding targets etc. Find the ‘needs’ the of the individuals and you will soon be able to motivate them as individuals and, ultimately, galvanize them into a team.
With the best will in the world any motivational techniques and tactics you apply will need to be revised and re-visited, to maintain the motivation of your workers. This requires you to also formulate a longer term motivational plan to keep your staff motivated. Setting clear and achievable targets and expectations is one way to maintain motivation; as will giving staff the opportunity to take increased responsibilities for the work they do within the project. Finally, having got the individuals motivated you can then turn to galvanizing them and motivating them as a team. This is the time for organizing staff treats to say well done if they’ve been prepared to work beyond their normal hours, perhaps by paying for them and their partner to enjoy a meal out. News of what’s available for those who go that extra mile will soon filter through. Or, you could now organize those informal staff occasions, again including partners, in things like an evening at a bowling alley or perhaps something like a karaoke bar?