How to Keep Team Members Committed to Your Project
9 of 10 in Series: The Essentials of Managing a Project Team
When managing a project, you have to keep people committed to it until the end. Although some people commit to completing an assignment because someone tells them to do so, you get a much more serious commitment when a person recognizes and appreciates a project’s benefits.
Identify the benefits of a project
When discussing your project’s benefits with your team, consider those benefits that are most important to your organization, its employees, and its clients, such as
Improved products and services
Improved internal processes and procedures
Better work environment
Also consider potential benefits to each team member, such as
Acquiring new skills and knowledge
Working in an enjoyable environment
Expanding business contacts
Enhancing career potential
When you help people realize the personal benefits they can get from participating in your project, you increase their commitment to the project and, therefore, the chances that the project will succeed.
Identify the purpose of and hopes for the project
Occasionally, someone may remind you that his team members receive salaries for doing their jobs. In other words, this person is suggesting that he doesn’t have to worry about whether his team members realize personal benefits from doing their assigned tasks. As far as he’s concerned, people will perform their assignments because they want to receive their paychecks. Unfortunately, however, this type of reward power encourages people to do the least work necessary to ensure they receive their next paychecks rather than to work toward the highest-quality results.
Of course your main concerns on a project are not your team members’ personal benefits. However, people are more committed if they feel they can accomplish their personal goals while helping their organization achieve its goals.
Do the following to help your team understand and appreciate the benefits your project can achieve for the organization:
Identify the situation that led to your project.
Identify your project’s key drivers, and clarify their hopes for the project.
Encourage team members to discuss the expected benefits and the value of those benefits.
Do the following to encourage your team members to identify the personal benefits they may realize from participating in your project:
Discuss their personal interests and career goals, and relate those interests and goals to aspects of the project.
Discuss past projects they’ve enjoyed and the reasons they’ve enjoyed them.
Discuss some of the benefits that you and other people hope to realize by working on this project.