Motivation and productivity are nightmare topics for many project managers. There is a fine line between productivity and procrastination that depends solely on the inner working relations between coworkers. This issue becomes more prevalent if there is no deadline to speak of, meaning that there is no rush to get anything done. When there is no pressing deadline for project submission, employees perform their jobs much slower and overall efficiency goes down. If you have faced this problem in your office, here are a few ways to improve the situation.
Develop a Healthy Work Culture
Every procrastination or low morale situation starts from the work culture. Not every employee will be happy with the atmosphere and relations set by the majority. It’s extremely important to let everyone voice their concerns, thoughts and suggestions. Finding a middle ground that suits everyone is just as important as briefing the team about their work.
You should also pay close attention to the way work is delegated. Some members are better at certain types of work than others. That way, there will be very little in the way of productivity and cooperation between team members.
Fixed monthly payments are only viable in certain situations. While it may seem illogical to shift to a productivity-based payment system, it may be the only choice you have depending on your team. Startups, small firms and freelancers can easily shift to a productivity-based system without any downtime or complications.
However, this might be impossible in large corporate enterprises due to the nature of their work. Teams that work on specific projects with clear KPIs should be paid according to their productivity. Doing so will effectively motivate the members to work harder and finish their work on time.
Encourage Your Team to Take Initiative
Sometimes team members have breakthrough ideas that could drive business to a new level, but they don’t want to share them. It usually happens when individual does not feel support and thinks that the manager and team will reject his or her proposition. For this reason, it is important to build trust with staff members and show them you welcome their ideas. You can also encourage your team to take initiative by offering an exclusive prize or monetary reward.
Set Team-Based Goals
This is where productivity-based payments start to make sense if you choose to implement them. Teams are usually fragmented as soon as the job delegation process is complete. This makes it hard for project managers to track their progress as a group. Team-based goals can effectively eliminate this shortcoming and make it easier to keep the project as a cohesive whole.
Assign tasks based on the skills, relations and motivation of each individual member. Pair people based on their willingness to motivate others, learn new skills and think out of the box. Team-based goals provide a much better sense of accomplishment and work perfectly in tandem with productivity-based payment systems.
More Meetings, Less Micromanagement
Micromanaging your team can only lead to failure and frustration on both sides. Give your team some leeway and trust their expertise in finishing the work you allocated them. Instead, focus on creating meetings, working spaces and coaching opportunities for your team members. Be present whenever they have questions, concerns, suggestions and other opinions. Meetings and common working hours can be a great motivator for people to get work done on time.
Your team members will always be as productive as you make them. As a project manager, your job is to find ways to finish each project according to your company’s or client’s needs. A deadline might not be set in stone, but each client expects their work to be done in a timely and professional fashion. Keep that in mind whenever you try to introduce a new way to motivate your team to work harder.