3 Ways to Motivate a Team for a Short-term Project

Have a tight deadline for a key project? These 3 steps can help you galvanise your team and get them performing at 100% to achieve the targets.

#1 Co-Accountability

This means that every individual in your team is accountable to one another. It might seem like common sense that people are accountable but many employees like “passing the buck”. Accountability is about follow through and getting done what you said you’d get done. It’s recognising that other team members are dependant on the results of your work. Having co-accountability leads to open communication between team members because it has a direct impact on their ability to achieve their own commitments. Taking ownership at work is about taking the initiative and responsibility for results and not assuming it’s someone else’s responsibility. When team members consistently demonstrate ownership and accountability, trust is formed. You trust someone will do the right thing and trust that they’ll do what they said they’d do. Trust is the backbone of high-performing teams.

#2 Do not Micromanage

Think that micromanaging will ensure that everyone is performing fully and not slacking off? Think again. Micromanaging erodes the sense of ownership of the task. Instead of developing a sense of independence and feeling like can figure out how to achieve what’s needed, employees learn to rely on you as a manager. Worse, it undermines their confidence that they can do the task, or at the very least that they can do it to their manager’s liking. This will lead to employees doing the minimum on their own initiative and waiting to be “spoon-fed” tasks. Micromanaging can also stifle talent, where employees will find it more difficult to step up and become future managers.

#3 Rewards

It might sound obvious but generating a shared enthusiasm to complete a task truly motivates employees. What a reward does in unites employees in achieving a task and getting them motivated and directed to a common goal. For example, your deadline might be to complete the launch of a new product. Your team is made up of marketing staff, salespeople, logistics people, etc that all have different short-term objectives. However, what can unite them is promising a big overall reward like a fancy dinner treat or just praising them openly at the next quarterly sales review. Even drinks after work to get to know each other better can help foster cohesion get your team working at full capacity.

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