The good news is that a lot of people react to the same kind of approach, so here are a few tips you can put into practice with them.
Give Them Responsibility
I need to point out here that not everyone wants added responsibility and that finding out who does and who doesn’t is one of the first jobs you need to carry out. Thankfully it isn’t usually all that difficult to work this out after spending a bit of time with your team members. If you have someone who is hungry to progress and get promoted into a project manager role then you should be thankful that you have someone in the team whom you can rely on to take on added responsibilities. There is nothing wrong with other people who just want to do their job to a decent level, of course. There are lots of reasons why someone might be happy avoiding extra responsibilities and as long as they are doing their job well there is no need to try and force them into taking on more demanding work.
It is all too easy to forget to praise your team members, isn’t it? You might be very happy with the job they have done but if you don’t say the words to them then how will they know this? There is no need to wait for a formal appraisal to let someone know that they have done well. A little word in their ear here and there can give a great boost to someone’s morale. The one thing I would try and avoid is becoming the kind of manager who gives out praise whether it is due or not. It is much better to know when the kind words are genuinely deserved.
Get Them Trained
The project world is strange in that you can end up being thrown in at the deep end whether you like it or not. However, in an ideal world you will make sure that everyone in your team gets the training they need before it becomes a problem. There are a lot of subjects to get trained on in a project job so you should give everyone in the team the chance to assess their own training needs, with your input to help them out. Don’t forget your own training as well.
Make Them Feel Part of the Team
Most of us feel better when we are in a team which works together and which is fun to be a part of. With projects it can be tough to build up a team spirit if everyone is working on different issues and a lot of people are away from the office for some of the time. Having said that, it is something which it is well worth putting some effort into. The whole team will get a lift if you can get a strong team spirit going. These things are best starting from the project leader, so you should think about how you can encourage the rest of the team to enjoy being part of the team. I always like the idea of putting a bit of fun into the team meetings and trying to make it an enjoyable place to work. This doesn’t mean neglecting the serious work at hand but it can help everyone have a better time at work and be more effective as well.
Keep Them Informed
As the project manager you will be aware of what is happening on all of the different strands of the project. Don’t forget though that not everyone has this same clear overview of the work. I like to keep everyone in the team involved and fully aware of what is happening. This will definitely help them feel that they are part of a big overall project and might help them see how important their own contribution is. There are a number of different ways of getting this information across to them and I think that the team meetings are definitely a fine place to do so. You might end up giving out more details than a lot of people need but this is preferable to leaving them under informed and wondering what is going on in the areas which are not under their control.