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Engaging Your Project Team

Often when managing projects we forget the need to keep the team engaged. We are so focused on meeting the schedule, managing the budget, and dealing with the sponsor and other stakeholders that we forget about the team and their needs. We just hope they keep moving forward to accomplish their tasks and tend to intervene only when they fall behind. And we forget they need to be continuously engaged in the project so that they continue to be successful and feel a part of a whole. Regular feedback on performance (positive and encouraging, not just constructive) is necessary.

Try these simple best practices for keeping the team engaged:

  • Be sure you have learned about the team – at a personal level, not just related to their skills in working on the project. Ask about family, hobbies, etc. and share a bit about yourself too!
  • Ensure that you hold weekly team meetings and spend at least some time during the team meetings to ensure you discuss successes and challenges and ask team members how things are going overall.
  • Regularly check in with each team member individually – just to see how they are doing and to check in on how their weekend was, how their family is doing, etc. (assuming you have taken the time to develop a personal relationship with your team.)
  • At least once or twice during the project, arrange for a meeting with the team to discuss processes and procedures in use – what is working/what is not. Where can changes be made to make the work of the project easier to accomplish?
  • For longer projects, arrange for some time for the team to step away from the project just to socialize with each other.
  • Provide regular feedback on performance, also ensuring that key stakeholders and the sponsors know team members who have gone above and beyond on the project.

And what are your best practices for keeping the team engaged throughout the project? Share in the Comments field below.

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