How do you motivate people?

My daughter came home last week.  She was bubbly and jubilant. She has one week to go in her current job and in advance of the new job, the company sent her a huge hamper with all of the food products she will be ‘selling.’ There was lots of food, (her words) lots of wine and a card signed by all of the department congratulating her on the new job welcoming her to the company.

My daughter was beaming with pride with the great job she had secured. “I can’t wait to start”, were her exact words.

Other people in her old company saw what was in the hamper and were rather envious with the odd comment – have they got any jobs going? What a great way to motivate someone who is already highly motivated in taking a new job.

I started to think about all of those in project management; teams; project managers, sponsors and stakeholders. How much time and effort goes into thinking about motivation? Over the years I have met some really despondent people – at all levels of the project management hierarchy. Yes, I have tried to motivate them, however I am an outsider, a person who can for the moment raise morale but when they are back in work they face the same problems and issues.

We are all faced with increased pressures to deliver. Resources are stretched and in many cases non existent, with deadlines that seem and are impossible. But what do we do to motivate those involved in the projects? I see little around at the moment that suggests that motivation is on the agenda within companies, or senior managers.

I could be wrong so let’s start a debate: What are you doing or what is your company doing to motivate people engaged in projects? I am sure there are those reading this who would like to know.

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