How can leaders inspire their teams?

Monday, February 3rd, 2014 By Jack Nevison

As a project manager, you should be an inspiration to your team. It is not enough to give your employees orders and expect them to carry them out. You should also motivate them to want to succeed at their jobs.

Many managers understand this, but, as pointed out in a recent article on Inc.com, many assume—incorrectly—that this rule does not apply to them. Some are under the impression that their employees are already inspired, even if they aren't. As Gallup's recent State of the American Workplace survey found, only 30 percent of U.S. employees say they are "engaged and inspired" at work.

The other 70 percent? That's a case of missed opportunities.

The article on Inc.com advised managers to take a series of steps to improve morale and build an inspiring work culture. This includes taking the time necessary to explain to employees how their tasks will help the team achieve its overarching vision, and why that is important. 

Sometimes, it comes down to building a "culture of courage." This means encouraging employees to take risks with their work, even if failure is a possibility. It helps to offer regular rewards to high achievers, to show the team that risk taking can and does pay off.

Finally, managers need to remember their manners and thank employees as often as possible. Tell team members that the goal could not have been reached without them, which is likely to be no more than the truth.

At New Leaf Project Management, we can show you how to inspire high-performing teams with our two-day program, "Leading the Project Team." In addition, you can earn PDUs toward your PMP recertification with our online project management games. 

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