1.3 Motivating and preparing staff
Motivation is important. In resourcing the project it may be worthwhile to build in a reward system that helps to motivate. This depends on the availability of the resources to make this possible. Even if the material rewards are good, the conditions in which staff work and the relationships between them always affect performance. A project manager is often able to influence conditions and culture. The tasks allocated to staff must be realistic and achievable, and it is helpful to agree these with teams or individuals. Staff often have to retain other workloads whilst working on projects, and it may be necessary to negotiate with senior managers to ensure that project staff have sufficient time and energy to do what is required.
New skills and understanding may need to be developed, in order for new tasks to be carried out. Sometimes staff are allocated simply because they have time to work away from their usual duties, even though they may not have the competence to carry out the project tasks. The manager of the project may have to arrange for training and support, whether or not this was anticipated in the initial planning.
Once staff have agreed to carry out their tasks, it is helpful to check that they understand how their contribution fits into the bigger picture. There is an opportunity to develop a project ‘culture’ of collaboration towards a successful goal. The boundaried nature of a project makes it possible to create a distinct culture that emphasises the positive aspects of the environment in which the project is located.