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How to Stay Motivated, No Matter Your Project Length

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The longer your architectural or engineering project is, the more important it is to keep your entire team on task and working towards the goal. Motivation isn’t easy to achieve over the long haul, but it directly impacts costs, project completion, satisfaction, deadlines, and perhaps most importantly, the satisfaction of every member on your team. Recognizing the need to boost team motivation is a very positive first step. From there, project teams need to find ways to get back to the heart of what they need to do to wrap the project up.

Discuss Why Motivation Is Lacking

Gather your team. Sit down with no papers, computers, or phones in hand. Discuss what is wrong with the project. In many situations, projects start out with excitement. Your team is charged and ready to get to work. Then, it slowly become a problem. But, why?

  • Is it a client communication problem holding your team back?
  • Are they struggling with a lack of focus or vision for the project?
  • Is the work hard, the paycheck low, and the outcome not ideal?
Once everyone agrees what the problems are, it’s possible to find steps to rectify them. It may simply be improving communication is all that it takes to get everyone back on board and motivated to get the project done.

Tips for Creating Motivation

In other situations, there are no real causes. The project is long or has had numerous delays. It’s frustrating not to see a plan come to life. In these situations, how can you motivate your team to stick to the schedule and still achieve the outcome desired?

  • Create milestones for each project. Breaking up a long project into smaller sections makes it seem less daunting. It also gives every person working on the project a goal that's within reach.
  • Switch things up. It may be possible to move people around during the long project to give them a fresh take and viewpoint.
  • Make sure the time investment is worth it both in the final outcome and the income generated.
  • Engage your team consistently to see what they need to keep pushing forward and to stay on track.
  • Make a big deal about the achievements. When you reach a milestone or get to a specific point, offer some type of reward, even if it is just a meal out or a few extra hours off.
  • Be positive around your team. You're their cheerleader and it is your job to keep the project in line. To make this possible, you'll want to always find the good about every stage of the project.
  • Track your progress. Perhaps you are working on this bid or contract on your own. When this is the case, there is no better reward than to simply see your accomplishments. You can do this by using tracking software to monitor how many hours are worked and what milestones are achieved.
When projects are long, everyone has the responsibility of staying on task to achieve the end result. As an architect, engineer or project manager you know projects are likely to be delayed even further if your team slows down or loses its motivation. Yet, with a bit of encouragement and prompting, it may be possible to push your team to achieve the best possible outcome, far beyond your expectations.