5 Tips to Keep Your Team Motivated on Long-Term Projects

5 Tips to Keep Your Team Motivated on Long-Term Projects

It’s a fact! Performance and motivation go hand in hand. “Companies with engaged employees pull in 2.5x more revenues compared to competitors with low engagement levels.” (Hay Group). But what happens when the work itself is challenging? How do we make motivation last and become a part of the corporate DNA?

Managing long-term projects is more complicated than racing to the finish line as fast as you can. The most successful projects are managed carefully and thoughtfully for the greatest quality of work and maximum efficiency of project assets. You have to find the balance of meeting deadlines with producing quality work, every step of the way. Since you may find yourself managing a team of remote workers in the near future, we thought we’d break down our tried and true tips for keeping a team motivated for the long haul.

5 Tips to Keep Your Team Motivated on Long-Term Projects

Set different strategic project checkpoints and address roadblocks on a regular basis.
Even on long projects, every day counts in achieving successful completion. It’s important to set checkpoints before beginning the project so that employees know when and how they will be evaluated on their work. This keeps employees engaged and focused on the work at hand.

It is also vital in long-term projects to address roadblocks to success as they come up, rather than ignoring them until they become a bigger problem. This sets a proactive culture for the project group and teaches employees to address and solve problems as they arise.

Create opportunities for recognition and evaluation.
In general, humans are pleasers and this is no different for the people you manage on a project. People want to know if and when they are doing a good job. They want feedback, recognition, and points of evaluation. Remember not to get too wrapped up in the project so much that you don’t stop and take the time to offer constructive criticism for improvement, or positive feedback for work well done. Even more, you can even promote outstanding project performance on your social media channels and the people behind the scenes. This can go a long way in keeping employees engaged and productive on a long project.

Focus on WHY.
Why does this work matter?
Why does it matter to you? What is the impact? What does it mean for others?
Communicate how their work relates to a greater good. Employees who believe they are working towards a greater purpose have been shown to work more productively, complete higher quality work and demonstrate greater satisfaction in their work.

Why does this work matter to you, the leader?
As a project leader, CEO, business owner, etc, it’s important that your employees know why you do the work you do.

Why does this work matter to your employees?
Understanding your employees and what matters to them is an important piece in properly motivating and managing a team. Understand what drives them. Understand why they want to be doing the work they do. This will help you as you look to manage and motivate them throughout the project.

Show people you care.

An authentic leader invests time in getting to know the people he works with, not only as a team but as individuals with everyday personal goals and challenges. Treat people as people and find touching points between the growth of your business and their personal development. Help them help you by building relationships, even remotely. We now have the means to bond even virtually.

Use incentives.

Beyond recognition, people love rewards. You can offer incentives for reaching milestones early. These can be small branded gifts, gamification programs or team relaxation activities. Get creative! You can boost people’s productivity even with a low budget. The attention you give them will pay off and it will make your team more effective than ever. And, the most important thing, people will be happier. Happy is always good for business. 🙂


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