Organizations form teams to complete specific projects or foster ongoing improvement. The project manager or team leader has the task of managing the group to elicit the best performance from members. Encouraging team members to contribute to a group project requires the leader to use effective motivation techniques.
A relaxed atmosphere that encourages team members to freely speak and share their ideas is a motivating environment for the group. A productive environment for a team also includes an open discussion of member ideas and decisions based on consensus opinion. Members of the team must not harbor hidden agendas or ulterior motives. The team leader must ensure team meetings are a comfortable environment for all members of the group and stop disparaging comments among teammates.
Team leaders can interview each member of a team to determine preferences and skills before the project begins. Understanding these preferences can help the leader assign work to members that best uses their abilities. While it may not always be possible to assign members to tasks that they enjoy, taking the skills and inclinations of the group into consideration can help create a positive team environment.
The tasks assigned to team members must be clearly defined to encourage participation. Project managers must ensure all members of the group understand the expectations for completing work assignments.
Praise can help encourage team members to participate and complete work assignments on a project. Team leaders must share the praise and success of the project from upper management. Leaders who take all the credit for the success of the team can demotivate the group and discourage future involvement. In addition, team leaders must accept criticism on behalf of the group and refrain from assigning blame.
Supporting the members of a team encourages the group to participate in work assignments and the project. For example, if a member of the team is overwhelmed or experiencing difficulty with project tasks, the leader can provide assistance by assigning another member to help with the workload. Support also can include resources such as data, equipment and experts to help complete work assignments. Providing support creates an encouraging environment for team members.