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Types of Personal Motivation 

  • Is this for real? The team may question whether the current approach is another knee-jerk reaction – perhaps similar to past attempts that failed. This lingering doubt may only result in drawing a tepid response from them, and could be self-defeating from the very start of the rescue. The executive sponsor needs to convince the team that the rescue intervention is fully sanctioned, backed and supported. This must be done by making decisions around a revised scope and objectives. Any tools that are needed must be provided to the project team. The rescue manager must be seen as empowered, rather than just another temporary player who is not allowed to make decisions.”
  • What am I getting out of this? This is the fundamental question on everyone’s mind, whether they ask it or not. This is true even in the most altruistic cases where the answer may be ‘whatever’s good for the organization.’ In most cases, though, management should provide incentives for a successful project rescue. These incentives may include recognition (e.g. some type of plaque or trophy to commemorate the event), monetary bonuses (e.g. tiered to different outcomes), celebrations (e.g. ongoing team events), and a career path (e.g. promotions or lateral moves at the end of the initiative). Management needs to listen to individual team members to set up incentives that encourage positive results. Management should also not be afraid of recognizing special circumstances. For example, a team member may want to work from home two days a week in exchange for working longer hours.”
  • Is this consistent with my core values? Team members that are being asked to behave in ways that conflict with core values will also feel a lot of conflict. In a project rescue, there is no time to make any adjustments in this area. The core values of the team members must be factored into the part of the solution they are providing.”
  • How do I feel about other team members? Some people can work with anyone. Other people find it difficult to work with someone they dislike. Having put clarity around the destination and the route to get there, management needs to leverage the incentives package and reason to overcome, conflicts in this area. If this is not effective, the rescue manager needs to act as the bridge between employees who are in conflict.”
  • Am I being treated well? Team members can misunderstand the urgency of a project rescue and become very sensitive about how they are being perceived by others in the organization. Some will complain that they feel they are being singled out for past mistakes. The rescue manager needs to reiterate, communicate, and demonstrate complete objectivity in pointing out mistakes and errors. Team members will not provide their best value if they feel they are being mistreated or unfairly blamed.”
  • Does the company deserve any better than the problems they’re currently experiencing on the project? This is a very negative, cynical motivation. Some team members may privately feel that the negative project outcome is deserved by the organization. This could be as payback to the organization for past perceived or real slights. In some cases, the reaction may be a withholding of information. The continuum extends to the point of vendettas that could drive deliberate problem creation. This behavior is also not limited to any specific role or seniority. The rescue manager needs to be on the lookout for this type of conflict and needs to act swiftly to resolve it. If a combination of incentives and professionalism are not enough to turn the situation around, perhaps the resource needs to be replaced on the team.”
  • Who’s getting the credit? Getting the credit is just another type of incentive, but one that can have powerful consequences. A project team in trouble can be accommodating, but once the danger is past, individuals may begin to care more about receiving credit for their work than the end result. The rescue manager needs to be aware of this and needs to ensure that credit is allocated as a team or not at all.”

Understanding the impacts on project performance that the different types of motivators can have is more easily accomplished when you understand the concept of conflict from the Human Resource Management side. Taking and passing your PMP® certification exam will give you that knowledge and also demonstrate to the world you have it. AceIt© is a cost effective way of ensuring you pass the exam the first time you take it! To learn more about how AceIt can help you, click here.