Four Ways to Build High-Performance Teams in Your Projects – Digital Project Manager

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My first job as project manager was in the very beginning. I clearly recall having a conversation about how high-performance teams are capable of delivering on any challenge they face. Bad teams, on the other hand, always find a way not to deliver.
This conversation has stayed with me forever. I believe he was correct. This is something I have always believed, at least from my time as project manager.
Project managers don’t always have the option to choose their teams. Sometimes, we are simply given a group of people with different abilities and commitment levels. It’s not uncommon to start a new project with a sub-par team.
This problem can’t be solved by traditional project management training. One problem with most project management training courses, is that they tend not to address the practical skills of project management. How do you create a product break down structure? How do you schedule a project. How do you manage risk?
Too often, the people aspect of project management is overlooked. I find this a shame because excellent people management is at most 50% of what it takes to be an effective project manager. This is an important topic in leadership because leading successful projects does not happen in a vacuum. It happens with a team, often in less than ideal environments. A true leader is able to build a high performing team regardless of the circumstances.
This article will discuss four strategies to improve team performance. These strategies work regardless of whether you are in a matrix environment or don’t have direct management responsibility for the members of your project team. As they create a positive ripple effect within your team, even small actions can make a big difference.
Tactic #1 – Use praise to boost performance
Building a high-performance team starts with understanding what motivates people to do well at work. Praise seems to be a powerful tool.
The Carrot Principle was created by Gostick and Elton, who presented the results of studying more than 200,000 employees over a period of 10 years. They found that managers who were able to recognize the efforts of their employees had lower turnover and achieved higher team performance than other managers.
Gallop conducted a larger study in 2004 that included over four million employees. Gallop found that employees who were regularly praised (where appropriate) were more productive and worked better as a team than employees who were not praised.
These two studies, which combined surveyed over 4.2 million employees and highlight the importance of praise, should leave no doubt about the fact that praise can be a powerful tool for motivating your team.
How can you use praise effectively? It’s an easy tool to use, with only a few points to remember to make it more effective.
1. Your praise must be genuine
Only praise team members when they have done something worthy of it. It will not help productivity to give a lot of praise that isn’t genuine. Hollow praise is of no value.
2. Give the praises to your team
First, the person who receives the praise will feel better about themselves. They will feel validated by their peers. They will feel loved and accepted by their peers.
Second, all people have a deep desire to belong. If one member of a team is praised, the other members subconsciously will want the same praise. Praise one team member can act as a subconscious incentive to other team members to improve their game.
Tactic #2 – Develop Your Inner Psychologist
Creativity isn’t just the concern of project managers.

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