Project Management

4 Ways to Make Your Project Team Happier

If your team’s corner of the office looks like a seedy biker bar, complete with an unconscious man in a do-rag lying face-down on the floor, it is time to brighten the atmosphere. Elizabeth Harrin helps toward that end in a post for the PM Perspectives Blog. She shares some tips for more team happiness:

  1. Give people more.
  2. Avoid getting stuck doing the same work for too long.
  3. Manage expectations closely.
  4. Help someone else.


Depending on the business climate, it may not always be easy to hand out raises. However, in such situations, Harrin says little gifts or perks given to team members on a semi-regular basis can produce similar morale boosts. Small gift cards or maybe allowing the team to take off for the day a little early could work.

A main reason people become disengaged from work is that they get tired of performing the same duties over and over again. Familiarity breeds contempt, etc. As a manager, you should always be looking for opportunities to mix up workflows and try new things, for the sake of maintaining your team’s interest at least. Be transparent about what you hope to achieve for your team members, but on that same note, manage their expectations. Do not promise them the moon or let them believe that you have promised them the moon.

Lastly, if you want to bring happiness, then lend a helping hand:

It could be as easy as buddying up an experienced colleague with someone who is new to the role. In my view, active contributions like this are far more likely to come with a buzz of happiness than filling in a sponsorship form (or donating via an internet giving site). However, if that’s what’s appropriate for your office, go for it: it’s all helping at the end of the day.

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