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Boosting project morale

 
#1 Boosting project morale
10/04/2014 13:02

abc123

Long term programme, challenging client, consistently long hours.

What are your go-to ways to improve morale and keep your team engaged?

Oh..and in before "buy more booze"! :)

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#2 RE: Boosting project morale
10/04/2014 13:29

Arby the Manager to abc123 (#1)

Booze is OK but it's short term relief for a mid-term problem.

Some of the things I've done are:

1) Find a good sense of humour ideally with a certain amount of charisma

2) Get some good, harmless in-jokes going

3) Do a funny award ceremony

4) Send out some amusing Dilbert cartoons representing some of the current difficulites (www.dilbert.com has a great key-word search)

5) Drop a couple of mails to the senior partner every now and then to "recognise" key individuals or, better, get the partner to do it

6) Sit down, in the tough times, and get your hands dirty in the menial stuff (test, draft, format) - whatever the project is

I've also - in really tough times - bought Amazon vouchers from my own pocket for some key guys who really gave a LOT up for the project. Depending upon your project you can charge them back....

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#3 RE: Boosting project morale
10/04/2014 13:47

presidentbartlet to Arby the Manager (#2)

Booze is OK but it's short term relief for a mid-term problem.

I'd say that booze works to different extents depending on the seniority of the team. When I was an analyst many years ago we were doing crushing hours designing and then testing the system for the client working away from home.

The SM used to take us out every Thursday either for dinner and drinks or just hire part of a bar and get finger food (and drinks) in. Invariably this led to a company funded night out until at least 3am and I thought it was brilliant at the time!

Would it work at all now to improve my morale? No chance! Give me the opportunity to leave client site early afternoon on going home day so I can see my kids before bedtime and I'd be far happier!

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#4 RE: Boosting project morale
10/04/2014 14:30

Phil to presidentbartlet (#3)

How about a dinner in some fancy place inviting partners as well followed by a party somewhere else for whoever wishes to stay?

I found that involving partners in these type of events helps to:

a) stay away from talking about work for the whole night

b) avoid the consultant having an hard time for going back home late even when he does not have to work

c) acknowledge that partners are making an effort too and their support is appreciated

The after dinner party takes care of more junior consultants, who may not have any partner to go back home to, but might really appreciate finally making it to the door of Maddox without even having to pay a dime for the privilege of getting smashed drinking overpriced vodka.

To top it all, if on a Thursday, I would recommend a "not in the office before noon" rule for the following day.

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