Recognition and Rewards

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I have quite a bit of ground to cover with recognition and rewards. As I said earlier, you could see several exam questions regarding team building, so dig out all your favorite memorization techniques and put them to use.

Team building starts with project planning and doesn't stop until the project is completed. It involves employing techniques to improve your team's performance and in keeping team members motivated. Motivation helps people work more efficiently and produce better results. If clear expectations, clear procedures, and the right motivational tools are used, project teams will excel.

Motivation can be extrinsic or intrinsic. Extrinsic motivators are material rewards and might include bonuses, the use of a company car, stock options, gift certificates, training opportunities, extra time off, and so on.

Intrinsic motivators are specific to the individual. Some people are just naturally driven to achieve—it's part of their nature. (I suspect this is a motivator for you since you're reading this book.) Cultural and religious influences are forms of intrinsic motivators as well. Reward and recognition—a tool and technique of the Develop Project Team process—are examples of extrinsic motivators. We'll look at them next.

Recognition and rewards are an important part of team motivation. They are formal ways of recognizing and promoting desirable behavior and are most effective when carried out by the management team and the project manager. You should develop and document the criteria for rewards, especially monetary awards. Although rewards and recognition help build a team, they can also kill morale if you don't have an established method or criteria for handing them out. Track who is receiving awards throughout the project. For example, if you have consistent overachievers on the team, you could kill morale by consistently rewarding the same one or two people repeatedly. It could also be perceived that you're playing favorites. If team members believe the rewards are win-lose (also known as zero-sum) and that only certain team members will be rewarded, you might end up hurting morale more than helping. If you find yourself in this position, consider team awards. This is a win-win because all team members are recognized for their contributions. Recognition and rewards should be proportional to the achievement. In other words, appropriately link the reward to the performance. For example, a project manager who has responsibility for the project budget and the procurement process and keeps the costs substantially under budget without sacrificing the results of the project should be rewarded for this achievement. However, if these responsibilities are assigned to a functional manager in the organization, it wouldn't be appropriate to reward a project manager who was not the one responsible for keeping the costs in line.

Team members should be rewarded for going above and beyond the call of duty. Perhaps they put in a significant amount of overtime to meet a project goal or spent nights round-the-clock babysitting ill-performing equipment. These types of behaviors should be rewarded and formally recognized by the project manager and the management team. On the other hand, if the ill-performing equipment was a direct result of mistakes made or if it happened because of poor planning, rewards would not be appropriate, obviously.

Consider individual preferences and cultural differences when using rewards and recognitions. Some people don't like to be recognized in front of a group; others thrive on it. Some people appreciate an honest thank-you with minimal fanfare, and others just won't accept individual rewards as their culture doesn't allow it. Keep this in mind when devising your reward system.

There are many theories on motivation. As a project manager, it's important to understand them so that you can tailor your recognition and rewards programs to take into account the reasons people do what they do. You might encounter questions on these theories on the exam, so we'll discuss their primary points in the following sections.

Real World Scenario

Baker's Gift Baskets

You're a contract project manager for Baker's Gift Baskets. This company assembles gift baskets of all styles and shapes with every edible treat imaginable. The company has recently experienced explosive growth, and you've been brought on board to manage its new project. The owners of the company want to offer "pick-your-own" baskets that allow customers to pick the individual items they want included in the basket. In addition, they're introducing a new line of containers to choose from, including items such as miniature golf bags, flowerpots, serving bowls, and the like. This means changes to the catalog and the website to accommodate the new offerings.

The deadline for this project is the driving constraint. The website changes won't cause any problems with the deadline. However, the catalog must go to press quickly to meet holiday mailing deadlines, which in turn are driving the project deadline.

Your team members put their heads together and came up with an ingenious plan to meet the catalog deadline. It required lots of overtime and some weekend work on their part to pull it off, but they met the date.

You decide this is a perfect opportunity to recognize and reward the team for their outstanding efforts. You've arranged a slot on the agenda at the next all-company meeting to bring your team up front and praise them for their cooperation and efforts to get the catalog to the printers on time. You'll also present each of them with two days of paid time off and a gift certificate for a dinner with their family at an exclusive restaurant in the city.

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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