Explain 5 Ways In Which A PM Can Motivate Their Team.

Paul Naybour



For the above qyestion, I can only seem to find 3 techniques in the book:


Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Leadership Model

Hertzberg’s Motivation Hygiene Theory

Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs Model


What are the other two??




6 thoughts on “Explain 5 Ways In Which A PM Can Motivate Their Team.”

  1. Sinitta Basra remember that it is an exam set by project managers, for project managers and marked by project managers.

  2. Hi Paul,

    Thanks for the feedback – Here’s a reworked answer – took about 16 mins after establish the key points:

    A PM can motivate their teams in many ways. These include :

    1. Establishing Purpose & Belonging
    Team members need to know what their purpose is on the project. Without a defined role, purpose and goals, there will be a feeling of neglect and of not being needed. By being part of a team, people form bonds and will have a sense of belonging, with a “Tribe Mentality” which will motivate and inspire people to achievements within the team.

    2. Work Environment
    The environment within which we work will have a big impact on motivation. If the team works in an old, dirty, unsafe and cold portacabin on a building site, they may be reluctant to come to work, and are unlikely to be giving their full potential, knowing their day will be in a dreary office. A Bright, clean, safe office will give a signal that the management cares for the team, thinks highly of them and wants them to enjoy their working environment and this will be a huge motivational force.

    3. Challenges
    People need challenges within their lives and without something to aim for, people may become apathetic, with a sense of despondency. It is unlikely they will therefore be performing at their full potential. Delegation and responsibility can be used to motivate some people. By recognising that a person is able to handle responsibility, the PM is challenging them to achieve more and to aim higher, which will act as a motivator to attain fulfilment and job satisfaction.

    4. Reward
    Salary is a primary motivator, but which above a certain level won’t increase motivation to a great extent. Likewise, bonuses will give a sense of appreciation but will have limited overall improvement to motivation. Recognition is a better motivator showing the wider community that the person or team is highly regarded and well thought of. Celebration events will also be good for motivation, recognising success and will also act as team building. Appreciation will be the most inexpensive form of motivation, which most team members will enjoy hearing regularly.

    5. Culture
    The culture of the workplace is important and will impact on motivation. A feedback mentality from leaders to team members will heighten the awareness of what’s required for the team members, and to show recognition. A PM who is will to get the team involved in planning and decision making, and to keep them “in the loop” will improve team bonding, prevent “Group Think” and idle rumour, both of which will impact motivation and moral.

    I thought that was a tricky question!

    Any comments much appreciated.

  3. Sinitta, this really makes reference to how not theories; (i) setting clear objectives which are able to be met, (ii) appealing to their aims for progression, (iii) appealing to their job interest – for example if they are interested in the railway/ aircraft/ cars improving the product, (iv) appealing to their expertise, i.e. being a technical expert – and (v) rewarding with bonuses, payrises or special recognition.

  4. Thanks Pauls.. I’d read the question as if it were asking for ‘known techniques’ rather than general everyday methods. Thanks for the clarity.

  5. Paul, you have it absolutely correct. This question is not asking you to describe one of the leadership models. If these are required it will specifically ask for a “know model”. it is a more general question asking how project managers should motivate their teams. You can use Maslow as a guide, but you need to relate this to the practical management of a project team.

    1) Setting clear roles and responsibilities for team members. If a team has confusing roles and responsibilities it can be very demotivating because people will do other peoples jobs and something many not get done. A WBS is useful in defining the work packages, along with a role assignment matrix this can make sure the everyone is clear what required.
    2) Rewarding successful performance. If project team members achieve the objectives set then the project manager should recognise these efforts. This recognition can be as a bonus but often a personal thanks or other recognition can be equally powerful.
    3) Establishing a sense of job security. Often project teams can be de-motivated as the project comes to an end, especially if there is little follow on work. It is important for a project manager to give the team a clear vision about future projects or re-deployment opportunism.
    4) Ensure a good working culture. Often project can be de-motivated because the working culture is not supportive of high performance, either because it is a high blame culture or lacks energy and drive. This culture can be very difficult for the project manager to influence, but developing a cautious “can-do” culture is very important for the success of projects.
    5) Providing good working environment. The physical environmental in which people work can be influence on motivation. Poor quality buildings, poor IT or lack of basic facilities can demotivate people. A project manager should always make sure that the offices and working locations are reasonable for the location. Especially on site this does not need that the offices need to be plush, but they should be clean, tidy and business like.

    Basically the question is testing your understanding of project management beyond the theory. Have a go at the question in your own words.

  6. Hi

    If I were answering this kind of question I would personally make 5 points as the following, expanding each of the sub points into 1 or more sentences :

    1. Negative (Primary) Motivators
    a) Herzbergs – Hygiene Factors
    b) explain how they will increase motivation to an extent
    c) Explain these are Security, Money, Status. Some examples;
    d) possibly explain why resolve negative motivators 1st, then address positive motivators,

    2. Positive (Secondary) Motivators
    a) Hertzbergs motivators
    b) what these will overcome
    c) Examples – Achievement, responsibility, Challenges

    3. Leaderships Qualities
    a) Positive outlook;
    b) promote vision and direction
    c) Delegation to the team and empowerment

    4. Planning and Involvement
    a) Get team involved in planning; team building events; celebratory;
    b) Set targets and incentives; people need goals and objectives;
    c) Allocate tasks and ownership; Belonging;

    5. Communication
    a) Communication – keep team in the loop; relate decisions
    b) Feedback – what they’re doing good and not so good;
    c) Listen and react to what you’re being told from your team

    Hope that helps???
    n.b. I didn’t mention Maslow as I’ve only tried to memorise Herzberg. I guess this kind of question would also be looking for something other than just Motivational theory, hence points 3-5; this is what would motivate me.

    Now I guess another similar question would be :
    “Explain 5 ways in which a PM can improve Moral on the team?”. Would that have a similar answer??


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