This project was considered successful since Buslog was very happy with the results. Bob convinced senior management to permit the team to have a big dinner party to celebrate the success. All project participants, including consultants and senior representatives, were invited. Mark (CSM's CEO) congratulated everyone on the team for their success and asked for their continued support in future projects. Bob congratulated Uma and her team for making this project a success. He also announced that the bonus would be paid in the next month. Uma had gifts for team members who went beyond the call of duty for implementation. The event was a mixture of joy and sadness as team was being dispersed.
B2B project leaders did a good job recognizing and rewarding their participants. Recognition included the dinner, with each participant congratulated by Mark. Rewards included both across-the-board bonuses for everyone and individual gifts for superior performers. While there are many advantages and disadvantages of both across-the-board and targeted incentives, the B2B project leaders attempted to reach a balance. Project leaders define, develop, review, and reward performance.
Recognizing and rewarding accomplishments is a very important, but sometimes neglected, aspect of project leadership. It is appropriate to thank the team members when they do well. This informal approach to recognition is important, but it is not enough. Formal recognition is very important and can include the following:
Recognition in the company newsletter
Recognition in a company news release
Recognition through a picture or article in the business section of the hometown newspaper
Recognition at professional association meetings or in industry trade journals or magazines
Recognition at a special end-of-project celebration
Recognition at a company function, such as an awards dinner, company picnic, or holiday party.
There are no doubt other creative ways to recognize teams and team members for their contributions and achievements. As mentioned, providing higher levels of empowerment for the team or team members, such as a higher level approval authority or setting of the project team work timeframes, could be a way to recognize achievements. Basically it can be anything that the project team members and others will perceive as being of value to them.
Rewards do not have to financial, but cash bonuses are always a nice way to reward high achievement. People seem to work harder when they feel their compensation is tied to their performance. Some other ways to reward team members might include:
A promotion or pay raise out of the normal cycle to reward superior initiative or performance
Use of a company vehicle for some period of time
Use of a special reserved parking space for some period of time
Tickets to a sporting or entertainment event
Use of a company recreational facility
An expense-paid trip to a nice vacation spot
An expense-paid weekend away for two at a nice hotel or resort.
The thing to remember is that recognition and rewards are another form of investment in your most valuable asset as a project leader: your people.
A Project Leader Needs to:
Accept that project participants' contributions may vary considerably
Have the courage to recognize the good and reprimand the bad contributions
Exercise the wisdom to know when to reward and when to reprimand.