Irecently had a conversation where I was told, “You’re paid for your work, so you shouldn’t expect any other acknowledgement.” I strongly disagree. Project managers rarely have the opportunity to influence or drive salaries and reimbursements. So we have to find other currency with which to acknowledge stakeholder efforts and commitment.
For example, a recent project deployment
required weekend work. I planned ahead to ensure
my colleagues had time off before the weekend
work. During the working weekend, I bought
lunch and supplies to sustain everyone. For stakeholders who participated, I made a point of calling
their managers or, where possible, meeting in person to ensure that they were aware of the efforts of
There are daily behaviors that can show appreciation too. Some of us take time to know our security staff by name and greet them when entering
and leaving the office. Others bake, bring snacks or
offer a round of drinks (in a café or bar, depending on preferences). Another colleague sometimes
brings sweets and chocolates as a way of saying
happy weekday (regardless of the day it happens to
be). The impact on those around him is delightful:
They begin by asking what the occasion is, then
venture tentatively to accept a morsel and ultimately beam at the sharing of a treat.
Once we’re established in roles, organizations
and work environments, the salary earned becomes
a regular part of life. But we’re human, and for
many of us acknowledgement and appreciation
make our work more meaningful and rewarding.
Recently, I was touched to receive a card from
a brilliant development team based offshore. It
Sheilina Somani, RPP, FAPM, PMP, is the owner
of the U. K.-based consultancy Positively Project
Management, a senior project manager, a speaker
and a mentor.
simply offered thanks for quality communications
and interactions, and the opportunity to work
together and achieve outstanding results during
2015. I hadn’t been aware of the difference it made
to them that I acknowledged emails, thanked them
and recognized ideas and contributions.
That gesture sustained me through the subsequent
two weeks of high stress and intense workload.
Every time I returned home, I’d see the card and
smile anew. I view it as a reward to remain worthy of.
In a busy and demanding environment, it’s very
easy to focus on task activity and completion. But
remember to recognize opportunities to be gra-
cious. Here are a few examples:
n Be thankful when a colleague offers assistance.
n Acknowledge when a suggestion offers a solution.
n Celebrate the attainment of a learning goal.
n Open doors and appreciate those who
reciprocate (and refrain from growling at
those who don’t!).
The bottom line in all of this is that we may
not influence or drive financial factors, but there
are other payments of time, kindness, courtesy
and appreciation that also require deposits. There
is always time to write a brief email or note to
acknowledge contributions and effort.
Through these acts of humanity and humil-
ity, we remember how to work well with others,
regardless of origin, location and responsibilities.
How many gratitude rewards can you give to colleagues each week? PM
In a busy project environment, phrases like
‘thank you’ and ‘terrific work’ can motivate.
BY SHEILINA SOMANI, RPP, FAPM, PMP, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
We may not
there are other