admin

Leading Diverse Teams, What Good Leaders Get Right

There are many leadership styles. Do they all work well and get the best out of the diverse teams?

We look at what good diverse team leaders get right and how they overcome the many challenges leaders face. Attitudes to inclusive leadership and diverse teams will define how you are perceived and successful as a leader you are.

Engaging and energising

The ability to engage and energise are skills required by any leader to inspire others to achieve, give their best and ultimately benefit the business.  Leaders should be role models that others want to emulate and work hard for.  A good leader will recognise individuals for their skills and talents, improve and expect and be prepared to listen and actively seek opinion. They will develop their team by imparting knowledge, delegating and not ruling with a rod of iron.  Leading a diverse team demands that individuals be treated as such and given equal opportunity to contribute to the team to feel valued and listened to. Their ideas count. 

Inclusion

To manage a diverse team, leaders must show authentic inclusion. Team members must feel they have a stake in the future and can leverage their perspectives and approaches so that learning and growth drive the business forward. There needs to be authentic value in both words and deeds, showing appreciation and respect for the contributions of all team members, irrespective of their diverse identities, talents and background. To do so, leaders must be aware of their biases and stereotypes that could influence their thinking and do all they can to neutralise and remove them. In fact, to successfully lead a team of diverse individuals, a good leader will seek to actively learn from the diversity within the team and ensure that team members are open-minded and will learn and be open to the opinions and backgrounds of others. 

High-engagement culture

A good leader will listen as much as they speak. This must be without bias if a leader is to create a team of individuals who are free to express their ideas without fear. Leaders must promote team relations that support a democratic, fair and supportive environment that deals with challenges and avoids authoritarian, defensive or favoured ways. They should challenge those that show disrespectful behaviour towards others and hold individuals accountable for any inappropriate behaviour to ensure everyone feels safe, included and valued.

Inclusive leaders will be transparent and expect transparency, thus engineering a shift away from exclusionary or stagnant cultures that damage businesses seeking to move ahead in a diverse and forward-thinking way. An open and accepting culture leverages team member differences to positive effect to inspire and encourage collaboration without borders or boundaries. In this way, team members feel motivated to do the best for themselves and the business.

Whether it is overcoming gender, race, background or sexual diversity: organisations that demonstrate inclusivity at every level will see better results. Those whose barriers and closed ceilings prevent them from exploring the wealth of talent and opinion that diverse backgrounds can bring will suffer for it. 

This article explains why diversity, equity and inclusion must not be put aside if leaders and businesses are to avoid being at a disadvantage.

There are many leadership styles. Do they all work well and get the best out of the diverse teams?

We look at what good diverse team leaders get right and how they overcome the many challenges leaders face. Attitudes to inclusive leadership and diverse teams will define how you are perceived and successful as a leader you are.

Engaging and energising

The ability to engage and energise are skills required by any leader to inspire others to achieve, give their best and ultimately benefit the business.  Leaders should be role models that others want to emulate and work hard for.  A good leader will recognise individuals for their skills and talents, improve and expect and be prepared to listen and actively seek opinion. They will develop their team by imparting knowledge, delegating and not ruling with a rod of iron.  Leading a diverse team demands that individuals be treated as such and given equal opportunity to contribute to the team to feel valued and listened to. Their ideas count. 

Inclusion

To manage a diverse team, leaders must show authentic inclusion. Team members must feel they have a stake in the future and can leverage their perspectives and approaches so that learning and growth drive the business forward. There needs to be authentic value in both words and deeds, showing appreciation and respect for the contributions of all team members, irrespective of their diverse identities, talents and background. To do so, leaders must be aware of their biases and stereotypes that could influence their thinking and do all they can to neutralise and remove them. In fact, to successfully lead a team of diverse individuals, a good leader will seek to actively learn from the diversity within the team and ensure that team members are open-minded and will learn and be open to the opinions and backgrounds of others. 

High-engagement culture

A good leader will listen as much as they speak. This must be without bias if a leader is to create a team of individuals who are free to express their ideas without fear. Leaders must promote team relations that support a democratic, fair and supportive environment that deals with challenges and avoids authoritarian, defensive or favoured ways. They should challenge those that show disrespectful behaviour towards others and hold individuals accountable for any inappropriate behaviour to ensure everyone feels safe, included and valued.

Inclusive leaders will be transparent and expect transparency, thus engineering a shift away from exclusionary or stagnant cultures that damage businesses seeking to move ahead in a diverse and forward-thinking way. An open and accepting culture leverages team member differences to positive effect to inspire and encourage collaboration without borders or boundaries. In this way, team members feel motivated to do the best for themselves and the business.

Whether it is overcoming gender, race, background or sexual diversity: organisations that demonstrate inclusivity at every level will see better results. Those whose barriers and closed ceilings prevent them from exploring the wealth of talent and opinion that diverse backgrounds can bring will suffer for it. 

This article explains why diversity, equity and inclusion must not be put aside if leaders and businesses are to avoid being at a disadvantage.

How to Become More Productive

Many extremely organised people cannot understand how disorganised people can actually manage to get any work done in a cluttered office. De-cluttering can increase productivity and efficiency as well as creating a calmer and more pleasant environment in your home office. When you clear the clutter and take control of your life you will be more productive – trust me.

Declutter Your Home Office and Become More Productive

When working from home, different people work in very different ways – some like to be extremely organised, with a filing place for everything and everything filed in its place. Others like to be surrounded by piles of work – maybe they think it makes them look busier when their partner arrives home from the daily commute. But more likely they work in a “mind-mapping” way with lots of connected pieces of information set out across their desk or even around the whole room.

The extremely organised types cannot understand how the seemingly disorganised types can actually manage to get anything done – and yet they do manage to, and often in a more creative way.

But if you are the “disorganised” type (or perhaps a better description is that you work in organised confusion) there will always be times when you lose that vital piece of paper: the important invoice, or contact details or just a scrap of paper where you noted down that brilliant new idea. That’s the point when you might start to think there is some benefit to being more organised and consider decluttering your home office. Clearing space in your office can help create a less stressful environment that will lead to a more organised, clutter-free mind.

In order to embark on the arduous task of de-cluttering we need to feel motivated that a clutter-free office will be worth all the effort. If you cannot appreciate the advantages of de-cluttering then you will never do it. We also need to understand that de-cluttering is absolutely not about throwing away items that you actually need but it is about knowing the difference between the things you need and the clutter.

So avoid the excuses, aim for a less stressful working environment and just get started de-cluttering your home office – here are 7 top tips to help you:

  1. Categorise the paperwork and other items you need to store, for example: bank statements, invoices, receipts, insurance documents etc. Write all the categories down on a list – this will help you to get an overview of what you think you need and what you actually need. This list may not be complete at this stage but will give you a good starting point.
  2. Check the legal requirements for the retention of paperwork for tax or regulatory reasons. There is no point filing 10 years of bank statements and invoices if the Inland Revenue only require you to store information for the past 5 years. Add this information to your list of categories.
  3. Organise your filing cabinet(s) – as the experts at a technical SEO company have told me, if you have more than one filing cabinet then take one at a time and remove all the folders. Check their labels (if they have any) and match these labels to your list of categories. Make sure the title is exactly the same to avoid confusion and mis-filing later on.
  4. Organise your files – many people prefer to file their paperwork in ring-binder files that can be stored on a shelf and sub-divided more easily. Paperwork that is more frequently accessed is better stored this way. Make sure you have plenty of clear plastic pockets and dividers to organise the paperwork.
  5. Buy a stationery cupboard – so that all your office supplies such as printer paper, printer inks, envelopes, pens etc can be neatly stored in one place instead of on your desk. It will be much easier to find what you need and you will know when you are running out of something.
  6. Buy more storage – you can never have too much storage space so buy as many additional storage units, filing cabinets or shelves as you can reasonably fit in your home office. Having plenty of storage will make it easier to be organised.
  7. Consider renting a self-storage unit –  so rent cheap self storage unit to help you achieve this. It is simple to arrange and available in or near most major towns and is particularly useful for old documentation that you won’t have to access frequently. A storage unit at a self storage facility will help keep your home office de-cluttered when there simply is not space to store everything at home.
small business failure rate

People Management Skills for the Small Business Owner

As a small business owner, you can feel like there is a lot that you need to learn. It’s never-ending! However, while there are a lot of different technical and financial elements associated with running a business, you also need to master your people skills too. With that being said, let’s take a look at some of the best people management skills for small business owners. 

Integrity

There is only one place to begin, and this is with integrity. Being a person of integrity is important because it is the only way that your employees are going to trust you. If you are honest, ethical, and transparent, this really can make a massive difference to the performance of your workforce. It can be tempting to take the unethical shortcut when you face so many challenges per day, but it is important to avoid temptation. Even one slip could lead you to lose the trust of your staff.

Connectivity 

A good manager is someone who coaches and develops their workforce. Yes, delegating tasks is part of your job role, and being able to do this effectively is important. Assigning the right tasks to the right people can make a massive difference. However, you should not simply assign tasks and then leave people to it. Being a good coach and a mentor can make a massive difference when it comes to the success of your business. Opportunities to train, learn, and develop are what workers crave. You will find that a lot of people leave jobs whereby they feel like they are in a dead-end role and there is no opportunity to progress their learning. 

Empathy

Aside from the people management skills that we have mentioned so far, having empathy is important. It is vital that you can appreciate and understand how others feel. Empathy helps to generate trust. If your employees feel like they are genuinely seen and understood, they are going to be much more likely to trust you to make the correct decisions. In addition, you will be able to get the most potential from your employees if you are able to show empathy. When managers display that they care by showing their appreciation, employees will reciprocate this appreciation by putting more effort in.

Predictability 

Last but not least, another good skill to have is predictability. You may think that being predictable is boring, and this can be the case in some walks of life. But in business, it is a great quality to have. After all, employees prefer it when they know what to expect from their boss. It makes them feel comfortable in the working environment, and when this is the case, workers feel more confident when it comes to sharing their thoughts and ideas. They don’t feel like there is ambiguity regarding what they can and cannot do either, and this gives people the freedom they need to excel. 

Now, hopefully, you have a good idea some of the people management skills that you need to master as a small business owner. Do not underestimate the importance of having good people skills when it comes to the success of your business. 

business owner

The Biggest Challenges of Leading Remotely

It’s easier to manage and lead a team when everyone is in front of you, and you can see what is going on more clearly. Yet, with the change to hybrid and remote working showing signs of continuing, it’s essential to brush up on the skills of leading remotely. Of course, there are challenges, and here we take a look at what they are and what you can do to overcome them.

Setting clear expectations

Don’t assume that just because expectations in the office were clear this is the case for home or hybrid workers. You may need to give more direction and guidance, especially when it comes to what you expect when it comes to responding to communications and attending virtual meetings.

Avoid micromanaging. Instead, empower your team’s belonging and accountability, so they take responsibility for getting the job done without you.

Managing productivity

Whilst remote working can improve productivity for many workers; others will struggle. They may find it difficult to keep focussed and productive with home distractions and a lack of direct in-person supervision. Set realistic goals and innovative ways to track working time and progress to help keep them on track. 

You may also face the challenge of aligning expectations of those in the office with remote workers to manage perceptions and ensure resentment over production or perceived lack of it doesn’t build. Keep everyone in the office and home up-to-date on who is responsible and doing what.

Communicate regularly

With the ability to integrate and discuss matters freely around an office, it’s essential to make time for engagement and communication with those working remotely, and these tips may help. Set aside some times of the day when you are free to engage in short sessions with remote employees to catch up and share your calendar to let them know when you are available.

Cohesive teams

It can be challenging to treat both on-site and hybrid workers equally, but it’s essential to make everything as fair as possible. Differences can cause teams to break up through resentment and will affect productivity. Find ways to include remote workers if you provide free snacks or meals during meetings to office-based employees. Find ways to extend flexible working hours to remote workers if it’s a benefit afforded to on-site workers, or recognise that remote workers do not have the travel hassles of their office-based colleagues. There are no hard and fast rules but you should seek to remove any bias.

Social interactions

Remote workers are at risk of social isolation, and loneliness is one of the most common complaints, especially from those who had transitioned to home working when they previously came to your office each day. So it’s essential to be mindful and make ways to include socially those at home, grab a virtual coffee together and chat about things that aren’t work-related as you would over a typical office coffee break. Open a chat channel that is fun and is more about inclusion and socialising than work, listen to the concerns of both those in the office and at home, and be sure to follow up, just as you would do if everyone were together. 

Lastly, lead by example. The easier and more pleasant you make it, the more work everyone is likely to get through. Perhaps learn how to become more productive yourself and share insights and experiences with all your team members no matter where they are based.

business success via mentoring

Leadership Communication Strategies For Business Success

A great leader understands the importance of communication. Communication skills can undoubtedly be learned to make success easier. No matter how big or small your business or organisation, you need to excel at communication for the sake of your business.

Does It Matter As Long As The Job Gets Done?

In short, the answer is yes. Poor communication leads to low morale, lost sales and missed goals and that hits your bottom line. On the other hand, get communication right and you will rally teams, empower employees and build trust amongst colleagues. 

What Are Essential Skills?

  • Active Listening– hearing and understanding what is being said to you. Knowing when to speak and when to listen, ask questions and listen to what is said. Employees who feel heard, have a chance to express ideas and give feedback feel more valued, are more actively engaged, leading to higher morale and productivity. Keep your focus on the employee and eliminate any distractions. If you want to win them over, they need to know they are an essential part of the company structure.
  • Identifying your leadership style and adapting your communication style–you need to understand how employees perceive you and tailor your interactions to influence them to respond. Whilst you may feel you are an authoritative leader, this may not be the best approach to win over a strong employee seeking autonomy. The ability to adapt your communication style will make a difference.
  • Transparency – Leaders build trust through an environment where employees understand the company goals and challenges. Every individual understands the importance of their role within the company and transparent leaders helps make this connection. 5 Powerful things happen when a leader is transparent; this Forbes article shows changes a leader can make to get results.
  • Empathy– this quite possibly should have been listed first, as it is a leadership skill must for success. Acknowledging employees feelings and experiences will help them feel valued. Showing you may not be able to change things, but you hear them will build a more robust, more productive culture that every leader needs for success.
  • Body Language– How you carry yourself can undo thousands of words. Make eye contact and take control of your mouth. Know when to give a smile or grimace and convey warmth with your movements. 
  • Questioning style– Practice asking open-ended questions and how to elicit thoughtful and thorough responses. Clarify and probe when you need to. In doing so, you will get more considered answers and clarity on what is required for all to succeed. Closed questions will shut down opinions and employees feeling that they have no right t be heard.
  • Feedback– Ask for it and be prepared to act on it. If you never implement changes from feedback or are not transparent about why changes cant be made, you will lose employee faith. Let employees know you hear them and inform them of any progress you can or have made if you want them to take you seriously.

Alongside the tips above, we recommend you check out these top 5 leadership books of all time to give you even more strategies for communicating well within your business.

business owner

Improving mentoring skills for 2022

January is designated National Mentoring Month so what better time than the start of a brand new year to take a look at ways in which you can make improvements to your mentoring skills. 

Mentoring, which was once something that might only have been found in much larger companies, is much more commonplace nowadays, and is something that many companies are actively looking to not only have in place but also improve all the time. There have been a number of studies on the subject and the biggest takeaway from these is that those individuals who are mentored are in fact more likely to be promoted than those who are not, and those who mentor are also more likely to be promoted. 

Consider being more “virtual”

If there is one thing that we have all learnt from the pandemic it is that a lot of things which we thought could only be done in person, or work that could only be done in an office, can in fact be done virtually. This opens up a huge wealth of opportunities that employers are now beginning to tap into in order to help improve working conditions for employees. Mentoring is one of these things that can also have great results when done virtually. It is no longer necessary to have both mentor and mentee working in the same office space, now the best matches can be made from within your organisation regardless of location, offering the best mentoring experience to everyone. 

Reverse mentorship

Mentorship should never be looked at simply as a one-way street. Whilst it is true that the mentor will be offering lots of helpful advice and support to their mentee throughout the entire process there is also much to be gained by reverse mentorship. This can come in the form of feedback from mentees to mentors and can provide valuable ways in which both communication and leaderships skills can be improved. 

Build skills for the future

As we have already mentioned the workplace has changed significantly in the last couple of years and whilst many of those changes introduced during the pandemic were only put in place out of necessity, and were certainly not meant to be permanent solutions, employees for the most part want at least some of them to stay. A vital part of mentoring will be identifying those skills that are most important to the company you work for and helping to build them in your mentees. It will be important to see where there have been new skills developed as a result of changes like working from home, and more frequently remote working when people have begun to return to the workplace and using these to the best possible advantage.

Diversity and inclusion

With companies being ever watchful that they are implementing improved diversity and inclusion policies it is important to ensure that these are carried over into any mentorship programs that are being run within a company as well. An improved coverage from any mentorship program can only mean good things for the future of any

Alternative Types of Training Courses

A range of professional qualifications are now available through a series of e-learning courses: courses conducted via the internet with email support from a tutor and with peer support and discussions available through the online course forums. So if you ever wondered how you would find time to fit in that training course, and update your skills and qualifications, or persuade your boss of the need for time off to complete a training course – well, this is the answer.

Online Training Courses 

Professional training courses are vital in all sectors of business if, as a professional, you want to develop your skills and stay abreast of the latest tools and techniques. It is easy to fall behind in the latest methods in your particular field very quickly, particularly if you work in a fast-moving business.

But it has always been difficult to find a window in which to take up to a week out of your schedule to devote to a formal training course. It is even harder to persuade your boss that you should take that week away from the office.

Yet training can help you meet not only your personal objectives but also your business objectives. And whilst it might be easier to attend short one day sessions, if your aim is to gain a nationally recognised qualification this will certainly take substantially longer.

Training courses can instil you with more enthusiasm and motivation, which ultimately has to be good for your employer.

The idea of e-learning could well be the solution for all the time-poor workers out there keen to gain additional qualifications. Not least because in the tough economic climate in which we are all living, recent training qualifications and up-to-date marketable skills will give you an advantage if you find yourself looking for a new job.

So what exactly is e-learning and how does it work? Well, fairly obviously, it is just a form of distance learning (which has been around for many, many years through organisations such as the Open University) for the digital age. E-learning is a course of study conducted almost entirely at your computer. The benefits of using online features are varied and many:

– No waiting for a tutor to mark your work – answers are be supplied straight
– You can be flexible about when and where you study
– Learn at your own pace
– No travel and hotel costs to attend a training centre

Online learning courses use the latest technology and interactive components such as animations and quizzes to supplement the on-line learning experience. However, traditional written materials such as manuals and books are still necessary to complement the student’s learning.

Course instructors also understand that it is important not to miss out on the discussions that happen in a traditional classroom setting so there are also online forums and groups where you can communicate with other students taking the same course. There will also be email support from a tutor for those more challenging questions.

E-learning may not be a better solution than instructor-led classroom learning but it is a great alternative for those who simply will never get to the classroom.

E-learning courses are available for a range of professional business subjects from Accountancy, Legal, Tax and Project Management Training Courses. And if you want to study on the move then there are even options to study with podcasts on your mp3 player.

Podcasts Training Courses

Podcasting is one of the most exciting new forms of communicating to an audience to have emerged in recent years. Many types of businesses as well as the government and people in education have started to discover the advantages of delivering their messages to their listeners at a time and in a place that suits them.

Any time of the day or night and, literally, wherever you like – at home, travelling or even whilst on holiday – listening to podcasts is the most current way to keep up with the latest news, your favourite radio program or, more usefully, complete that training course you have been meaning to get around to sometime soon. You can learn at a pace that suits you and can listen to a topic again and again as many times as you wish.

Podcasts are audio (mp3) files made available over the internet but more importantly subscribers to a particular podcast are notified when the latest topic becomes available and it will be automatically downloaded.

Although many people use an iPod to listen to a podcast and the origins of the podcast name is associated with Apple’s ubiquitous mp3 player (and, of course, the word broadcasting) you can, in fact, use any mp3 player or, indeed listen to the podcast through a computer or laptop or even your phone.

Of course, with respect to training courses it is perfectly possible for study guides and course manuals to be emailed to those signed up for the course for remote independent study. Or the same information can be made available on the training company’s website but podcasts simplify access to learning.

No computer or internet connection is required (once the initial download is done) and additional emails do not clutter up already overloaded inboxes.Instead those people subscribed to a course become part of a community who are automatically notified of each new topic as it becomes available.

In education and training, podcasts are an extremely effective way of demonstrating passion and conviction on a certain subject, because verbal communication can provide emphasis in a way that the written word cannot. It is also easier to reinforce important aspects of a subject through the more informal verbal style of communicating typically used in podcasts compared to other forms of distance learning and e-learning.

So a verbal form of providing a training course can in many ways be more beneficial than written guides and can be especially appealing to some people. Many people actually learn better when they hear a subject than when they read it in a book.

Although the term podcasting comes in part from the word broadcasting, it is technically a form of what is called narrowcasting because the listeners have subscribed to the podcast. The communication is to a small niche community whose requirements are known, rather than to a broad audience such as in the broadcast of a radio program.

So for all those busy professionals whose schedules make it difficult to find time to attend a classroom-based course, podcasts are the route to stimulating new learning and ideas in your chosen field, to enhancing your professional skills and improving your career prospects with professional training qualifications.

They are in inexpensive alternative to traditional training courses and mean that organisations without a large training budget can still motivate and retain staff by giving them the opportunity to develop in their career.

Some of the best podcast training courses use 2 instructors presenting the course to ensure there is a natural flow of dialogue that retains the students’ interest. They also provide study guides with each topic containing additional material and exercises to be completed to reinforce the subject being learnt. An online community is almost always established where issues and problems can be discussed with expert course tutors and with other like-minded course participants.

Studying for a business qualification using podcasts is becoming increasingly popular. This attractive, inexpensive alternative to traditional classroom courses is a great use of limited spare time. You can study at your own pace, walking in the countryside or lying on the beach, and it will increase your motivation and improve your career prospects.

Podcast training courses are available for a huge range of subjects from modern languages, Accountancy, Continuing Professional Development for Lawyers, Project Management Courses and a wide range of other business skills courses.

Project Management Training

The majority of businesses fail because they do not invest in proper training.  After employees join their company the first thing their manager tells them is to learn on-the-job.

So the person talks to everyone they can get hold of to try an learn the ropes – and there is some benefit to learning from those who have the experience already; who have been there and done it – but that is no substitue for professional training. Especially in the project management field which is fast becoming a modern day profession as organisations increasingly work in a project focused way.

Unfortunately, this type of “on-the-job” training will only work for so long.  One of the biggest mistakes companies make is not properly teaching their project managers how to actually manage projects effectively and consistently for successful outcomes using proven methods such as those from the Association for Project Management (APM) or the Project Management Institute (PMI) or the UK-Government developed PRINCE2 approach. These are PM methods that have a range of professional qualifications and accreditations associated with them that are internationally recognised and respected – and for good reason. Qualified project managers are proven to deliver more successful projects more often.

If you are planning projects for your organisation you need project managers who have studied and learnt best practises the have been refined over the years. And that knowledge is often not available within a single organisation. So whether you opt for APMP training (now known as APM PMQ), the PMP certification from the PMI or PRINCE2 for your project managers they will be more adept and managing and controlling your projects and communicating with clinets and stakeholders.

Would your business change if you had well-quaified project managers using best-practise methods that were more likley to result in successful final deliverables?  I bet it would be more successful – better meeting the needs of your clients.

future proof your career leadership training

Project Management Training For Your Team – Without It, You Will Fail!

Without the Right Project Management Courses You Will Fail!

It’s the sad truth but many projects being started right now will fail.  The failure rates of projects in all industries are still, unfortunately at levels that are too high.  As someone that has been involved with the project management field for over 10 years I can assure you that it’s not the project manager’s fault. 

So why is there such a high failure rate?  I blame some of it on the expectations of clients and stakeholders but those expectations can be managed by a professional project manager with the right training and skills sucg as those advoacted by the Association for Project Management (APM).  For some reason many people still expect to start a project with little planning or controls in place and then expect it to be successfully delivered.

Early Training is Critical

I think one of the biggest mistakes that people make is appoint a project manager and then completely forget about them and expect the project to be delivered on-time and on-budget.  They don’t offer any support or training and the new project manager feels completely lost.  First and foremost, you need to teach project managers about the recognised methodologies and how to best implement them by following best practise from the Bodies of Knowledge available from the Association for Project Management (APM) or the Project Management Institute (PMI).  As a senior executive, you should not expect them to figure everything out on their own.

After they have a good understanding on how projects operate, you should begin to share with them lessons learned from other projects completed in your business.  Why?  Do you want your PMs to duplicate effort or, worse, mistakes?  Share everything you know with your new project managers and help them to get out of the gate as fast as possible.  I believe that another reason why projects fail is because stakeholders don’t see results quickly enough and they lose interest. This is where an agile approach to managing projects can help – by delivering frequent updates and tangible interim deliverables will keep everyone on the project enthused by progress.

Set goals for each of the team members.  Have them right down their goals and follow up with them on a weekly basis to see where they are at.  Provide training and mentoring where needed and help them contribute as much as they can to the project.