CAD Management: Get It In Gear

A timely reminder.  A nudge forward.   A kick in the pants.

These are just some of the motivating ideas that you might use in your daily interactions with your team and others.  The CAD Manager has to motivate people to encourage progress.  Motivation is the process we use to spur others on to action.

It is imperative that the CAD Manager be a motivator so the firm can move forward.  They need to motivate when it comes to the small stuff and the large things.  Daily, weekly, and ongoing motivation is needed because people get bogged down in the project work and may lose sight of the purpose: Where they are headed and why they are doing it.

Extrinsic Motivation is when you are motivated by something outside of your own thoughts and internal desires.  This is where the CAD Manager lives in relationship to others.  All of the ideas above can be used in an extrinsic manner when working with others.  Extrinsic motivations can include money, time off, extra benefits, avoidance of effort, and many more ways of getting things moving.

Intrinsic Motivation is when someone is motivated by his own internal desires, values, or feeling of duty.  We all have this within us in differing measures.  Some can energize themselves, pick up the pieces after a failure, and strive for more out of themselves without much interaction with others or reward at the end of the process.  Others may need to be motivated when they have no internal desire to move forward.

The CAD Manager may have access to tangible motivators such as bonuses, gifts, and such but most likely they do not on a regular basis.  So they have to define motivators that can be used that may not involve some physical reward.

Here is a list of some Extrinsic Motivations I have used.

Build Teams. Define a team that helps with decisions. Adding the right people to the team will be a motivator.  Those involved will feel appreciated and take a higher stake in production. 

Ask spot questions. Just asking what people what they think about your processes or standards can motivate them by fostering a feeling of involvement.  When people feel they are involved and are contributing, it makes them willing to push a little harder on their efforts.

Give rewards. Extra software utilities that do not cost a lot can be purchased and distributed first to those who need a little motivation.  Tossing a little utility at those who are trying to improve can make them try even harder.

Buy them lunch – or provide lunch at a casual meeting.  Ask several users to come to a meeting at lunch (on-site or off) where you will gather some ideas about what might be done better.  Creative conversations can spark users to think outside the box and come up with new approaches to getting things done.

Give people credit. When a good idea is provided, make sure you announce who gave it to you or who was pivotal in making a new initiative work.  Giving credit to those who help you will encourage them to help you again.

Talk about the big picture. Some may be motivated by the long-range, big idea discussions.  Just knowing what is going on elsewhere in the firm can help people grasp the purpose beyond their own project and functions.  Knowing what is planned in the next few months can keep people from growing frustrated and giving up.

Tell people why. Don't stop at simply sharing what needs to be done, tell people why it needs to be done.  No one likes being given directions without much information.  Provide more than is expected and it will motivate individuals and teams.

Interact with people.  Most of the time just talking to others will give you plenty of time to motivate them.  Stop by a desk and chat.  Stop in the hallways and interact.  Move beyond the quick exchange of information about the software tools and actually talk to the people who use them.

If you are overseeing people, then you will need to motivate them to action.  I am sure there are many more ideas beyond these.  Share a few in the AUGI Forums.

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