Looking After Your Prized Staff [video blog]

by Jennifer Bridges, PMP (formerly, Jennifer Whitt)

It’s a fact of life that your project team members can make you or break you as a project manager. Watch the following video and learn how to keep them both loyal to you AND to the project.

Welcome to our whiteboard session today on looking after your prized staff. It’s true that your project team members can make you or break you as a project manager. There are a few things that we have found that are helpful in winning over our prized staff and keeping them loyal to not only us as a project manager, but to the project.

Number one, we think it’s important to identify who the critical people are on the project. There are critical people who, if taken off for any reason, may be misdirected to another project or moved around, that would have a significant impact. We want to know who those people are. I think it’s important to identify who’s critical.

Then build relationships with these people. Get to know them, like what makes them tick, things about their family members or what their outside interests are, or what they specifically like about the job. It’s important to know what aspects of the project they like doing, which aspects of the project they don’t like doing. Maybe some of the team members they work better with, maybe some that they have challenges with. Forming and building and nurturing those relationships are important to help them be able to tell you more about how you can support them and being more effective on your project.

Number three, pay attention to the awards and recognition, so being able to reward these people or recognize them along the way. What we found is that it doesn’t necessarily have to do with dollars. There’s research that’s been done for a long time, and we know that a lot of times being able to continue or do work that you like to do on a project keeps people rewarded. Going to them and asking for their input and letting them provide input or ideas on new approaches for the project. Being candid with them, being candid on when you really like the way they do something or giving them candid feedback on how they can grow. It’s all in positioning, things that you can say and do to help them grow as a professional and let them know that you’re really interested in and invested in their growth potential as well.

Number four, balance their workload. Many times when we find those critical resources or our go to people, they are generally the ones that can do anything and everything, and you can rest assured that they will get it done. What happens is we tend to overload them. We give them more work and more and more and more, which burns them out and makes them want to leave.

These are just four key items that we feel like is a great way to look after your prized team.

If you found these tips from Jennifer Whitt, PMP of value and are a PMP looking to earn PMI PDUs, you might be interested in her self-paced, downloadable courses at PDUs2Go.com.

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