The project manager, team engagement, project performance and ultimately project success are all intertwined. Project managers should take their part in maintaining team engagement which will increase project performance. Successful, high performing teams are usually led by project managers who have the professional skills and expertise that can create effective strategies that will motivate and inspire team engagement so that project professionals want to achieve more.
Create a great work environment
The project manager is dependent on his/her team and demotivated, disengaged members who may leave halfway through a project can put the project at risk.
What Does Engagement Mean?
Engagement is more than keeping employees satisfied or happy, although your project team may be harmonious it does not mean that they are actively engaged. Engaged employees make strong contributions that are actively connected to their organization, have well-defined roles in their teams and are continuously progressing.
Improving Your Team’s Engagement
Project managers can improve their team’s engagement with 7 easy steps.
Communication is a key attribute and vital to the Project Manager.
- Make sure that communication between the team is strong.
- Constantly communicate and share information with teammates, adopt transparency where all aspects about a project are disclosed to the team, this will result in teams becoming more secure about their tasks; working to achieve milestones and bring projects in on time.
- Have weekly meetings where employee involvement should be encouraged. Meetings should be open to discussion so that employees feel involved in the project process.
- Discuss employee expectations on a one-to-one level.
- Give your team praise where praise is due.
- Give feedback so that team members are aware of your expectations; this will help them avoid mistakes and is beneficial in improving their work performance as well as gaining new skills.
New Team Members
New employees are usually focused and engaged in the first six months of a new organization. Extend this engagement by pairing them up with a work buddy or mentor who will show them the ropes, this will help them bond within the team. At the same time provide plenty of recognition for their early achievements.
Give Challenging Tasks
Often employees are given routine tasks which over time can lead to demotivation and disengagement. Take them out of their comfort zone and offer them challenging tasks. Under close supervision, this can lead to a team member becoming engaged within the team and lead to them gaining new skills.
Freedom to Make Decisions and Express Ideas
Trust your team to develop and participate in executing product strategies. Offering your team this independence can create a motivated engaged team that is keen to do its best for the organization. Stay involved in all activities that are planned offering feedback to ensure your team doesn’t make mistakes that can jeopardize a project.
Create a Great Work Environment
Motivation and engagement can be reduced when environments are dark and dingy. When employees are comfortable in their surroundings, their work rate improves.
- Adopt an open office as opposed to cubicles as this will encourage open discussions and collaboration between your team.
- Allow employees to personalize their space (within reason) as this encourages belongingness.
- Use as much natural light as possible as opposed to artificial light.
- Maintain good ventilation/heating.
Clear Company Values
Clearly define the company values so that employees realize what the company expects from them. Your team can be actively involved in the creation of these values as this will instill a sense of responsibility as they have chosen their own goals.
Company culture is especially important in the workplace as no-one wants to work in an environment where employees are unmotivated, disengaged, morale is low and people don’t get on. Establishing a good company culture can be through team building activities, creating a good environment or celebrating a successful project. It’s also important to remember that part of having a good company culture is maintaining it. Communication with your team is key to finding out what they think is working and how they think improvements can be made.
Communication is a key driver in maintaining a team that is engaged, dedicated to succeed and furthering the organization’s reputation. Team engagement where employees are enthusiastic and take positive actions reduces staff turnover and absenteeism and increases the quality of work towards project success. Allowing your team the freedom to express themselves and creating a great working environment will improve project succes.
Project manager, team engagement and project performance are terms that are mutually dependent on each other. It is common knowledge that the project manager takes an exceptional part in maintaining team engagement which then again is vital for increasing project performance. So project managers should surely strive to develop and sustain team engagement – an aspect which will result in greater performance.
Successful and high-performing teams are usually led by project managers who have the required professional competence, skills and expertise. Possessing these attributes can help them create effective engagement strategies that will motivate and inspire team members and project participants to want to achieve more.