People Power: How Better HR Can Make You a Better Project Manager
The role of a project manager is a critical one to any successful business. They take on more than their fair share of responsibilities, including planning for projects, ensuring they have the human resources to complete them on time and at the level of quality expected, organizing and managing communications, executing all aspects of a project, monitoring the project as it’s in progress, and seeing it through to the end. With so much on their plate, even the best project managers can lose sight of their most valuable asset - their people.
People power each and every successful project. A happy and healthy team is far more likely to meet client expectations and deliver projects on time and in full than a team suffering from low morale or drowning in work. A PM’s role is to successfully manage the people involved in a project, empowering them to work productively and effectively, and leading them to the finish line with few hiccups along the way. When you effectively manage your project’s human resources, you’ll quickly find your team and the projects it takes on are far more successful.
Low morale can sound the death knell for any project
Poor management of your project’s people more often than not results in low morale. Low morale can impact just about every aspect of any project, leading to your team members working less productively and producing lower quality of work.
As morale decreases, team members are less motivated to live up to or exceed client expectations, doing the bare minimum (or less) because they’re dealing with too much stress, feeling unheard, or being overburdened. Lower quality work means you’ll spend more time and money attempting to re-do and correct much of this lower quality work. Couple this with decreased productivity, and your project has far less of a chance to be completed on time or meet the expectations of your client.
Low morale can be caused by your team members feeling like they’re not being valued or cared for. After all, if your project manager only sees you as a means to an end, how could you possibly be motivated to work productively for that person? Lack of transparent communication is often a factor in producing low morale, especially when members are constantly left feeling out of the loop or like critical information is being kept from them.
Another reason for low morale is over and underutilization. Sometimes your team members feel like there’s simply too much on their plate for them to be able to meet deadlines or complete work at the quality expected of them. Others feel like they’re not being trusted nearly enough and are ready to take on more, but haven’t been tasked with more. Lack of flexibility can be another factor. Your team members want to be able to work in a way that suits them, and the inability to do so makes them feel caged in and less effective.
How project managers can address these problems
Focusing on keeping your people happy and motivated is the key to driving consistently successful projects. Keeping them motivated isn’t as difficult as it may seem - it’s generally a matter of addressing the problems causing low morale in your team.
Letting your team members know that you appreciate their efforts and are willing to hear out any ideas or thoughts they have can go a long way. When you hit major milestones, receive positive feedback from clients, earn significant accomplishments or certain team members go above and beyond, celebrate and let it be known.
Fostering transparent communication is a great way to learn which of your team members feel overburdened and require assistance or additional resources, as well as which employees don’t feel engaged or challenged, letting you adjust accordingly to keep those employees challenged with a more meaningful or challenging workload. Keep team members in the loop on any and all changes that occur during the lifespan of a project so they can adjust on their end, and so they feel like they’re being trusted with important information.
Being flexible and allowing employees to work in a manner that suits them best can also go a long way in improving morale. Flexibility will help your team feel trusted, letting them complete work in a fashion that they’re more comfortable with, whether it’s working from home, collaborating with colleagues, or approaching challenges in new and untested ways, letting employees work in a way that makes sense to them can result in higher levels of engagement and improved performance.
Project managers need visibility into how their people are spending time
While a significant part of project management, your job as a project manager doesn’t end at morale. It’s your duty to understand what your people are actually doing with their time.
No amount of fancy project management tools can help you get a good sense of what your people are doing, how well they’re doing it, when they require assistance, and how you can help them become more engaged. Even the best project management solution will only tell you who is doing what, and possibly how close they are to completing it. When combined with the right project management tool, the contextualized productivity intelligence data offered by Prodoscore can help you become a stronger, more effective project manager. Monday.com is one of the PM tools that Prodoscore integrates with, allowing you to ensure that your team is making good use of the tool you’ve invested in - along with many others.
Contextualized productivity data allows you to gain visibility into how your people are operating on a daily basis. By providing you with insight about how engaged your team members are, who’s at risk of burnout, who isn’t being challenged, who you might not be rewarding or recognizing enough, and who’s taking on more than they can handle, you’ll be able to detect and better understand patterns, reward good behaviors, address critical issues, and help those in need. Increased visibility means better outcomes, letting you become a more effective leader who understands their most important asset.
Prodoscore captures productivity data in all your favorite workplace solutions, including project management tools like monday.com, CRM solutions like Salesforces, Zoho, SugarCRM and Microsoft Dynamics 365, communications tools and VoIP telephony systems, and office suites like Google Workspace and Microsoft 365. This data is used to generate a productivity score and contextualized data for each employee on your team, offering critical information about employee performance and engagement, long and short-term trends, which tools they’re using or not using, and so much more.
Using actionable insights generated by Prodoscore, you can finally let go and give your team members some much needed flexibility. Your employees can work remotely or work on a flexible schedule and your data will tell you whether the improved flexibility is working to boost their productivity, or if it’s hurting it.
Prodoscore allows you to gain meaningful insight into how flexibility is impacting your team members, ensuring that you can make informed decisions about things like planning, coaching, and training, and allowing you to become a stronger and more confident leader.
Accountability is another major takeaway from the actionable insights provided by Prodoscore. Measuring your people and holding them accountable is just as important as everything else you measure on a day-to-day basis. Productivity intelligence lets you identify trends as they emerge, making it much easier to make tough decisions. Are members of your team working with one foot out the door? Is there somebody at their breaking point? Is an employee suddenly much less engaged? Prodoscore helps you spot these trends so you can make sure you’re never taken by surprise again.
When you combine your project management software with Prodoscore, you’ll be better equipped to delegate work to employees, offer additional resources to those in need or struggling with their workload, offer increased flexibility to members, and gain crucial visibility into every aspect of how your team is operating. Prodoscore takes the unknowns out of project management, letting you become a stronger, more confident project manager so you can guarantee the success of every future project you and your team takes on.
Find out more about how Prodoscore can make you a stronger project manager by getting in touch with us today.