How Project Management Can Engage Employees

project management, employee engagement

Organizations have a hand in employee disengagement when they don’t put in the effort to free their people to do what they do best.

How Project Management Can Engage Employees

That analyst you just hired? She’s working at 70% because she’s not clear on the specifications of the project she was just assigned to. She’s doing her best with what she has, but she also has a gut feeling that at some point she’s going to have to do this stuff all over again once she gets the information she needed at the start.

That HR Partner who’s been on the team for five years? He’s tired of work that doesn’t have a clear purpose or “end in mind.” He feels that every new initiative is something to be endured, rather than engaged with. He’s concerned that he’ll never be able to apply himself in a way that makes a difference.

That coordinator who is struggling? All she wants is a clear roadmap for the projects she gets assigned in passing. She knows she has potential, but can’t work to that potential with her current organization because everything is done on the fly.

Here’s How Project Management Can Help:

In the world of Project Management, we focus on creating a clear picture of the work to be done. We spend time planning and ensuring we have the appropriate resources and people on the team for the job to be done. We analyze risk, to prevent being surprised and unprepared when things go wrong. We celebrate success and learn from our missteps so that we can do even better on the next project.

Perhaps most importantly, we put all of these efforts into an objective framework. It isn’t about relying on some superstar to come through in the clutch or relying on teams to put in an extraordinary effort on ordinary things.

Project management is about making the most of what we have, and that includes helping people bring their best efforts to the table.

That’s why we push back on last minute changes. We insist on planning and preparation. We agree to play by a specific set of rules.

This framework provides a level playing field for people, and an opportunity to improve employee engagement because everyone is clear about the work to be done, and how they contribute.

How many times have you found yourself frustrated at work because you feel that despite your best efforts, an initiative or project is doomed to failure, or perhaps worse, “success at any cost”? How often have your people complained that they aren’t quite sure what is expected of them?

What has it cost you in terms of time, money, morale and reputation? What is it costing your employees in terms of wasted effort and rework?

Employee engagement is a massive issue in the modern workforce. It’s a topic that has confounded even the best HR teams, the best managers, and the best organizations. Will project management solve this issue alone? No way.

It will, however, create opportunities for you to free your people to do what they do best.

And that’s a great place to start.

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Carlos Escobar

Carlos Escobar is a Human Resources (HR) and organizational development leader, change manager, project manager, analyst, writer, and entrepreneur. He works with people and organizations that want to improve productivity and outcomes by focusing on service, innovation, and execution.


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