Since Aug 2019 I have been writing on #futureofPMWork , how the future of projects would be, what would be the different skills, techniques to engage our teams of the future, in the #futureofPMWork
Come March, all these theories, the #futureofPMWork suddenly seem so relevant. As we try to survive through the coronavirus pandemic, we are anxious, stressed, nervous of our own health, our elderly parents, our peers the society and world. On the work front, 125,000 team members in India suddenly became remote – working from home. Working remote before corona is strikingly different than working remote under quarantine. Many including myself was feeling lost in the first few weeks of quarantine.
Here is what I have learned in the 8 weeks of quarantine - the new #futureofPMWork on how to keep teams engaged and inspired.
The changing needs - Maslow’s hierarchy:
March 2020, most of us tumbled all the way down from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs top levels down to the bottom – to our physiological needs.
Provide assurance: that their basic needs in a job, the salary that helps them to be financially independent to take care of food, shelter and rest will be taken care of can help them to bring more to work.
Empathize: and do what we can to get them what they need, even if it has nothing to do with work. Research shows that being a servant leader serving team as they explore and grow, while providing emotional support create greater engagement.
Start with the Why but define How:
We always knew “purpose”, “Start with the why” keeps teams engaged to their work. In the new quarantine work environment, that “Why” might change. Questions like “Where do I stand in terms of my career now? How do I contribute to my organization’s goal? What is important to me in my career now?” can help to redefine the ‘Why’. These answers might not be the same as they were a month ago. This type of conversation can ‘define how’ or provide clarity needed to personalize the teams purpose and connect them better to the organization’s goals and vision.
Maintain diversity and inclusion:
To foster high performance team in this era of quarantine and social distancing project managers need to create an inclusive environment. This inclusivity would be for gender, race, parents with young children and generations. Elder generations could be afraid being impacted by the disease or may have trouble adjusting to virtual collaboration tools. Look out for any kind of such instances of marginalization, address them publicly and support those marginalized privately through one and one meetings.
Do you have any learnings or tips to engage and inspire your teams in this new #futureofPMWork ? If yes do share, I would love to hear from you here.