Project Management

Team Engagement in the new future – the COVID era and beyond

From the The Future of PM Work Blog
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What will the future be like for project managers? How will our teams change? Will robots displace human beings? Will we be able to have an edge in the age of AI? This blog will focus on our future of work—including current trends and future trends that we will experience in our workplace. Learn how project managers can leverage these trends to amplify value for customers, stakeholders, teams, the organization as a whole—and themselves. It’s all about proactively managing the transition to the future!

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Team Engagement in the new future – the COVID era and beyond



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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.

Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels

Posted on: May 18, 2020 12:56 PM | Permalink

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Thanks for sharing., very interesting.

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