Project Management

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Topics: Communications Management, Organizational Culture, Teams
team member engagement
Hi There,
I have a team member that does not answers emails and neither show up into the meeting due to conflict priorities. What are some the ways - in a place very fluid - that I can get the commitment for a deliverable and a more participative engagement at the team meetings of FUP?
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Talking with the team member about you will escalate this situation to people that can help on that. Show the team member you are trying to help to find the needed time/space for working with you in the project.
Sergio is right. I do agree with him.
Vanessa -

Start with a 1:1 conversation with the team member to try to understand why they are behaving in that manner. If it is a prioritization issue, raise the concern with that team member's people manager to try to free up some of the team member's time OR to assign a different team member to your team who has sufficient capacity.

If it appears to be a priority issue I would try and find out if its the team member's priority decision of his line manager's. If you find out or believe the priority has been imposed on your team member by his manager I would offer to assist him resolving the matter but ultimately if you want commitment your team member needs to find the solution. You don't want to make it your problem - if its your solution it remains your problem.

"I need you to deliver. Figure out how you are going to do that. Let me know if you need my help. Get back to me tomorrow and tell me how you propose to meet your commitments."

This approach should work regardless of the reason for lack of engagement.

this is a typical and frequent problem in matrix organisations when people are assigned to projects only part-time. Different fixes to it exist, here is one:

Have a 1:1 with the team member, as well with the person who assigned him to your project.

There seems to be a gap between your expectations and his assignment. He might have misunderstood his assignment, but most probably his boss did not 100% fullfil your need/request. Try to find out what he understands his role and commitment is and what other issues he has. If you are into servant leadership, you may want to help him with his overall situation.

Imaging you requested him 1 day per week, his boss understood 20% and told him to help you out with up to 20% of his workload. He understood he will help you with max 20%, when possible, seemingly a low priority.

If you build rapport with him, you might get him to commit a fixed timeslot per week when you meet and he works on his tasks. Build trust, help him, avoid pushing him, be different than other PMs. Then he might build an intrinsic motivation to give back to you.

The solution is often that the boss reduces the overall workload and tells him to support you appropriately (changes his assignment). I have seen resource managers having no problem in assigning 200% to individuals and letting them figure it out.

Hi Vanessa,
The pertinent nature of your question requires a quiet analysis of the source if the conflict, However engaging the team members one on one may defuse the tension
Hi Vanessa, I agree with the above. I think you would be best having a 1:1 with the employee. In terms of raising project engagement, you might find some tips here:
Hi Vanessa, while I agree to the suggestions and comments provided here, I would like to take one step further and say about "What if it doesn't work out in spite of discussing 1 on 1, motivate and all possible options to get things back on track". I would say "Let it go".
Sometimes managers take it as a challenge and try to force fit the members to be productive and committed while the project is getting impacted. Holding on to a member can be counter productive. They might be best fit and can bring great success in a completely different project and on the same note some else can come in making your project successful. Letting it go is not a failure but ensuring that the right set of members are in a project. As I said earlier, this option, should be considered after all options are futile and your project is getting impacted.
Focus on the cause of the previous conflict, understanding both sides. Once you get it, start coaching individually to later begin with the groups, managing the principles and values that better help changes the behaviour.
Search opportunities to build communication. First, start with the members involved in the conflict to then passing to integrate to all team. This practice is important because the team experiment on how a collaboration relationship will create a trusted environment. Using retrospective sessions, it looks backwards to examine how an adopted mindset impact the team performance positively and negatively, letting them learn meaningfully. Like any learning process, this evolves from conflicting relation to collaborative relationship. Thus, in the beginning, the process requires a lot of effort, focusing on listening carefully to adapt the coaching and mentoring accordingly.

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