If you’re pursuing a career as a project manager in a competitive workplace, how you connect, motivate, and keep your employees engaged is crucial. People look to you to set the tone, and take their direction from you both practically and stylistically.
At KPI Fire, our strategic planning software was built with a key goal of giving everyone in a given business an engaged voice. Our solutions include an Idea Management System designed not only to streamline the efficiency of projects, but to involve all employees in the process of selecting the projects with the highest impact to the business. As a complement to our software, here are some basic tips for helping your employees stay engaged in process improvement.
Top Down Energy
Did you know that many employees fall into habits of laziness and general boredom at work by mimicking management? If you ( as their project manager) have a low energy level that establishes the baseline. On the flip side, if you’re engaged and invested in your time at work, your employees will follow that example.
Show up with high energy and passion for continuous improvement. Hold yourself to the same standards you’re holding them to, and try to genuinely enjoy your interactions. Lead with humility. Be willing to correct yourself or admit a mistake if doing so might encourage others to do the same.
Goals that Matter
Setting goals that really matter to the team is essential to keeping team members engaged. Make those goals visual so the team can see every day if they are winning or losing. Business is an accomplishment-based game, so why not incentivize people as much as possible? Showing their progress toward a common goal is a great and free “carrot” for improvement.
Use team to team competition. This type of incentive can work well if done correctly. You could hold a monthly contest or incentive, but be sure to engineer these in ways that promote teamwork and togetherness rather than sniping and frustration. When both teams are improving to outdo each other the everyone, including the company, is winning so be sure they know there are no losers. An environment where employees are happy, challenged, and continuously motivated is the best for keeping them engaged.
There will be difficult times as a project manager, whether it’s a misbehaving employee or a new company-wide policy that negatively affects some people. It’s your job to be as straightforward as possible with employees: Be firm and direct while discussing everything from problems to major positives. People will naturally be less motivated if they feel like they’re being duped or manipulated, and will naturally be a little more engaged if they feel like a valued and informed member of the team.
How you handle the biggest negatives is often what makes the difference between being a good boss and a bad one. Don’t be passive-aggressive or hand off bad news to a subordinate – handle problems head on with a consistent approach. If you have to terminate an employee, do so privately and with respect and understanding. When you have to correct a mistake, do it in a calm way that encourages your team member rather than tearing them down.
At KPI fire, our project management software can go a long way to setting a baseline of engagement with your employees. Our KPI software gives teams instant visibility to their metrics so they can see if they are winning or losing the game of business in real time. Our Idea Management software gives employees a voice and a way to get involved in continuous improvement. Speak to one of our professionals today to learn more.