Important to mentor project team members

Tips to keep your permanent project resources happy

In the last post, Tips to keep your contract project resources happy, it covered the important, and often overlooked subject, of making sure you take care of the contract staff who work on your project teams.  To complete the picture, this post is going to cover some of the important considerations for permanent project team members.

Before getting into the specifics, I can not stress enough that it is important that all team member’s, work colleague’s, vendors, consultant’s, in fact anyone you engage with that you treat them fairly and with respect.  We are all privileged to be residents of planet earth and we all deserve to be treated the same.

Given this some of the points from the last post are equally applicable like:

  • Treat all team member’s the same
  • People care

Strive for these to be the natural way you behave.

What is a permanent employee?

It is worth taking a moment to consider this statement.  The choice by an individual to become a permanent employee at an organisation is important.  It is a declaration that they want to invest their time, career growth and livelihood to benefit both the organisation and themselves.

When you think about it, this is big.  Time is the most precious commodity, each passing second can be used only once.  So for a person to commit a substantial amount of their available time (usually a minimum of 35 – 40 hours excluding travel), this is a big investment.

Many people do not change jobs often so will typically work for an organisation for 3 – 5 years (often much longer or even their entire career).  So it is important that a number of factors are met to reward this loyalty.

Positive actions

Here are some important considerations for your permanent member’s of staff.

  • Career growth – make sure that you spend time to understand their career aspirations and then try to align activities that will help with this goal.  This may not always be possible.  However, taking time to regularly discuss their career and then looking for opportunities will be well received.
  • Responsibility – look for areas and tasks that they can take on to grow their skills.  Can they help you with annual budget planning or similar?  Important skills and shows you consider them as a trusted member of your team.
  • Strategy – where possible share and seek input on strategic direction.  While all team member’s should be involved, look to see if you can work with the permanent team member’s in a smaller group or even on a 1:1 basis to seek their input and thoughts.  Perhaps they can be a sounding board for your ideas.
  • Training – linked to career aspiration, are there development needs that can be met through training?  If so agree the objectives and then work with the team member to identify suitable training.  If possible, try to get them booked on at least some externally led instructor training.  This will have more perceived value that internal or computer based training.  It is a real monetary investment in the team member.
  • Regular reviews – make sure you prepare and put the correct effort into the mid and end of year reviews.  These are important to the team member and warrant that you invest the correct time and effort.
  • Delegation – look for opportunities where they can delegate for you.  Perhaps for certain meetings or be your contact point while you are on holiday.  You have to make sure they are ready and have your full support.  The aim is to stretch them without breaking them.

Summary

The above should provide some good ideas on how you should behave and how to treat your permanent project team member’s.  Developing your own skills to naturally want to care and grow your team member’s will also be a skill that will benefit you many times over.