How to retain a good workforce

Moira Alexander writes in an article on about methods that can help employers and managers retain their good workers. First of all, it's not always easy to find good project managers on the market in the first place. This is a different issue, but it leads to the fact that experienced project managers are in hot demand on the job market and therefore receive many offers. Headhunters and companies try to poach your best employees from you, often offering big bucks and perks. Of course, you can't give your project managers a raise every few months just to keep them from leaving. Nor is that necessarily the most important argument for your employees to stay loyal to you. Find out what Moira Alexander has to say on the subject and read what tips the manager has here.
A man wearing a suit is standing in an aisle.

High demand for project managers

Good project managers can usually pick and choose their jobs on the job market. Their job is demanding and puts them at constant risk of burnout. Since the best workers have many options, salary often plays only a minor role in their decision whether to stay in a position or move on to new shores. So as a leader, you should not only entice them with a good salary, but make sure that the top workers on whom the company's success rests and who will be hard to replace feel comfortable. Moira Alexander has five tips for employers who want to keep their top people.

1. Don't overload your employees.

Even the best managers aren't endlessly resilient. Even if you have urgent projects coming up and only want to assign the best to them, you should always stop and consider whether your best employees might be overworked. Heavily overworked managers will either burn out and be out for a long time as a result, or they may be inclined to take one of the offers from the competition. Distribute the work fairly. Let all employees share in the success and lighten the load on top performers when you can. Ideally, provide a balanced work environment where your managers have both responsibility and a workload they can handle in a reasonable amount of time. This way, your employees will stay motivated and be able to work satisfactorily.

2. Never assume that everyone is just happy

Most project managers have made it second nature to appear fundamentally positive and good-humored. It's part of their job when working with colleagues, team members and clients. However, that doesn't necessarily mean they are happy. To find out what's going on behind the facade, there's only one way: you have to ask them. And do it repeatedly and against the backdrop of an honest and close professional relationship. Give your employees the feeling that they can always come to you. Ask specifically about how they are feeling, about their assessment of various problems and circumstances. Only employees who trust you will tell you the truth when they are actually dissatisfied with something.

3. Rely on backups

Ideally, you should have a different project manager for each of your top project managers who can immediately take over their work in case of an emergency. Of course, this is difficult and costly in practice, but the backup system can be successful even on a small scale. For example, form project teams of two managers each. This has the advantage that each can go on vacation liberated, knowing full well that the backup can take over all tasks without any problems. But it also provides security for the company, namely that the knowledge about a project cannot be completely lost with one person.

4. And the salary counts after all

What was said at the beginning of the article should not be taken back: Money isn't everything, especially in well-paying jobs and with top project managers, who usually already have a certain and quite good salary. You don't have to offer crazy salaries to your managers. However, always be on your guard because other companies may be willing to pay significantly more. So, if you stay at the lower end of the salary scale, you always run the risk that a good employee will be enticed away by an offer from the competition after all. If your manager is happy with you and has exciting projects, he will most likely not leave immediately for 5% more salary. At 25%, however, the situation looks quite different again. Adjust salaries regularly so that your top performers always feel valued.

5. Give them free time

Your top performers seem strong and insatiable, rushing straight to the next success after each one? This can be dangerous, because many project managers suffer from a phenomenon of overestimating themselves, especially those who are particularly successful. To prevent your employees from driving themselves into burnout, you as a manager should encourage your project managers to take a breather after each project. No one is in top form for long, and this will ultimately be reflected in the success of their projects. If you must, make time off or vacation a commitment after each big project. This way, your top managers will clear their heads and be refreshed to tackle the next big challenge. You will be amazed how this also has a positive effect on absenteeism or sick days.
Author: IAPM internal

Keywords: Project management, Working, Human Management, Employee management, Tips, Guide

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