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Why Your Project Managers are Disengaged - And How to Fix it

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An engaged workforce can drive a company's success. Unfortunately, recent research in a study by Gallup shows that approximately 70-80% of white collar workers feel disengaged at their place of business.  Project Management departments in particular underperform due to disengagement. Right now, a large segment of project managers are only doing the bare minimum to get by and stay employed – and nothing more. As a result, these companies are noticing a significant drop in both productivity and work quality.

Identifying What Triggers Employee Disengagement

So, what is causing so many of our project managers to be disengaged, and what are some of the problems associated with disengagement? Here are some of the key attributes that lead to disengagement and the negative effects it creates.

Poor Management Leads to Poor Engagement

Disengagement is a direct result of poor management choices. Reduced communication between upper management and project managers equates to low engagement. In some cases, project managers are unsure of the full breadth of their job role and how well they are performing. When their responsibilities are not fully communicated to them, they feel a disconnect from the role and the work that they are executing.

Lack of training can also lend to disconnection and increase disengagement. Companies that don't invest in their project managers often create a lack of trust.  Additionally, not having the proper tools and resources to do their job can create a lackluster atmosphere. Imagine being given a task, but not the tools to complete the task – and the frustration that ensues. This frustration builds when a project manager is repeatedly not given the resources that they need to excel.

All project managers need constructive criticism, recognition, and one-on-one time with their employer to feel valued. Listening to the project manager is crucial, and they need to feel comfortable speaking with their employer. It is important for project managers to feel like their voice is heard. When this kind of communication is lacking, it creates a barrier between the project manager and employer, which fosters disengagement.

Disengaged Project Managers Contribute Less

Disengaged project managers are performing just enough to get by, and since they are less interested in their work – they are less likely to produce quality work. Today’s average project manager is so disengaged that they want to be out the door right at 5pm, and no one better stand in their way! To get through the day, project managers are only producing the bare minimum required, as their employer has not built up their trust. As mentioned previously, when you do not encourage growth, it can lead to further disengagement. How can a project manager engage when the company atmosphere does not encourage enthusiasm regarding their duties and the role?

In Gallup's study, it was found that engaged workers are 18% more productive than disengaged workers. This increase in productivity inevitably brings in more revenue for a company, as more engagement contributes to more work.  Often, supervisors have not determined the balance between what is productive time during a project manager’s day vs. what is “filler”.

It’s not the people, it’s the process

Many times, disengagement doesn’t stem directly from your people. Like most companies, you've likely invested in your hiring process to find high quality project managers. However, the work environment itself is what's driving their underperformance. Project management departments underperform because of a lack of processes in place, further encouraging disengagement. When senior management shifts priorities too quickly, the message that project managers get is that they should not work as aggressively on yesterday’s assignments. These project managers develop a mindset that assignments will continue to change too rapidly, and consequently many assignments will fall beyond deadlines and frustrate everyone. In a different atmosphere with proper communication, processes, and procedure, project managers’ performance levels and overall productivity could increase.

Join our Webinar to Overcome these Issues

Increasing engagement drives several critical benefits, including higher quality work, increased revenue, and overall more satisfied project managers. Do you want to learn how to fix the problem of disengagement within your company? By joining our webinar, we will teach you how to increase engagement and optimize productivity in your project managers across the board.  Join our webinar October 26th, 2021 to learn more!

Do you want to learn how to fix the problem of disengagement within your company?
By joining our free webinar on Tuesday, October 26th at 10 AM PT, we will teach you how to increase engagement and optimize productivity with your project managers across the board.