Project Management

4 Key Drivers for Team Engagement

Everyone has a different style to getting their work done. Some people enjoy being told how to do things every step of the way, while others need to be left alone to spread their creative wings and soar. In a post for A Girl’s Guide to Project Management, Elizabeth Harrin discusses alternatives to the “command and control” management style.

A Live and Let Live Approach

The command and control style of management is a very old-school, traditional approach to accomplishing work, but it is not the most effective and can drive some people entirely bonkers. Managers who are always micro-managing their team are using their time unwisely, and they should be concentrating their efforts on something more valuable. According to Harrin, “The trouble with command and control is that you get project information that is untrustworthy, and you create an overly structured work environment that people don’t like.” Most people do not thrive and are unhappy in an environment in which they are constantly controlled. In an effort to better engage the team and produce happy, productive workers, Harrin suggests doing four things:

  1. Empower employees.
  2. Supply the right tools.
  3. Recognize hard work.
  4. Be clear in expectations.

When people are left alone to simply do the work and do it well, they have a sense of empowerment and a confidence boost to be successful. People can be left to make their own decisions, and these decisions can turn out well. In order for people to do their job well, they need to be given the proper tools. Employees who are denied access to important tools or software can end up in a ball of frustration, which will greatly hinder their work.

People want for their work to be acknowledged, even if it is just a hearty “well-done” and a gold star. If someone has done a good job, recognize them. An alarming 40 percent of employees state that they lack recognition at their job. Success often depends on understanding what is expected. If people do not understand what is expected of them, they can never fully deliver the right results. This is a pretty easy fix with the proper tools.

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