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Newsletter January 2021

With Recovery Comes Risk: How to Manage the Resource Challenge of the Roaring 20’s.

With the arrival of numerous vaccines, most of us recognize that the greatest damper on the global economy will soon be history. By late next year, the world should start to experience what some are calling a “the Roaring 20’s”, a reference to the economic boom of the 1920’s following the first World War. Along with freedom to socialize, shop and travel again in 2021 will come a revival in capital spending and renewed hiring in developed economies. This is welcome relief for everyone.

  • But for project managers, the economic recovery comes with an acute resource threat: key project staff will be looking for greener pastures when things improve, and our projects could quickly become short-handed. Project managers must proactively deal with this threat now.

If we invest some of ourselves in others today, we’ll reap the rewards of a stable and productive workforce in 2021. But how to do this? By reinforcing the vision and leveraging regular, transparent and personal communication to build trust and loyalty.

Reinforce the long-term vision

Acclaimed public speaker, Daniel Pink states that more than ever, people are looking for a sense of autonomy, mastery and purpose to be satisfied in their work.  During these times of working from home your team likely has more autonomy than ever.  But they also need to be reminded of the vision and purpose for your project and that you are committed to their career development and mastery of their craft.

  • This is the perfect time for you as a leader to invest in project management training to help them sharpen their skills toward achieving the project’s purpose and objectives.

Transparent and frequent project team communication.

During the first quarter of 2021, uncertainty and separation from colleagues and managers will continue to impact your team’s emotional well-being. They are likely to feel, “out of the loop” – even if they are not.  What should a good project manager do?

  • Go out of your way to brief team members by phone or video calls. This should occur at least weekly to discuss overall project progress, how each is contributing, expectations on team performance and your commitment to helping them succeed. This direct, regular conversation today is an investment in your project’s future because it makes the team feel like they belong.

Regular, personal individual team member communication

The pressures of the pandemic extend beyond the work and into your team members’ families and personal lives. Working from home blurs the line between “work life” and “personal life.”  Combined with the erosion of trust last year in political leaders and medical authorities, employees are looking more to their company’s managers for guidance and support-even with personal issues. How you help them manage these personal issues will affect how they manage their work issues.

  • As project managers, look for ways to initiate one-to-one telephone calls to check in with each member of your core team. Enquire about their emotional well-being and family issues. Empathy and support of these issues during this tough time will send the signal that you are with them for the long term. In turn, this will build personal loyalty that makes them think twice before jumping ship.

We have always advocated that the project manager is a risk manager. With the coming recovery, there is a looming resource risk to be managed. By investing in your people through reinforcement of your commitment to their success and well-being, you are mitigating that risk. You may just be saving your project from a disaster in 2021.

If you would like more information on how to build strong project teams through training and project management consulting services, please contact us at


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