Linking Training to Job Satisfaction: One way to reduce PM talent turnover
What’s most frequently on the short list of reasons why employees quit? Lack of opportunities to grow. No matter which study, which expert you consult, this one factor shows up somewhere on the list of reasons why employees abandon their employers.
Sadly, we know intuitively when a talented project manager (PM) leaves, there are direct impacts (productivity, cost and schedule) and indirect ones (reduction in morale, engagement and trust). But do we know the financial impact to the organization? At GBMC we believe that business performance depends on project performance and successful projects depend on talented PMs with high job satisfaction.
Know the reasons PMs are leaving. Along with that data, calculate the average cost of replacing a PM. And here’s the biggest “wake up” data set: How much is at risk if you can only get a warm body as a replacement? This endeavor can be fraught with pitfalls. The data taken from exit interviews is rarely accurate. Find the metrics that matter to your organization and the best way to get actionable data.
Identify which PMs are flight risks.
Someone in the project organization must be on top of which PMs are vulnerable to poaching and whose leaving will have the biggest negative impact on the organization. This is talent risk management. Just like you do for your projects, the project organization should identify and qualify/quantify the risk and put in place your mitigations. Know your high likelihood / high impact PMs and ensure they have career growth opportunities.
Ensure the career development path is established and communicated well. GBMC is betting that lack of career advancement will show up in your top ten reasons—perhaps even your top five. We’ve seen it before. Management claims to have a career path, but employees can’t see it, can’t own it, can’t do it. Word of caution: Training should be treated as an important part of that path, but most definitely not the major portion of it. Great PMs are made through job experience. It’s management’s responsibility to provide larger scope and scale projects that challenge the PM. Put in place (or upgrade) the organizational support structure that coaches and nurtures your talent.
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