When Project Management Meets HR: 5 Simple Lessons

Angelique Chloe Luna

Angelique Chloe LunaSenior Human Development Consultant

Friday, October 11, 2019

Project managers and human resources may not be the same thing, but there are definitely meeting points that both professions can benefit from. Whilst both professions specialize in people, they tackle this in very different ways. We’ve already looked at the lessons HR can learn from project managers, but what about the other way around?

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1. Effective people management

When a project manager forms a project team, they’re dealing with people with the right skills needed to reach the goal. Keep in mind that despite their similarities in skills, different employees have different personalities.  Project managers should manage different personality types to make sure that all team members work harmoniously together towards achieving their goals. HR personnel are known to be adaptable to various personalities because they deal with all the people of a company.

2. Conflict management

Different personalities equate to possible conflicts within a project team. Common project-related conflicts include budget concerns, people management, and deadlines. The most damaging type of conflict that could arise is interpersonal conflict among members of the team, including the project manager.

When managing conflicts in the workplace, project managers should know that impartiality is important. Solutions offered should be accepted by all parties involved. If conflicts are addressed as soon as they arise, then the team’s project will be accomplished efficiently, effectively, and on time.

3. Listening well

Problems are sure to happen even before the actual work starts.

Project managers should learn how to listen well, not only about the development of their projects, but also about the concerns of each member of the team. This should include listening to the questions and suggestions from each employee regarding the project management jobs they’re doing instead of only giving directions. Doing so will promote understanding, teamwork, and open communication among all the members of the team.

4. Promoting a solid office culture

Employees like it when they feel they belong in the company; and will likely do their best if that’s the case. For this to happen, building a solid and positive culture within the organization is important. Sujan Patel, co-founder of Web Profits, explains the importance of culture for employees:

“Culture gives employees a driving goal and purpose for what they do. It connects your leadership team with the rest of the employees and binds them with a set of shared beliefs…An employee's skills may get them in the door, but your culture is what will keep them there.”

Since HR personnel are the enforcers of business culture in the office, project managers can consult with them about what culture best fits the company and its employees. They can also inquire how to alter existing office culture to further ensure productivity and loyalty among their team members.

5. Providing motivation

Not only does each member of the team have different personalities, but they also have different levels of motivation. Carole Gaskell, MD of leadership consultancy Full Potential Group, says in her article;

"Evidence suggests success and happiness is determined by whether your individual motivators are being met, and that’s not necessarily all about money.” 

Indeed, project managers should understand that other than a high income, employees need varying motivators to make them productive at work. HR management functions to provide assistance to project managers to make sure that everyone in the team is not just doing work, but are also happy while doing it.

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