6 Ways to Protect Your Project Team from Poaching

One pitfall of managing a high-functioning Project Team is that there’s always someone who’d like to snatch away your best performers. How can you maintain a commitment to your team? We’ve put together a handful of tips to keep the grass on your side of the fence looking greener.

1 – Focus on new skills. Employees who are learning new things and increasing their knowledge base will feel the pull of outside opportunities less than those who think they’ve maxed out what your team can teach them.

2 – Support ongoing education. Whether it’s a seminar to gain new expertise or a structured curriculum to earn additional degrees or certifications, high performers are constantly on the prowl for new learning opportunities. Help them find those opportunities within your Project Team.

3 – Provide a career path. This can be challenging for senior level folks, but it’s not impossible. Career development is important to strong performers at every level—work closely with HR to provide team members with opportunities for career growth.

4 – Identify less-than-happy members. These folks are most at risk of leaving, and can also poison other people who may be on the fence. Identify what these members are interested in (specific expertise, managing larger projects, etc.) and do what you can to provide it.

5 – Work on leadership development. Managers within your Project Team are your first line of defense, so take the time to ensure they have the right tools to keep their sub-groups motivated and moving forward. Consider formal classes as well as mentoring to help boost their skills.

6 – Continuously build on your Project Team’s sense of team. People who feel connected to your organization—its industry, culture, mission—are much less likely to be receptive to overtures from other Project Teams. Bolster that sense of connectedness.

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