5 Ways to Boost Project Management Accountability in the Age of Hybrid Work


5 Ways to Boost Project Management Accountability in the Age of Hybrid Work

The rise of long-term hybrid work arrangements has renewed the need for accountability within project teams. Traditional structures that helped reinforce employees’ responsibilities for their assigned tasks and commitments to initiatives overall, such as informal brainstorms held in hallways and working group lunches, might never return to previous levels. To restore a holistic culture of accountability and ensure consistent project success, team leaders need to adjust their engagement strategies, whether team members are in the office, at home, in a satellite location, or on the road.

If your project team is struggling with fluid work arrangements and dynamic schedules, consider these strategies to help rebuild your team’s culture of accountability and reprioritize responsibility.

1. Define clear goals and expectations for every project stakeholder.

It’s important that everyone involved in the project understands what’s expected of them, whether they’re an internal project team member, an end user, a sponsor, or a collaborator. Organizations that focused only on setting out expectations for remote workers should now implement a more comprehensive approach. It will provide much-needed consistency for accountability efforts as team members continue to move between different work environments.

2. Emphasize communication and collaboration with regularly scheduled check-ins.

Teams that work in the same location may have few formal get-togethers, but they take advantage of a lot of informal interactions. If your group has a hybrid environment, then routine standing meetings will enable project managers to stay on top of progress across all activities, whether the people responsible are offsite or working in the office. You may need to adjust when group discussions happen due to time zone differences, but regular check-ins help to reinforce accountability and make everyone feel more connected to the team.

3. Implement technologies that deliver a uniform user experience.

Project teams adopted remote-focused collaboration tools during the pandemic to keep people connected. With a portion of employees working onsite more frequently, there may now be some disjointed experiences in how stakeholders connect. When everyone uses the same communication and collaboration tools, it reduces missed messages and ensures everyone has accurate information. Accountability goes up, as does employees’ sense of engagement. Team members can move their tasks forward together and maintain stronger alignment with others’ activities, too.

4. Apply feedback strategies across the entire team.

It can be challenging for team members to modify their work habits or improve their performance if they don’t receive consistent and understandable feedback from project team leaders. With some employees working onsite and others continuing to work primarily through remote arrangements, some feedback loops have been disrupted. Onsite workers may receive more frequent feedback and have more opportunities to ask questions and gain clarity, whereas remote workers are often limited to working through feedback only during meetings that are scheduled to discuss that specific topic. Project managers need to focus on delivering constructive feedback on a regular basis for in-office as well as remote team members.

5. Be deliberate about building a true culture of accountability.

It’s easy—perhaps too easy—to view individual responsibility as a standalone attribute. Rather than focusing on it in a vacuum, project leaders should instead work to create a full-scope culture of accountability. Hold employees responsible for their work but be equally quick to reward them for good performance. This consistency is something managers may find challenging when team members aren’t physically in the office. Time zone differences can also increase pressures to resolve problems quickly, so offer timely guidance if someone hits a roadblock. And be sure to share the good news with other team members when an individual knocks one out of the park.

PMAlliance, Inc uses a team of highly experienced and certified professionals to provide project management consultingproject management training and project portfolio management.