Permanent Project Managers – Why Do They Demotivate Contractors?

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Permanent Project Managers and Contractors
Permanent Project Managers and Contractors

Permanent Project Managers

A reader sent us this article on Permanent Project Managers.

All that permanent Project Managers have learnt about motivating those who work for them goes out the window as soon as they start dealing with contractors.

I don‘t know how many places I‘ve been to where I have seen this happening. I see the permanent Project Managers taking deliberate steps to motivate their permanent workers. However, at best, they take no action at all to motivate contractors.

At worst, they take actions that are bound to demotivate them.

They go on about how much money we are paid, they give us no praise when we do something well. You can see them thinking that it is expected that we do all things well ‘for what we‘re paying you’.

Making Mistakes

Of course, if we make any mistakes they are down on us like a ton of bricks.

If there is any dispute between a permanent member of staff and a contractor. There is never any sense of fair play.

IT Contractor Problems With Permanent Employees
IT Contractor Office Problems With Permanent Employees

One can understand why they need to keep their permanent workers on board. That’s because they will need them for the long term. However, one senses that it is just instinct rather than reason that makes them take the permie‘s side rather than the contractors.

It is more of a tribal thing. They don‘t see contractors as temporary members of their tribe, They don‘t see them as welcome guests. They tend to see them as temporary interlopers, as necessary evils, and this comes out any time there is a dispute between a contractor and a permie.

Contractors Need Motivating

It is a huge mistake not to realise that contractors need motivating and praise too. In fact you could probably get more out of praising your contractors than your employers.

After all, the contractors have normally more experience of the skills and languages than the permanent employees normally have.

Therefore, the same percentage gain in productivity through a good bit of Project Management motivation would mean a greater gain for the project.

And yet so few permanent Project Managers seem to realise this.

jealous permies
Jealous Permies that contractors have to put up with

Of course, it could be that often the permanent Project Managers are younger than the contractors and don‘t feel that it is their place to praise and motivate someone older than themselves.

However, than never seems to hold when there is a bit of blame about. There is never any deference to age then.

Perverse Satisfaction

In fact many seem to take some kind of pleasure form ‘doing down the contractor‘.

Of course, it is very easy to score points from contractors, especially when their livelihoods are in your hands.

However, it will do nothing for the success of the project which is what will decide the success of a permanent Project Manager‘s career.

It seems though that their instinct to do down their contractors is a stronger instinct than motivating them to help them succeed in creating a successful project.

The more fool them!

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