Permie Project Managers
We were sent this by a reader who asks why permie project managers do so much to demotivate IT Contractors when it would be much better for their projects if they motivated them.
All that permie IT Project Managers have learned 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 IT Project Managers taking deliberate steps to motivate their permanent workers but, 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’.
Permanent Member of Staff
Of course, if we make any mistakes permie project managers are down on us like a ton of bricks.
If there is any dispute between a permanent member of staff and a contractor, then there is never any sense of fair play.
One can understand why they need to keep their permanent workers on board as 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.
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 employees.
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 Project Managers seem to realise this.
Of course, it could be that often the permie 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.
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 permie Project Managers 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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