A project manager must plan and organize a project for kickoff and beyond. This is where the majority of the work happens. The goal is to get things running smoothly for the rest of the project. Nothing is better than a project running on time, within budget, and on schedule.
Until someone in the team does something to disrupt that perfect pace. It’s inevitable. But it can be quickly overcome with the right knowledge. How can project managers help project team members avoid toxic workplace behavior?
There are 4 types of toxic workplace behaviors that negatively impact projects
You can think of it. It is possible for people who are good to behave in a destructive or negative manner on a project team. Sometimes it is intentional. Other times, it can be due to poor time management or poor choices. Project managers who manage a team with different personalities and roles should try to get to know each other, look out for signs that things are going wrong, and if they do, have a plan for dealing with it quickly so that you can move on.
Bad team behavior can be anything from mild to mind-blowing. Below is a list with examples of bad team behavior. They range from the predictable and easy to handle to the unpredictable and difficult to call on. They all have some impact on the project’s progress and can cause disruption.
1. Habitually missing Deadlines
This can happen when someone is late or misses crucial details, which can extend the time it takes to complete a task. A repeat offender can be a problem.
This could be due to a lack of interest or attention in the work or burnout or excessive work load. This person could be disorganized, procrastinator, distracted easily, or a procrastinator. You may also have a personal issue that is affecting your ability to perform.
How to deal with it: Keep track of the timeline and take note of any delays. You can check in with them often in advance of the due date to find out their confidence in meeting the deadline. This can be done through standing ups, weekly status meetings, and by checking in with them individually close to the deadline to ask what they need, and if they are on time. You can hold them accountable by keeping a written record of all inquiries via email, instant messages, and in meeting notes.
Learn more about Deliverables in Project Management
2. Do not follow the process
Project managers are responsible for defining and guiding the team through good processes. Everyone wants things to go smoothly. However, if you veer off-track, it can lead to chaos.
This is why it happens: It usually happens because someone doesn’t understand the process (being new), or doesn’t like it. This person may not have received enough training from the team leader. They might have done it differently in another job. This disruptive behavior is annoying no matter what the reason. It often involves someone rushing to meet a deadline and combining steps.
How to deal with it: It is important to be clear about the roles and process at project start-up in order to ensure that process is followed. Describe all steps in the project plan. Include input from those who are responsible for the development of the plan and the timing of the tasks. They can see the plan and all the steps that led up to it and can use this information to prove they didn’t know. They may be able to skip certain handoffs and review steps without you knowing, which can negatively impact the quality and timing of the deliverable.