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The Wow Factor – How to Attract and Retain Resources to the Teams you Lead

Project and Program Managers need to attract resources to do the work; the quality of those resources determines the quality of the project outcomes.  This post is about attracting and retaining the best possible resources.

I was talking last week with one of my colleagues about the best way to recruit resources to work on our business re-engineering program.  We are entering new phase and we need to bring on a large number of internal and external resources.  My colleague said we needed to determine the ‘Wow Factor’ and use that for recruiting and retaining program resources.

At the time, I didn’t think much of it.  “It’s a great program, who wouldn’t want to work on it?”, I thought to myself.  I learned later that one project manager that had previously worked on the team said that he thought we needed a new branding campaign because people would not want to be associated with our program.  Ouch!  That hurt.  And that comment came from someone who had actually worked on the program!

So I guess we do need a Wow Factor for our program.  We do need a marketing campaign to recruit and retain resources to work on our program. We need to figure out ways for people to get excited about the mission of the program and want to join and do their very best work.  The question is, how exactly do you do that?

The question is very important.  The resources on your teams determine the speed, quality, and ultimately the success of your program.  Project management is getting work done through others.  In my first book I included this quote from Robb, one of my long time project management mentors.

“As a project manager, you live or die by your resources.”

The topic of how to create a Wow Factor for our projects and programs is one I would like to explore over the next few posts.  I have some ideas about how to do this based on my own experience, but I am very interested in hearing thoughts from others.  What do you do to create Wow for your programs and projects?  How do you go about attracting and retaining the best resources?  Please let me know your thoughts.