According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 4 million people quit their jobs in March 2023. Professional and business services saw an increase of 115,000 people quitting their jobs from the month before. These numbers show that employee retention is crucial for maintaining project goals to keep client success a top priority.

Program management can help with project planning, design and construction services and integrate all aspects of the project into a cohesive team. This is especially beneficial for large, complex capital projects. In the event of staff turnover, the program manager can step in to find the personnel substitutions needed to complete a project successfully.

Finding the qualified staff needed to support program management can be extremely challenging. Whether it’s an individual searching for other career opportunities or looking for a salary change, staffing changes and turnover often occur and finding quality replacements can be difficult.

In the early stages of program management, owner expectations must be synced with the project team’s vision for executing the work. Building a project team naturally follows this step. Staffing needs are primarily sourced from company direct hires or internal company transfers, contract to hires and subcontracting additions. Even with these three sources, often the pool of candidates lacks experience, team members frequently switch positions away from the project, members retire, or others find the quick pace of work to be more than they could handle.

New candidates with transferrable skills often need to be pulled from other industries to overcome these staffing challenges. Mentorship proves crucial when onboarding these new additions. Existing project team members with more seniority must shift from an individual perspective to a group perspective in mentoring new members. Senior members can be looped into the planning, interviewing and hiring process to create a more seamless transition for new members joining the group.

Prospects looking to join a program management team like the idea of being mentored and see plans for such guidance as helpful in career growth, even when stacked up against other employment aspects such as pay and type of work.

The soft skills that come from making connections and networking with those more established in their respective industry should not be underestimated when hiring and forming project teams.


Effective program management can lead to stronger and more successful outcomes. Discover how the benefits of this partnership can help you overcome your project challenges.

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Bryan Francis is a program manager at Burns & McDonnell. In his role, he has extensive experience helping clients with program management overseeing staffing and technical work. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix.