How to manage a team effectively
Team management is not at all easy. It takes a lot of work to get right, but we've put together a few top tips that are aimed to help every manager and team lead, from seasoned and senior and those brand new to the role.
Successful delegation is centred around matching people and tasks, your first priority is making clear what your team's role and goals are.
People perform better and are more engaged in roles where they feel they are employing their best skills, so delegating proper functions that suit each individual will have a significant impact on the productivity of the team.
Ensure that the workload is evenly spread around the team, if there is a lack of knowledge or capacity within the team around a certain area put in the effort to focus on that area. Bottlenecks and uneven workloads are bad for overall team morale.
How to motivate your team
Your team members have a responsibility for motivating themselves, but you can encourage that process by creating an environment that helps them become more motivated. Motivated people have a positive attitude at work and are highly adaptable, particularly when it comes to change.
Here are a few tips for creating a motivating environment:
- Ask for the details
By asking for the details behind the work undertaken, you honour the results as well as the employees who achieved them. You also get a better understanding of how the person works; how they problem-solve, what parts they love, and what makes them most proud.
- Express gratitude
Lower level employees often can’t see the effects of their efforts towards the bigger picture. You have the opportunity to explain how the work will help get you closer to the target goal.
- Acknowledge effort made
No substantial contribution comes without personal cost to those doing the work. Most employees hide any struggle that accompanied their efforts for fear of looking weak or incompetent. Acknowledging the challenges they have faced makes your gratitude more credible.
It’s the manager’s responsibility to create an environment in which recognition is given to those who deserve it.
How to handle conflict at work
When there is conflict in the workplace, it should dealt with swiftly. Turning a blind eye will lead to a negative atmosphere, impacting the team morale. When an issue arises, it’s crucial that it is addressed straight away before it escalates.
There are 3 key steps to resolving conflicts:
- Understand perspectives
Try to understand others’ thoughts, feelings, motivations, and intentions, this will help you stay empathetic while resolving sensitive issues.
Talk to the people involved to get a clear understanding of the issue.
- Take action
Do not allow conflict to escalate or fester. Find the source of the conflict and take time to work it out, ensuring the resolution actions are clear and communicated.
Develop your team
Studies have shown that one of the most important factors for employees in a role is growth. Therefore if you want to keep your best team members around you need to offer them the opportunity to grow and learn.
Ensure you understand what each of your team's members goals are. Once identified, you can work with the employee to figure out the best way to use their skills and what additional training they might want or need to progress to the next level.
A simple way of helping your team develop is to ensure that you provide regular constructive and actionable feedback to the members of your team.
As a team manager, you're required to convey your instructions and ideas clearly, this applies both within the team as well as speaking on behalf of your team to other parts of the organisation.
Here are some key skills in communicating clearly:
- Become an engaged listener
When you’re an engaged listener, not only will you better understand the other person, you’ll also make that person feel heard and understood, which can help build a stronger, deeper connection between you. Being an active listener helps detect problems early (while they're easy to deal with), avoid costly misunderstandings.
- Be aware of nonverbal signals
Nonverbal communication aka body language includes facial expressions, gestures, posture, eye contact, tone of voice, and even less visible aspects such as breathing. Developing the ability to read these nonverbal signals can help you connect with others, understand how the other person really feels, navigate challenging situations, and build better relationships.
- Emotional Awareness and Management
Emotional intelligence covers a wide range of skills, fundamentally it's that you are aware of and understand your own emotions, and be able to keep them under control.
When we think about what makes an organisation a good place to work, the primary factors most of us take into account are brand value of the organisation and compensation.
An team whose employees have a deep sense of loyalty and ownership towards the work they do is a team that will go far. In times of challenging circumstances, it is the affection employees feel towards their team that is often the decisive factor.
It’s important to get to know members of your team individually, not only on a professional level but on a more personal level too. Understanding your team members on a personal level and knowing what makes them tick will help you motivate and communicate with them effectively.
Be a role model
Think about the behaviours you want and expect from your team members and be sure to exhibit those traits yourself. You’re the role model, therefore what you say and how you act will impact the team’s daily work habits and attitude.