Work together, succeed together
Whether your job title includes ‘manager’ or not, over the course of a professional lifetime, there is a good chance that you’ll have to handle management responsibilities.
So what does it mean to be a manager? We’d say it’s about motivating and guiding your team to meet their objectives – hopefully in a way that means they enjoy themselves in the process!
Managing a team is not just about assigning jobs and deadlines to people. It requires a blend of personal, commercial and organisational skills. Get it wrong, and you can breed resentment, disloyalty and boredom. Get it right, and the results can be amazing. The combined efforts of the team truly outshine what could be achieved as individuals.
At its best, a well-managed team embraces collaboration and communication, whilst encouraging individual contribution and disparate views. Achieve this kind of coherence, and you are on your way to success.
Whether you are an experienced manager or just starting in such a role, and tips below may help you or serve as a reminder.
Get the right people
Sometimes you inherit a team, and sometimes you can build your own. One of the ways to ensure good teamwork is to assemble a group that, between them, have the necessary skills for success. If you’re starting from scratch, then you can choose who you employ and ensure that you have the right people. If the team is already in place, you’ll need to identify any challenges and look at how you address them.
You have heard the old expression “don’t keep a dog and bark yourself. We’re talking about delegation here. And not just the stuff you don’t want to do personally, but proper delegation where team members are given responsibility and accountability for delivering their objectives. Step back and let people take their own decisions. Micromanaging can be intrusive and demonstrates a lack of trust. Of course, you should always be there to support and advise when needed, and a key management task is identifying how much of this each member of the team needs. If someone is cracking on with their job, give them the space to do so.
Excel at communication
Clear communication is essential. Everyone needs to be kept up to date with what’s going on. Get your team together regularly to update them on progress, highlight challenges and ensure everyone is on task. Feedback – in both directions – is a valuable tool. Of course, you need to provide feedback personally to each member of the team, but encourage them to give it back to you too. Always be open to input, concerns and criticisms.
Everyone is human. We all have a work life and a home life. Don’t be afraid to show your personal side a bit. Get to know people as individuals, ‘fess up when you’ve made a mistake, and be honest if you don’t know the answer. It will help your team to feel more relaxed with you and confident about approaching you.
Recognise your team’s achievements
If someone goes above and beyond, let them know you appreciate it. A project brought in ahead of time – take the team out to celebrate. A lovely email from a customer – get it circulated. Small recognitions of a job well done will make a huge difference to the motivation in the team.
Help develop your people
If you have a great person in your team, it can be tempting to try and hang on to them. But it’s unfair on them. Part of managing is developing the talent in your team. It’s important for both the organisation’s and person’s growth. Support, training, mentoring, these are all elements of staff development. And if your best person gets promoted out of your team, congratulate yourself on a job well done.
Are you a manager? Do you have any effective team management strategies that have worked for you? We’re interested to hear what’s worked in different types of organisations. Leave a comment below with your experiences.
Share this article