Summary: Learn how to manage your team so that they can be successful, engaged, and committed to the company’s purpose.
Managing a team involves a lot of work but when it is done right, it can be very rewarding. People are unpredictable so that makes your job in management difficult. There are varying personalities to navigate, commitments to line up and motivations to pin down. Trying to keep up with everything can feel overwhelming at times but there are things you can do to make the job easier.
- Understand what motivates your employees
Everyone is motivated by something different. Once you can learn what it is that motivates them, you will have a better chance at working with them in a successful atmosphere. If you are going to have incentives for your team, then you need to know what they will work for. Is it a jar of chocolate or a straight cash? Take time to ask them and get to know what they want to work for.
- Understand how they learn
Everyone learns differently so to get the most out of your team, you have to know how best to teach them. There will be some that need verbal explanations while others can just handle written instructions. Some like a hands-on approach while others only need to understand the method. In order to best serve your team, provide the methods they need as an option for them to learn from. Having a team that fully grasps their job and what they need to do will result in greater success and fewer mistakes.
- Balance your goals and their needs
Your company has goals but your team has their own goals and needs. As the manager, you are your team’s advocate. You have to take their needs to those higher up and keep those needs in line with the company. As a manager, this often turns into a scenario where you have to pick your battles. The company has the ultimate battle and you won’t be able to win them all so figuring out which needs are the greatest for your team is crucial.
- Lead from the front
Your team needs a leader, not just a manager. Don’t stand back and let your team take the lead. You should know everything that they are expected to know such as the products, services, and programs related to the job. Be getting down and dirty in the trenches with your team instead of relying on them to do the work. This means staying at work until your team leaves – you can’t be skipping out at 5pm when your team is stuck working until 7pm or assume they will be happy about attending Saturday morning workshops if you aren’t going to bother showing up too.
- Be a human and have feelings
Acting like a robot won’t get you anywhere with your team. They want to see someone who is human, has a sense of humor, is trustworthy, is humble, etc. By showing your human side, you will be able to connect with your team on a deeper level. There is nothing wrong with joking around with your team every once and awhile as long as you can keep a level of respect as well.
- Develop a joint purpose
Do you know what you are working towards? If so, does your team know what they are working towards? A team working with no unified direction will end up getting lost. In order to get everyone on your team working towards the same vision, you need to make it clear what that vision is. Make sure they know what it is you want them to achieve and how they can work together to get there.
- Recognize their achievements
While many employees show up for work just to collect their paycheck and care about little else, there are still a lot that appreciate being recognized for their work beyond just with money. Based on what motivates your teammates will determine how you can reward them. Recognition can be as simple as a longer lunch break, free lunch, a gift card, and more.
- Provide specific and timely feedback
There is no way for your employees to know if they need to improve, on what, and how unless you tell them. Having regular meetings to discuss how they are doing, both good and bad, should be part of the routine. Don’t only give negative feedback. Build up your team by giving them praise as well on things that deserve it.
- Foster growth and development
Investing in your team by helping them learn and grow will make your team stronger. The more that your team knows, the better they can handle projects and tasks. Encourage them to expand their skills. This can even be in the form of providing additional training opportunities for your teammates if they want.
- Consider culture fit when hiring
When you are adding new members to your team, consider what kind of fit they will be culturally. While you want to hire someone that is highly qualified, you also need someone that will mesh well with the team you have already built. Employee referrals from those you know and trust are a good source to use when considering who to hire.
What has a manager done that you appreciated or enjoyed? Share with us in the comments below.
To learn more about how to be a good leader, read these articles:Top 10 Ways to Effectively Manage a Team by Amanda Griffin