Your people are your best asset to help the organisation achieve its targets and make its goals a reality.
When you know how to manage your team effectively, the rewards can be measured in terms of outstanding productivity, high levels of staff retention and the company’s ability to attract top talent.
But to manage your team, you need to do more than encourage employees to work hard. A few smart strategies can help you get the best from your people.
Manage your team through consistent leadership
A consistent leader is the backbone of any team. To manage your team effectively, your people need to know that you will treat everyone fairly and equally both in terms of rewards and discipline.
By adopting an unbiased approach to each team member – without playing favourites, your employees will know exactly where they stand at all times, and this provides a firm platform on which to build a cohesive team.
To manage your team effectively, you need to be able to communicate goals, instructions, deadlines and directives, in a way that everyone understands. Many of your employees want to perform to the best of their ability, and it can be extremely frustrating when they are confused about the job at hand.
Think carefully about the instructions you give – and how you explain them. Take the time to spell things out, and provide your team plenty of opportunities to ask for clarification. Be sure to maintain an atmosphere where employees are comfortable approaching you if they have any uncertainties about what is required of them.
Lead by example
As a leader, your people look to you to demonstrate the sort of behaviour that the company wants to cultivate. This means you need to show a strong work ethic, maintain a positive outlook – even when the pressure is on, and pitch in to help team members when deadlines are approaching.
If you arrive late to meetings, your staff have no real reason to be punctual. If you are easily stressed during periods of peak workflow, your employees are more likely to lose their temper also. This highlights the need to be conscious that your team are looking to you to set an example of employees should behave.
Team leaders don’t have a monopoly on good ideas. A team is stronger when everyone is able to have their say, and each person’s unique point of view is considered.
Innovation can only happen when team members feel comfortable making suggestions, knowing that they won’t be embarrassed or made to feel silly. Let your people take the initiative by asking, “What are your thoughts on this?” rather than just telling them what to do, and aim to foster an environment where fresh ideas are taken seriously and innovation is celebrated.
Being prepared to engage in open dialogue with your employees and modelling a personal commitment to your company, can be instrumental in managing your team. It requires effort and dedication but a well-managed team will deliver measurable results in terms of productivity, staff loyalty and innovation.