How to Manage a Team: 10 Tips for Success
Spoiler alert: there’s more to it than appointing tasks!
Managing a team to success requires more than just simply appointing tasks to people. A crucial role in cultivating business growth, being in charge of team management requires a fusion of interpersonal, technical, and of course, organizational skills.
What Does it Mean to Manage a Team Successfully?
A great approach to achieving business outcomes, working in a team environment has many benefits. Not only is the effect of a combined effort greater than individual performances, but teamwork exposes you to different perspectives, and encourages communication and collaboration.
The measure of success is different to every team. From the executive board in a corporate enterprise to the creative department in a small agency, each team has their own purpose, goals, and objectives. They also have their own set of individuals who make up the team. Just think of the plethora of personalities, skill sets, and experiences; it is highly unlikely that two teams are the same.
As a manager, your job is to steer your team towards achieving the end goal. This not only means coordinating the process that will meet your objectives within its required criteria and timeframe, but it also means having to consider and accommodate the individuals involved. Achieve this kind of harmony, and you are well on your way to a fruitful result.
So, how can you achieve this? Well, first things first, you need management skills.
Key Management Skills
Being tasked with the responsibility of guiding a team towards their target requires particular skills, especially if you’re going to be good at it. Traditionally, a manager’s job is to deal with the administration of the business, things like setting the strategy, organizing resources, and coordinating employees. But nowadays, it takes more than just being a tip-top organizer to manage a team successfully.
You may often hear the terms ‘leader’ and ‘manager’ used inclusively, but there is actually a difference. By definition, a leader is someone who creates the vision, innovates, and focuses on the long-term overview, and a manager is a person who gathers the necessary tools and resources to set, measure and accomplish the vision. The leader is the one with the people skills, whereas the manager focuses on systems and structures. But away with that — we all know that for a manager to stand out, having leadership qualities is a must. (And it wouldn’t hurt a leader to know how to facilitate things!)
Being able to communicate, and develop a relationship with the members of your team is critical for building trust, promoting collaboration, and enhancing teamwork. Interaction that isn’t subjected to following orders lays the foundation of a team who enjoys working together. And a team who enjoys working together is more likely to succeed together.
Tips on How to Manage a Team Successfully
And now, for some team management techniques for you to try.
1) Assemble the right team
The most effective way to ensure that the tasks you set out will be delivered at top quality is to have the right people doing them. A crucial step, selecting the most suitable group of people will avoid any skill gaps within your team.
2) Trust your team to do their job
Delegating tasks is at the top of the team management skills list — so remember to do it. Avoid micromanaging as it can be rather intrusive, and demonstrates a lack of trust in your team’s abilities. However, offer support as some people require more instructions than others. You have to find the perfect balance.
3) Be consistent, but use different approaches
Take into consideration the different types of personalities that make up your team, and apply the diversity to your managing style. For example, there will be people who don’t take constructive criticism as well as others, so tailor your approach when providing feedback. In saying this, however, you do have to be consistent in your team management techniques. The same behaviours need to be rewarded and/or discouraged throughout your team for your management to be effective.
4) Recognize achievements
If someone’s doing a good job, acknowledge it. Recognizing efforts illustrates to your team that you are paying attention to them and that you appreciate their hard work. It can be as little as announcing it in front of their peers, to something more special, like certificates or vouchers. Just remember to be consistent with this, because the last thing you want is for someone to think that you’re playing favourites.
5) Focus your team on a unified goal
On top of their own individual targets, ensure there is at least one goal for your team to work on together. This type of unity will enhance communication and collaboration within your group, and remind them that they are part of a team.
6) Improve rapport
I’m not saying you have to be best mates with your staff, but getting to know them on a personal level can help strengthen teamwork. Allocate time outside of work for some team bonding sessions. These types of activities can make your team feel comfortable with each other, and with you. If people don’t comfortable, your team won’t be sustainable.
7) Create an open dialogue
Clear communication is vital for obvious reasons — everyone needs to know what’s going on. Regular updates can help prevent any issues that may arise and forecast the outcome of your work. Also, be open to feedback from your team members. A two-way relationship can help solidify trust, and also improve your team management techniques.
8) Foster development
Not only is managing talent a crucial factor for the business’s overall growth, but it can also ensure that your team members are happy in their roles. Offering support and training show that you prize their talent, and want them to continue working for you. Up-skilling and growing expertise can only really be beneficial.
9) Use a team-based productivity software
This may already be a given in most businesses, but using team-based productivity software (like Zenkit!) is a handy way to centralize resources, and keep everyone updated with work progress. Depending on what type of team you are managing — whether the work is project-based or it’s simple day-to-day business operations — you will find the benefits of using a project management tool or a workflow management system rewarding. These solutions equip you, and your team, with the tools needed to organize, schedule, and execute projects and business activities.
10) Set an example
The best way to communicate your expectations to your team is to show them. As the manager, your behaviour will have a great effect on how your team conduct their work and interact with each other. For instance, you can’t expect your staff to take punctuality seriously if you keep showing up to meetings late. Not only will they think that tardiness is acceptable, but they may start to question your integrity as a manager. The only way to know what you deem the ideal worker is if you influence it through your actions.
Are your effective team management strategies similar to these? Share your experiences in the comments below. As ever, I love to hear them!
Dinnie and the Zenkit Team