Building a solid and effective team of employees improves productivity and overall employee satisfaction. Unfortunately, many people aren’t natural-born leaders. If you don’t take the time to learn how to manage a team, you risk losing top-performing employees and customers due to workflow issues. Luckily, you can have a direct impact on the success of your team with these tips.
Always establish expectations with your team starting from day one. New team members are blank slates and will learn to work by watching others. Expectations to set include short and long-term goals, tasks, responsibilities, and working hours. You should also discuss the environment you want to establish as a team. Communicating expectations with team members, whether or not they’re new hires, can help them adapt to your company’s culture, and learn what to do, and when to do it.
People respect those who respect them. If you don’t give your team members the same level of respect as you expect from them, they won’t feel like part of a team. Instead, consider your team members’ individual experiences. After all, they’ve experienced success outside your company, so it’s safe to assume they have their own experience and ways of doing things. Instead of telling your team what to do and how to do it, consider their expertise, especially if you don’t know how to perform their jobs. Your team will thrive when every individual feels like they’re respected for their unique skills and experience, helping them contribute to reaching a common goal.
Effective business leadership requires you to motivate your team to do more. While you have certain expectations for how your team will work, motivation can ensure they’re productive and efficient. However, motivation takes many forms. For example, you can use fear-based motivation in which employees become afraid of getting fired or other repercussions for failing to meet goals. However, this method is the least effective, potentially affecting employee retention rates and overall satisfaction. Instead, you might consider positive motivation, which gives employees a reason to work harder.
You can shape your team’s behavior with positive reinforcement. Instead of criticizing employees, create a positive environment by complimenting good work and conduct. Of course, you shouldn’t ignore any issues within the team of employees, but they should be handled with care.
Promote Good Communication
Teams thrive on good communication, and so do their projects. If your team isn’t communicating with one another, they can’t meet deadlines and work together. Your team members should know whether everyone is happy with their work or needs to improve in some areas. Always assume that your staff cares about their performance and how it affects others. If they can tell others aren’t happy with their contributions but no one addresses them, they can become stressed or resentful, resulting in poor individual and team performance.
Meanwhile, if a team member is doing a good job, but you’re not satisfied with their work, they can feel unwelcome in the team. So instead, you should have good communication skills and set an example for the rest of the team.
Reward Good Work
Positive reinforcement is effective, so always find new ways to reward good work. Of course, you should never single out a single member of the team. Instead, reward the team of employees by providing them with an affirmation of their hard work. If you can’t afford to give the team bonuses, you can think of other ways to foster trust, such as making key business decisions or offering time off after meeting a deadline.
Teams work together, and everyone has a specific role. Unfortunately, if these roles aren’t clearly defined, employees won’t know their responsibilities. Successful teams must know exactly what they should be working on, and it’s up to you to provide them with detailed role and task descriptions. You should distribute the work between team members and assign tasks according to an individual’s skills. Then, you can build a project management strategy by breaking it down into tasks and deadlines.
Most people don’t want to go to work to keep their heads down; they want to feel like they’re part of a team of employees by developing relationships with coworkers and managers. However, teams don’t function well if they’re not cohesive. We’re not saying everyone on the team has to be friends, but they should be able to work together without major conflicts. Additionally, team members should feel comfortable coming to you to deal with disagreements.
When building your team, consider the different individuals you already know and whether they’ll work well together. You can foster an environment built on trust and respect by creating bonding experiences during downtime and letting employees work together on tasks and projects.
Listen to Feedback
As a team manager, you probably provide the team with feedback regularly, but are you listening to the feedback from your team? Actively listening to your team can make them feel valued while helping you fix minor issues before they affect the team’s dynamic and output. Always prioritize each member’s needs and requirements. For example, if a team member needs a tool to complete their job, ensure they have it. Or if there is a larger issue, advocate to higher ups on their behalf to see if there is a solution there. One example of this is if an employee has a question about the optimization of your company’s healthcare plan and whether it could cover certain injuries or essential tremors.
Additionally, you should make time to speak to team members privately to gauge their feelings about the rest of the team and projects. You won’t know if team members are experiencing issues unless you talk to them, so consider creating a feedback system to help you learn about the team dynamic and ensure everyone is satisfied with their roles and responsibilities.
Creating a Successful Team
Developing a successful team of employees requires engagement and help from each member. Unfortunately, molding a team takes time. Don’t expect your team to perform perfectly immediately on every project; they must learn about each other, bond, and find ways to work together over time. Luckily, if you have a good leadership style that focuses on active listening and problem-solving, you can reduce the time it takes for the team to deliver high-performing projects and achieve long-term success.