A successful team is the foundation of a thriving business. To have one, you need effective team management that brings out the best in every member.
Managing a team in this way, however, is one of the most challenging aspects of running a business. Team management is not as simple as putting people together and watching them collaborate – different personalities have different ways of communicating, so you need to cater to this in your management strategies.
While it can be a monumental challenge, learning how to manage your team well is highly rewarding. It pays off in many ways – projects being completed on time and to a high standard, excellent workplace morale, and great company outcomes.
Management is about leading others and fostering growth in your team, of course, but it’s also about staying organized and dealing with people. It’s important to remember this as you work with each of your new employees.
Do you need a highly successful team, but only have one week to get there? Keep reading to find out how you can achieve big results in a small amount of time.
What is team management?
Team management is the process of putting together a team of employees and using different strategies to motivate them, help them work together, and monitor their performance.
As the manager, it’s your responsibility to create an environment where your team can succeed. This means finding the right mix of people with complementary skillsets, setting clear expectations, and providing adequate resources.
It also includes developing systems and processes that allow you to track progress, give feedback, and resolve conflicts. And, of course, you need to be able to communicate effectively with your team and build relationships with each member.
What are the benefits of good team management?
There are many benefits to having a well-managed team, including:
- Increased productivity: When everyone is working towards the same goal and knows what is expected of them, they are more likely to be productive.
- Improved communication: Good team management fosters an environment of open communication, which helps to avoid misunderstandings and miscommunication.
- Enhanced creativity: Encouraging different perspectives and opinions leads to more innovative solutions.
- Greater engagement: When employees feel like they are a part of something larger and their opinions matter, they are more likely to be engaged in their work.
- Improved morale: A positive team environment leads to happier employees, which can lead to improved morale and motivation.
- Reduced stress: Good team management can help to reduce stress levels for both employees and managers.
- Increased retention: When employees are happy and feel like they are part of a supportive team, they are less likely to look for other opportunities.
Companies are increasingly emphasizing employee well-being and sometimes even consider it ahead of the bottom line. With the rise in mental health awareness, it’s no surprise that team management is becoming a priority for businesses.
Finding a team manager
The answer might even be in finding or promoting an employee to the role of team leader. These are people who have certain qualities that make them better suited to the task.
Some of the qualities that make a good team leader are:
The ability to motivate and inspire others
The ability to motivate and inspire team members is essential for a good team leader. You need to be able to give employees the confidence to do their best work, even when the going gets tough.
This doesn’t mean being a pushover — a good team leader knows how to give constructive criticism that leads to positive results. For example, if an employee is struggling with a task, a good team leader will provide guidance and support to help them get back on track.
A good team leader is also someone who can step in and take charge when necessary. If there’s a problem that needs to be addressed, they’ll take action instead of waiting for someone else to do it.
Good communication skills
Good communication is essential for any manager, but it’s especially important for team leaders. They need to be able to communicate clearly and concisely with their team members.
This means being able to explain tasks and objectives in a way that everyone can understand. It also means being open to listening to what employees have to say and taking their feedback onboard.
A good team leader knows how to give clear instructions and provide regular updates on progress. They also know when to step back and let team members take the lead. Not only that, but they can also communicate updates to senior stakeholders who otherwise might not be aware of what’s going on.
An important part of team management is being organized. This includes things like:
- Having a clear plan for each project
- Breaking down tasks into manageable chunks
- Knowing who is responsible for each task
- Keeping track of deadlines
- Monitoring progress and giving feedback
A good team leader is always on top of these things. They know exactly what needs to be done and when, and they make sure everyone is aware of their responsibilities. This helps to keep projects on track and avoid any last-minute panics, allowing the team to work together seamlessly.
The ability to delegate tasks and responsibilities
A good team leader knows how to delegate tasks and responsibilities. This means giving team members the autonomy to complete tasks in their way, while still being available to offer support when needed.
It’s important to find the balance between micromanaging and being too hands-off. If you’re constantly looking over employees’ shoulders, they’ll feel like you don’t trust them to do the job properly. On the other hand, if you’re never available to offer help, they’ll feel like they’re working in a vacuum.
A good team leader strikes the perfect balance between these two extremes. They trust their team members to complete tasks but are always available if someone needs help. This way, everyone feels supported and empowered to do their best work.
A positive attitude
No one wants to be managed by a Negative Nancy. A good team leader has a positive attitude and exudes confidence in their team’s ability to succeed.
A positive attitude is contagious. When you have faith in your team, they’ll be more likely to believe in themselves and their ability to achieve the task at hand. This creates a virtuous circle of positivity that will lead to better results.
For example, if you’re working on a project and your team leader comes to you with a can-do attitude, you’ll be more likely to approach the task with confidence. On the other hand, if your team leader seems doubtful about the project’s success, you may start to doubt yourself as well.
It’s important to remember that as a team leader, your attitude will rub off on your team. So make sure it’s a positive one!
If you have someone on your team who possesses these qualities, then they might be the perfect candidate to take on a leadership role. Of course, you will need to provide them with training and support so that they can be successful in their new role.
15 tips to improve team management
Okay, so you have found the right person, put them in charge of the team, and now need to give them some helpful advice on how to get started. Use the following tips to help your new team leader get started on the right foot.
Know your team
The first step to good management is knowing who you’re working with. This means understanding your team as people; endeavor to understand how each person works best, and where their skills lie.
Understanding your team means taking the time for small talk when you can, both at work and outside. It also means understanding your team’s personal work style preferences; for example, do they work best with regular feedback? Do they like collaborating and brainstorming with those around them?
Getting to know your employees can help create a more cohesive team, and it only needs to take a day or two if you plan your time wisely. Once the foundations have been laid, it will be easier to move forward in the decision-making process together.
Set clear goals for the week
A team that is unclear of its purpose and direction will be unfocused, and therefore unlikely to reach success. To help keep your team on the right track, you should aim to set goals or objectives for the week, along with a deadline. This way, everyone will know what they need to accomplish before Friday comes around.
Having a goal to work towards keeps team members focused and moving forward together. Moreover, it will give your employees the sense of purpose they need to be happy with their job.
This is a step you can put into action right now, and with due diligence, expect to see better results within the week.
Communicate expectations clearly
Communication is important, especially when you’re dealing with team members. Make sure to communicate your expectations regarding the deliverables, deadlines, and timelines of tasks that need completion during the week.
Communicating can be challenging, especially when it comes to difficult topics like performance and deadlines. However, if you take the time every week to discuss these expectations with your team members, then they will understand what is expected of them more clearly and see your expectations as reasonable and achievable goals.
Having a mutual understanding of the expectations means you are more likely to get the results you need. It can also help improve productivity levels significantly, fast-tracking your team’s journey to success.
Create a plan to achieve goals
When it comes to setting goals, many of us will communicate our expectations for the outcome. However, knowing what is expected isn’t enough. You should also be clear about how each task is to be completed, right down to the small details.
Creating a thorough plan means establishing a set of guidelines, milestones, and deadlines for the project in question. It’s also important to detail what needs to happen when something goes wrong or if things need revising.
Always be specific and detailed about your plans to achieve goals. This way, your team members will have a better idea of what they should do to achieve the goals and objectives that were set up, and they’ll be more likely to deliver results that meet the expectations communicated to them.
Manage time wisely
As a manager, you should make an effort to ensure that people don’t get overwhelmed. If your employees are stressed out and overworked, it’s unlikely they will perform well in any capacity.
To avoid this problem, you could do the following:
Delegate tasks to other team members where possible
Delegating tasks is an important part of managing your team, as it helps to reduce stress and increase productivity. When team members are overloaded with work, consider reallocating some of their tasks to another team member to avoid burnout.
Schedule meetings at the beginning of each week
Scheduling meetings too close to deadlines can be stressful, so you should give yourself plenty of space between the two in order not to overwhelm people. The beginning of the week is an ideal time to schedule all meetings so that your team knows what’s coming.
Scheduling meetings beforehand can also help you avoid calling meetings at the last minute or during critical times of projects, which can be distracting and even detrimental to the outcome of your projects.
Create a to-do list for each day of the week
Creating a daily to-do list for each team member is an effective way to ensure that they are staying on track throughout the week. This will give everyone on the team a clear direction about what needs to be done every day and when they should complete each task.
Creating a daily to-do list can also reduce the chances of employees forgetting about important tasks and meeting deadlines. Each day’s list should include small but significant duties that need to get done before the week is over.
If you create a detailed plan of action for the week and manage time wisely between meetings and deadlines, it can also help improve your employees’ morale since this type of structure allows them some flexibility in their work.
Check in with your team members throughout the week
Checking in with your team members throughout the week is a good way of keeping on track. It can also help you identify problems or obstacles that might be impeding progress before they grow into more serious issues.
Regularly checking on your team members helps improve communication between managers and their employees while at the same time improving overall productivity levels for everyone involved. This is especially true if you provide feedback to your employees each time they achieve a goal or complete an important task.
You can also ask them how they are doing on their assigned tasks and what they think of particular projects. This can give you a better idea of how your team is feeling and the types of obstacles that may be impeding progress throughout the week.
Ensure everyone on your team takes regular breaks from work
It’s important to ensure that employees take regular breaks, especially if they are working long hours or under a lot of pressure. This will help them to recharge and improve their concentration levels throughout the workday.
It’s also a good idea to establish an official break time so that people don’t feel like they’re getting behind schedule for important tasks by taking short breaks every once in a while.
Give praise and encouragement when needed
Giving praise can help improve team management by motivating employees, and it can also improve performance for businesses. It can help boost motivation levels throughout the workday, especially if people are stuck on a difficult task or just need some support. It is also an excellent way to improve morale.
By praising team members for their efforts, you will be able to boost productivity without overworking them, as they will have more confidence in their abilities to complete assigned tasks on time. Positive feedback will help your employees develop a sense of pride in their work.
It is important to recognize when someone has completed an important task or made a noteworthy accomplishment, especially if it means that they have saved the company from paying additional fees for missed deadlines.
Provide feedback on performance
To motivate your team, provide feedback on their performance at the end of each day or after every project is completed. Feedback can help improve team management by showing employees the areas that need improvement and what you expect from them in the future.
It is a good idea to provide feedback on performance regularly so that people can track how their work has improved over time. It can also allow your employees to discuss any issues or problems with you privately before these become serious enough to cause problems in the workplace.
Furthermore, it’s important to give them constructive criticism if something could have been done better so that you can improve on any mistakes and avoid having them happen again.
Reward good work
Rewarding good work is another way of improving team management. It can help motivate employees to do their best throughout the workday and keep them happy and satisfied, making your company more productive.
You should offer incentives to employees for their efforts, especially when you see that they have gone above and beyond the call of duty without being asked or expected to do so. Rewarding your employees regularly will help them to feel appreciated and respected.
Rewards may also improve job satisfaction so that your team members won’t be driven to look elsewhere for employment opportunities or find ways of sabotaging company success.
Maintain open lines of communication
Keeping the lines of communication open between managers and employees is crucial to your success, especially if one or more people feel like they’re being marginalized or talked down to by their supervisors. It can also help reduce the risk of misunderstandings and conflicts within the workforce.
Open communication can help improve team management by giving employees a chance to ask questions or voice any concerns about their job. At the same time, managers will be able to keep track of how everyone is feeling about company matters regularly, so they know when someone needs more support during work hours.
Challenges you may face
While these tips can get you most of the way to great team management, there are some challenges that every leader must overcome.
The first challenge is building trust. Trust is essential for any team to function properly. Without trust, team members will be reluctant to share ideas or take risks. They’ll also be less likely to go above and beyond their job duties.
Building trust takes time and effort. It starts with being trustworthy yourself and following through on your promises. You must also be transparent with your team, sharing information openly and honestly.
Conflict is inevitable in any team, but it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It can be constructive if it’s managed properly.
The key to managing conflict is to encourage open communication. Team members should feel like they can express their opinions without fear of retribution. They should also know that you’re willing to mediate disputes fairly.
If conflict isn’t managed properly, it can lead to resentment and office politics. This can be toxic for your team and should be avoided at all costs.
The last challenge is dealing with underperforming team members. This is often the most difficult part of being a manager, but it’s also the most important.
If you have a team member who isn’t meeting your expectations, it’s important to take action. The first step is to have a conversation with them to find out what the problem is. It could be that they’re not clear on their responsibilities, or they’re feeling overwhelmed.
Once you know the root of the problem, you can work with the team member to find a solution. This might involve additional training or reassigning some of their tasks.
It’s also important to keep in mind that not all underperforming employees can be salvaged. In some cases, it’s best to cut your losses and let them go.
While team management can be challenging, it’s also one of the most rewarding aspects of running a business. When you have a thriving team, you’ll see the benefits in all areas of your company.
How to manage remote teams effectively
You have a team of 10 people, all of whom are in the same room. You can easily see what everyone is doing, and can quickly hop over to someone’s desk to ask a question or give feedback.
Now imagine that your team has grown to 20 people. But instead of being in the same room, half of them are in another state, or even another country.
And instead of being able to walk over to their desk, you have to rely on email, chat, or video conferencing to communicate.
This is the reality for many managers today. With the rise of remote work, more and more teams are distributed across geographic boundaries. And while there are many benefits to this type of setup, it also comes with its own set of challenges.
If you’re managing a remote team, here are some tips to help you keep everyone on track and productive:
1. Communicate often and clearly
When you’re managing a remote team, utilising your soft skills to their fullest is key. You need to be clear and concise when communicating tasks, deadlines, and expectations.
Working remotely leads to a situation where you cannot talk to your team members in real life (as there is no physical office), meaning you have to be extra diligent about documenting everything.
There are a few different ways you can stay in communication with your team. You can use video conferencing tools or project management software to your advantage here and use them when required.
Whichever method you choose, just make sure that you’re communicating often and clearly with your team.
It’s clear that this can’t compare to an in-person conversation, so it’s better to overcompensate in the communication department to make sure everyone is on the same page on a consistent basis.
2. Set clear goals and expectations
Without clear goals and expectations, your team will have little purpose and motivation. When you’re not in the same office, this is an even bigger problem as there is a diminished sense of camaraderie and a less interactive environment.
After all, how can they know what they need to do and why it’s so important if you don’t tell them?
Working remotely means that you can’t always keep an eye on your team, so it’s important to set clear expectations from the beginning and be very explicit when doing so.
When setting goals and expectations remotely, be as specific as possible. Vague goals like “improve the company website” are too broad and won’t give your team a clear sense of direction.
On the other hand, specific goals like “add 500 new blog subscribers by the end of the quarter” are much better.
Not only do you need to set clear goals, but you also need to set expectations for how those goals will be met.
For example, if you want your team to add 500 new blog subscribers, you need to tell them how many blog posts they need to write per week and what kind of promotion they should be doing. The more specific you are, the better.
3. Give your team the right tools and resources
If you want your team to be productive and successful, you need to give them the right tools and resources. This includes everything from project management software to a quiet place to work.
Some of the most popular tools for remote teams include:
- Slack: A messaging app that helps with communication between team members. It’s great for quick questions or updates that don’t need a long email thread.
- Zoom: A video conferencing tool that can be used for team meetings, one-on-ones, or presentations.
- Asana: A project management tool that helps teams keep track of tasks, deadlines, and conversations all in one place.
- Google Drive: A cloud storage service that lets team members share and collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, and more.
Make sure your team has access to all the tools and resources they need to be successful. If you’re not sure what they need, ask them!
4. Encourage collaboration
One of the benefits of working remotely is that it gives team members the opportunity to work from anywhere in the world.
However, this can also lead to a feeling of isolation among team members. To combat this, you need to encourage collaboration within your team.
There are a few different ways you can encourage collaboration:
- Use project management software that has a built-in chat function. This way, team members can ask questions and have discussions without having to switch between different applications. This can save your team time and make them significantly more productive.
- Schedule regular team meetings (via video conferencing) to check in on progress and discuss any challenges.
- Create opportunities for social interaction by hosting virtual happy hours or games. This will help team members feel more connected to each other and build relationships.
5. Trust your team
One of the challenges of managing a remote team is that you can’t always see what they’re doing. This can lead to a feeling of distrust, which is why it’s so important to trust your team.
If you don’t trust them, it will be difficult to build a strong relationship and manage effectively.
There are a few things you can do to build trust with your team:
- Get to know them on a personal level. Ask about their families, hobbies, and interests.
- Be transparent with them. Share your goals, expectations, and concerns.
- Give them the freedom to work in their own way. As long as they’re meeting deadlines and producing quality work, it doesn’t matter how they do it.
If you can build trust with your team, you’ll be well on your way to managing effectively.
It seems apparent that managing a remote team comes with its own set of challenges.
However, with the right tools and strategies in place, you can set your team up for success.
Just remember to communicate often and clearly, set clear goals and expectations, give your team the right resources, encourage collaboration, and trust your team.
Managing a growing team
Managing a growing team is a different monster when compared to managing just any team. Consider the following tips to help manage your team as it grows:
1. Understand what each team member is working on
When you have a smaller team, it’s easy to know what everyone is working on and how their work affects the rest of the team.
But as your team grows, members will start to specialize in different areas and it becomes more difficult to keep track of what everyone is doing.
As the manager, it’s important that you understand what each team member is working on so that you can help them stay on track and identify any potential problems as soon as possible.
Letting problems stack up and then come at you at the end of a project can be a disaster and potentially wreck a project. Make sure you get progress updates and emphasise that problems should be made public as soon as they are identified.
2. Encourage team members to communicate
With a larger team, there will be more opportunities for miscommunication and messages being transferred incorrectly.
Make sure that your team members are communicating with each other frequently so that everyone is on the same page. This can be done through regular meetings, emails, or even just a simple chat system.
Documenting communications is an important part of this to ensure communication is as accurate as possible. Try to encourage the usage of meeting minutes and notes more often when you have a larger team.
3. Delegate tasks and responsibilities
As the manager, you can’t do everything yourself — especially when it comes to a growing team.
You’ll need to delegate tasks and responsibilities to your team members so that they can help with the work.
Make sure that you delegate tasks based on each member’s strengths so that they can be successful in their role.
4. Set clear expectations
It’s important that you set clear expectations for your team members so that they know what is expected of them.
This includes setting deadlines, outlining deliverables, and defining roles and responsibilities. If team members are unsure of what is expected of them, it can lead to confusion and frustration.
5. Provide feedback
Make sure that you’re providing feedback to your team members on a regular basis. This will help them understand how they’re doing and what areas they need to work on.
Try to give both positive and constructive feedback so that team members feel motivated to improve.
6. Be flexible
As your team grows, you’ll need to be flexible in how you manage it.
This means being open to new ideas, adapting to change, and being willing to try new things. Don’t be afraid to experiment and see what works best for your team.
What once worked for a smaller team may not work for a growing team, so it’s important to keep your options open here.
7. Celebrate successes
Make sure that you take the time to celebrate your team’s successes, both big and small. This will help boost morale and keep everyone motivated.
This can be harder to do in a larger team as you have many employees you need to keep motivated, but that’s why a greater chunk of time needs to be dedicated to this practice.
Try to find ways to reward team members for their hard work, such as giving them a bonus or taking them out for lunch.
Managing a growing team can be a challenge, but it’s also an exciting opportunity. By following these tips, you can set your team up for success.
The bottom line
Improving your team management will help you produce better results for your company by motivating employees to work harder, which means they won’t have to be overworked or taken advantage of.
Team management is essential for any business. By following these tips for normal teams, growing teams and remote teams — you can improve your team management abilities in less than a week and keep everyone working happily together towards company goals.