While being a manager can certainly be a difficult job, it is extremely rewarding. With our support and guidance, we ensure that our employees thrive and reach their full potential, becoming the best that they can be.
The success of your company often depends on how you decide to lead your team. That being said, your job is to inspire, interact, and mentor your team all while being attentive to individual needs.
We have decided to help ease your stress as managers and have created a list of team management tips to keep your team on track.
1. Set An Example
There should be no doubt that your employees look up to you. Thus, it is important that you lead by example because your employees are watching your actions and reactions closer than you think they are. Act as you would like your employees to act.
If you overreact to any type of hardships, so will your employees. If your mood depends on how business is going, your employees will follow that path as well.
It can also be as simple as showing up to work on time. if you do not want your employees to show up to work late, then you need to follow this expectation as well.
2. Communicate Effectively
You and your team are not going to accomplish anything if you are unable to communicate. Your ability to communicate with your team will directly correlate with the success of your company.
Project Status Reports are a great method of communication to ensure that your team is staying on track by providing insight into team productivity and employee accomplishments in a given time period as well as presenting updates through the progression of a project.
Project Status Reports will give your entire team information about:
- Overall Progress – What has been accomplished and what hasn’t been?
- Team Member Activity – Who is keeping up with their workload? Who is doing the most work?
- Next Steps To Take – What should we complete next to ensure we finish according to our timeline?
Keeping your entire team updated on all of your tasks, priorities, and projects, will ensure that your team stays on the same page and achieves more, increasing company success across the board.
3. Stay Grounded
With you consistently giving commands, with employees persistently striving for your approval, and even just being called the person in authority, it might be easy to develop a big head.
With social experiments like the Stanford Prison Experiment that have been done throughout history, we see that having the privilege of being in charge can create more harm than good if the power is abused. While these experiments tend to be extreme, they still bring out an important lesson for managers: with power comes great responsibility.
Therefore, as a manager, you must stay grounded and not lose your way.
Think of it this way: Don’t be a boss, be a leader.
So, long story short, do not solely focus on the power and prestige that you have as a manager. Effective managers not only want to succeed themselves, but they want everyone to succeed around them, and they give credit where it belongs. You need to be in management for the right reasons.
Another way you can stay grounded is by continuing to learn. As a manager, you should have the desire to always add to your knowledge bank as well as look at your business and decisions from multiple points of view.
Not only can you learn by taking classes and workshops in your field, but you can learn by taking feedback from the foundation of your business: your employees.
As a manager, always accept the fact that there is room for improvement and you will succeed.
4. Manage Your Time
There is no doubt that managers are extremely busy people. It is often a challenge to balance priorities not only in your work life, but your physical life as well.
Luckily, there are a few techniques that you can use for effective time management.
My personal favorite time management strategy is the Eisenhower Method of Time Management.
The Eisenhower Method consists of four separate quadrants:
- Critical and Urgent tasks which should be done as soon as possible. Example: Hiring a new manager that left your company.
- Critical, but not urgent tasks which are not urgent, but great ideas or high-importance items that are reserved for later. Example: Opening up a new location.
- Urgent, but not critical tasks, or jobs that can be outsourced or delegated. Example: Filling out forms for your new health insurance plan, due tomorrow.
- Neither urgent nor critical tasks, or jobs that can be eliminated from your list of things to do.
You should create a separate matrix of tasks for each of your work projects as well as your personal life to avoid unnecessary clutter.
In addition to the Eisenhower Matrix, I like to convert my team’s projects and goals into action items.
An action item is an item that needs to be completed in order to take your team one step closer to hitting their benchmarks by taking a look at a larger scale goal or project, and breaking it down into a course of action.
After taking a look at your project timeline or specific goals, determine what needs to be accomplished to help you reach it or complete it.
These action items then become tasks that are delegated across your team to a single employee who will take ownership of all of its components. When delegating tasks, make sure that they are arranged amongst your team so that everybody is equally contributing. Make sure that each action item has clear and specific guidelines and include the date that it should be completed by.
Using action items allows each member of your team to play a role in the success of these projects and goals, and creates efficiency when each employee is delegated action items that they specialize in.
Another method that you can use is the bullet journal which is a traditional system where you use a pen and paper and you use symbols (like filled-in circles for tasks, open circles for events) to stay organized and on top of everything.
Whichever time management technique that you use, you need to make sure that it works for you.
5. Utilize the Team Huddle
Whether you have a large or a small team, it is critical to make sure you take the time to inform everybody about what is expected of them as well as important announcements.
It is easy to this by incorporating the team huddle into your workplace routine.
A team huddle is a short meeting that takes place everyday, or a couple of times a week. It gives the manager an opportunity to talk about what needs to be accomplished in the near future and the tasks that need a little extra focus. It also allows employees to feel more confident about their workload and explain how they are working towards accomplishing these tasks to reach the end goal.
Whether your team is remote or face-to-face, a team huddle is a great way for your team to stay on the same page. Not only will this create a team-wide consensus of everything that needs to be done, but it will pump up your team and get them ready to work efficiently. By informing your employees about what is expected of them, it also holds your team more accountable.
6. Give and Receive Feedback
When giving feedback, it is important that it is done in a manner that will make your employees feel good, not defeated. You should never tell an employee that they are doing a bad job, but rather how they can do their job even better in pursuit of your goals. Speak with your staff in a way that shows that they are an important asset to your business.
Offering advice rather than criticism, they will be more productive when applying the feedback.
It is also important to receive feedback. It is a no brainer that it is your job as a manager to let your team know what they are doing well and what they are doing not very well, but shouldn’t it work both ways?
If you want to be a good manager and keep your team focused, it is necessary that you create an environment where your team can come talk to you and give you feedback, not only on company protocols and upcoming projects, but on how you take charge of your team. You must also be able to take and apply the criticism with an open mind.
Feedback is always a two-way street if you want your company to get to the top.
7. Harness Emotional Intelligence
Your emotions and how you handle day-to-day life can and will affect your ability to manage a company. To make sure you handle everything the best way possible, you must work on your emotional intelligence.
Emotional Intelligence is “the ability to recognize your emotions, understand what they’re telling you, and realize how your emotions affect people around you. It also involves your perception of others: when you understand how they feel, this allows you to manage relationships more effectively.”
In short, you must be aware of how you handle situations, your emotions, and other’s emotions.
Leaders who put their emotional intelligence on the back burner are not as victorious as other leaders who take this time as a manager’s level of emotional intelligence and team performance go hand in hand.
The leader who take the time to focus on emotional intelligence not only keep themselves in line, but have happier employees. When a manager is able to empathize with their employees, understanding their stress level, feelings, personality, employees do take notice and in return, they work more efficiently.
8. Focus First on Strengths, and then on Weaknesses
Remember, your employees strive for your approval whether it is strengths that they already have mastered or weaknesses that they have improved upon.
As a manager, it is your job to take time to commend your staff when they do something well and also take the time to mentor them when they have the ability to improve.
While they are both important, it is much more effective to focus on building upon what your employees do well and making them better at it, versus spending the time to focus on what they lack.
When you help your employees master their strengths, each employee is able to really do a couple things well rather than a lot of things half-heartedly. This increases their self-esteem and even encourages them to work harder.
Implementing the above team management tips into the workplace will create more positive vibes all around, increase organization and productivity, and guarantee that you and your team will stay on top. It is your job as a manager to make sure your team follows the path to success and stays on the right track along the way.
About the Author:
Danielle Levine works on Marketing for Appfluence. Appfluence is the creator of Priority Matrix, a collaboration tool that allows teams to work together more efficiently.