Managing employees means navigating different personalities, work habits and motivations while balancing your own tasks and keeping the company goals in mind.
An effective manager uses those variables to their advantage to create an effective team. We have 10 secrets that can help every manager, from seasoned and senior through to those new to the role.
1. Keep a marathon mentality
When you step up or over into a new management position, it’s very easy to be excited about the ideas you have, but pace yourself. Give yourself time to understand your role and the inner workings of your team.
You may not always have the luxury of time on your side and quick changes might be essential. Still take the time to consult with and understand your team in mind to make sure you don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
2. Set realistic expectations
As a manager, you use your knowledge of the big picture to move your team toward each goal. Nothing encourages a team more than success no matter how small a victory it is.
In the same way, a team can become discouraged if you set goals they can never meet. If you want to create a new policy, set a new objective or make a change, you need to understand whether or not you’ve set realistic expectations.
3. Know what your team does
If you’re looking to make a change or want to see what changes are needed, sit with your employees to see how they do what they do. Make sure you understand their role before changing it.
Ask them questions about what problems they see and possible solutions. They may have some insight that you can’t see from your office.
4. Find real motivators
The promise of a raise might propel some employees toward the finish line, but others might not be moved by money.
Discover the real motivators for each individual whether its money, personal time or simply words of affirmation. This will help you know how to encourage your team when they’re in a slump.
5. Explain why
It’s difficult for employees to conquer a challenge if they don’t understand why they are doing it. Explain the reasoning behind any changes or ambitions. Always paint the bigger picture and make sure you’re team know where their work contributes and propels the company towards its goals.
Likewise, feedback is essential. Sit down with your employees to tell them how they did or did not meet your expectations so they know how to improve.
6. Develop independent workers
An independent worker is an effective worker. You want to develop your team to be educated about what they do, enthused about what the company does and empowered to best help customers.
You hold the authority to give them the necessary resources. Equip your team with proper training, excellent tools and adequate resources so that they can to the best of their abilities.
7. Recognise the talents of your employees
Training and resources are vital, but so are the talents of the individuals on your team. Each employee will bring a different skill set to the company.
Make use of those skills and unlock the ideas, experience and knowledge that both individuals and the team as a whole can offer when they’re given a space where they can both speak up and be heard.
8. Focus on team culture
Your relationship with each employee is important, but the way the whole team interacts is vital. You’ll find that teams who enjoy coming to work are more motivated.
While team culture is not something you can force, it is something you should encourage when you see opportunities.
9. Be a model
When you step into a managerial position, your team will take cues from your attitude, enthusiasm and work ethic-or lack thereof.
In the same way that attitudes trickle down, so does behaviour. For example, if you want everyone to be on time to team meetings, show up early yourself.
10. Keep your door open
Avoid being the last to know about issues with projects or between members of the team by making the effort to be approachable.
Learn to listen first before deciding what to say and show respect for what your employees say when they do come to you.
A business is as good as its employees and employees thrive when their leader has effective team management skills. Have confidence in your ability to lead your team to success.