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Top Tips for Managing a Team

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Effective team management is vital for the success of any business. However, there’s no doubt that leading a group of people can be one of the most difficult challenges a manager faces. Not only does it require careful planning and organisation, it’s also vital to ensure you really understand what makes the people working for you tick; not just as a team but also as individuals. Below we bring you our top 10 tips for team management success.

1. Set goals
To keep a team motivated, it’s important to have clearly defined objectives and targets. Having these in place will help ensure each team member has a clear understanding of their contribution to the overall goals.
The goals you set for your team should be challenging, but not unachievable. It’s important to strike the right balance, as goals that are too easy will not allow for team and personal development, whilst those that are too difficult to achieve are demotivating.

2. Delegate tasks
A team management skill that managers often find hard to embrace is the handing over of tasks, which they once carried out themselves as a regular employee, to others. The ability to effectively delegate tasks is however essential for effective teamwork.
To successfully delegate, it’s vital to choose the right member of the team for the job. Tasks should be assigned according to the skills and experience each individual member brings. Not only will this help ensure work is done efficiently, it will also help ensure levels of motivation and job satisfaction are high, as people usually enjoy doing tasks that allow them to use their talents and strengths.

3. Communicate
Effective communication is simply vital for the successful management of a team. Without a clearly communicated vision of what is to be achieved, a team will not perform to its maximum potential. You should speak to team members in a clear and unambiguous manner to ensure they are in no doubt about their contribution to the work.

4. Listen
Whilst it’s important that you are able to communicate with your team, it’s also vital that members feel able to approach you with any concerns or suggestions they may have. The ability to listen is an important team management skill as it’s vital that the workplace is an environment of trust, where managers and team members feel able to speak openly to identify areas of improvement.

5. Show your appreciation
To help them stay motivated, people need to know that the work they are doing is valued and appreciated. Don’t underestimate the importance of offering praise for hard work and great results. However, for successful team management avoid falling into the trap of praising certain individuals more than others, as this will inevitably lead to a perceived sense of favouritism.  It’s therefore best to focus on the positives across the team to allow you to distribute your praise as evenly as possible.

6. Ask for feedback
Another great way to ensure your team feels appreciated is to regularly ask members for feedback. Incorporating the feedback into your decision-making helps show that you respect their opinions and value their input. Gathering feedback from your team will also help you to identify potential problems earlier. This is an important team management skill to develop as it will help prevent difficulties from escalating further down the line.

7. Celebrate success
Celebrating success and hard work offers another great opportunity to show your appreciation and boosts team morale. You could, for example, plan a party to celebrate the successful completion of a long project. It could be something as simple as occasionally bringing in cakes or organising a casual dress day, as it is the small things that go a long way to saying thank you and showing your team members that you value their role in the workplace.

8. Review performance
It’s important for managers to regularly assess the performance of the team to see how effectively it is working together. Look at all the key areas including efficiency, productivity and communication to help identify areas where improvements could be made. Regular reviews will also help ensure your team members feel a sense of accountability for their work.

9. Manage conflict
Even in the best managed teams, conflict can unfortunately arise.  It’s therefore important that you possess the team management skills to be able to deal with such difficulties as swiftly as possible. The key to resolving conflicts is to find a middle ground that everyone is prepared to accept. You should take the role of an impartial mediator, listening to the concerns and reiterating them clearly to the team so everyone is aware of all the viewpoints. Encourage the team to suggest ways in which compromises can be reached. Once the conflict is resolved, remember to point out to the group how working through the issues together has helped reach a successful resolution. Moving forward, this will help demonstrate the importance of good team work, rather than dwelling on negativity.

10. Discipline where necessary
Disciplining staff is not a task that any manager looks forward to, however, it may unfortunately be necessary at times. For a team to stay motivated and deliver great results, it needs to feel as though every member is making an equal contribution to the work. Therefore, it’s important to develop the managerial skills to identify any employees who are upsetting the team dynamics and take the appropriate action. You should always speak to individuals about such matters in private.

A well organised group of people who are able to work together to produce high quality outcomes that accomplish business goals, is a powerful force. Whilst team management can at times be challenging, it’s important to continually develop your skills. Success is highly rewarding and can really help drive your business forward.

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Published on 28/11/2012 by Emma Harle.

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