Building strong teams has always been a fundamental part of healthy work culture. But as more and more employees work from home, managing those teams has become more complex. Whether employees often spend time in the office or never meet face-to-face, today’s managers need to focus on communication, trust, and transparency to get the job done.
Learn more about the skills and strategies you need to succeed in while managing a team.
What is Team Management?
At the very basic level, it is any activity you do to build a strong team. The goal of these activities is to help your team connect to better reach targets.
For example, when you onboard a new team member, you might meet individually to talk about their role, expectations, and responsibilities. You might also schedule a casual team meet-and-greet and invite them to the company’s monthly happy hour to help them feel included.
Examples of these management activities can include:
- Daily or weekly check-ins
- Company retreats or social events
- One-on-one meetings (like quarterly reviews)
- Collaborative brainstorming sessions
Benefits of Team Management
Healthy teams are the foundation of a successful business, and there are plenty of statistics to prove it.
According to Forbes, employees who feel like their voice is heard at work are nearly five times more likely to do their best. That leads to greater dividends for your business as engaged teams are 21 percent more profitable.
The happier people are at work, the more likely they are to perform well and stick around. The most satisfied employees are those that feel included and valued. In fact, another study shows that 96 percent of employees feel empathy is the most crucial factor in employee retention.
Additional benefits include:
- Better employee engagement
- Improved retention
- Increased likelihood to meet goals
- Less workplace conflicts
Team Management Skills and Strategies
It’s clear that team management is valuable, but how do you do it?
Read on for five tips and strategies to help you successfully manage your team, whether you’re remote, on-site, or somewhere in between.
1. Focus on Goals
One of the quickest ways to destroy a team is with micromanaging. Micromanaging leaves employees feeling defensive and like you don’t trust or value their experience.
To avoid micromanaging, especially in a remote work environment, stay goal-oriented. Does it matter if your employee comes in at 9:30 instead of 9:00 if they reach their targets, are on-time to meetings, and perform well? Focusing less on arbitrary measures of performance like hours worked and more on results will help you build a stronger team.
2. Have Clear Expectations
When you don’t have clear expectations for your team members, it’s difficult to meet goals and easier to get into conflict. For best performance, your team members need to know what’s expected of them, when, and why.
Finding balance within your team and ensuring that responsibilities are distributed evenly is vital for successful team management. If you don’t have clear expectations from the beginning, it’s much easier for one team member to take on more work and become overwhelmed or feel unappreciated.
3. Stay in Touch
Strong teams are built on communication. Your communication cadence may vary depending on your work, but many successful managers find that daily check-in calls are a helpful way to stay connected and on-task.
Relying on communication channels like Slack or a group text thread, depending on the size of your team, can also help you stay in touch. This not only improves your productivity but can help you bond, especially if you have a remote or hybrid team.
4. Embrace Technology
Leveraging technology to support your team is a great strategy and one that’s becoming popular as more people work from home.
As a team manager, you should make sure that your staff has access to the technology they need to succeed. You can also rely on technology like video conferencing and webinars for team-building exercises and training. If you have a remote team, technology can also help you collaborate, with tools like Google Docs and other cloud-based file-sharing systems. Remember, using tech should streamline your work and alleviate stress—not cause confusion!
5. Be Human
According to Forbes, 89 percent of employees today expect their employers to help them balance work and personal commitments.
As a manager, you need to stay flexible and understand that your team is human. Staying empathetic, working around people’s unique needs, and making sure employees take time to enjoy their lives outside work will help you develop a happy, strong, and loyal team.
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