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.
6. Promote a Respectful Environment
Promoting a respectful environment is one of the simplest ways to create a friendly workplace. You may foster respect by treating everyone with dignity and expressing your appreciation for them, despite any challenges present or errors made by team members.
7. Be Honest and Fair With Everyone
You must be honest with team members and treat them fairly. That means you must be open and honest with them about your problems while also taking care to avoid upsetting, discouraging, or demoralizing them.
8. Use a Set of Rules as a Working Paradigm
You must establish a set of guidelines and norms that everyone must go by before the team can begin working. Also, through discussion and agreement, you can amend those rules as the team develops.
9. Give the Team Members Space to Widen Their Horizon
Often, team members receive duties in advance, but they shouldn't constrain them. The opportunity should be provided for them to experiment with new ideas or to offer their own contributions.
10. Hire the Right People
Get to know applicants personally when you interview and recruit them to discover more about their skills, talents, and strengths.
11. Set Achievable Goals
Your team members should all be aware of the daily goals they are working toward. Without clear, defined goals, your staff will miss or forget deadlines and assignments.
12. Establish a Team Mission
There should be a long-term objective that you are all working toward in addition to the routine, daily goals that your team should have. Invite your team to a discussion so they can offer opinions or comments on the matter.
13. Delegate Tasks Effectively
When several people are working on a single project, it is simple for duties and tasks to be overlooked. Good team management ensures that each team member has a job that matches their abilities.
14. Encourage Team Collaboration
Encourage your team to welcome creative collaboration to strike a solid balance. Make the most of the various skill sets on the team by making sure everyone is informed about ongoing tasks.
15. Prevent Team Burn-out
You can help your team maintain a healthy work-life balance by setting clear limits. Naturally, this can be challenging, especially in teams where members work flexibly and may want to start early or stay late.
16. Define Roles Within the Team
Each member of a team has a unique personality. Some are great for morale and motivating the troops. Some are adept at maintaining order and coordination. While some people are good communicators, others are not.
17. Take Advantage of Other People’s Knowledge and Skill Sets
Making the best use of everyone's abilities and skills is a sound team management technique. As a leader, you must first acknowledge that you are not fully aware of everyone's knowledge base.
18. Be Transparent
Teams become more cohesive in workplaces where responsibility and transparency are valued. They promote openness and collaboration, foster leadership trust, and facilitate quicker problem-solving.
19. Maintain Open Communication
Employees fear miscommunication because it creates stress and confusion. Clear communication within the team about tasks, due dates, and objectives ensures success.
20. Comfortable Asking and Answering Questions
You have to ask your teammates about any doubts or concerns you have. You must also be prepared to answer their queries regarding the project.
21. Make Sure Every Voice is Heard
It's a problem if team members feel they can't get a word in edgewise. It's common to have highly vocal team members, but they shouldn't be the only ones contributing ideas and setting the agenda.
22. Establishing and Maintaining Trust
Trust is a necessary component of successful team management. Any relationship, whether it be personal or professional, needs trust.
23. Verify the Strengths and Weaknesses of All Team Members
You must identify all of the team member's strengths and weaknesses through thorough trying and testing. You can also accomplish it by communicating effectively.
24. Trust in Your Team’s Efficacy
Let your employees carry out the tasks for which you hired them, and try new strategies even if they appear odd at first.
25. Lean On Your Team’s Strengths
Finding out your team members' strengths is a useful outcome of knowing more about your team, even if these qualities were not initially a component of your team member's jobs.
26. Manage Time Wisely
Effective time management is a crucial component of every project. Project managers often feel as though there is never enough time in the day. Stay away from time-wasting activities.
27. Foster Debate, Not Conflict
Diverse teams are more effective at creativity, but only if the team members know how to extract different views and discuss them in a positive way.
28. Develop Relationships
Building relationships with the people you supervise is one of the most ignored team management techniques. People simply work harder and do better when working for people they like.
29. Use Team Management Apps and Tools
A team management tool is a platform that is accessible to everyone on the team. Each team member is given a task, the progression of which may be tracked and monitored. As a result, the team is always aware of the exact status of the project.
30. Discuss Teamwork in Performance Reviews
As a manager or leader, you should talk more regularly about how well each person is contributing to the group and maintaining their involvement.
31. Provide Feedback
Sincere compliments inspire your team members and give them motivation. Provide sincere criticism and constructive praise as an aspect of your performance evaluations.
32. Resolve Team Issues
Resolution is an essential part of your profession because teams occasionally disagree on issues. There may be occasions where you need to intervene and assist people involved in finding a resolution or coming to a compromise.
33. Be Enthusiastic About Project
Good managers are aware of the contagious nature of a positive attitude. The work will occasionally be too much or too challenging. Organize competitions or provide additional incentives as a means to keep your group's attitude positive.
34. Lead By Example
If you don't lead by example, all the team management techniques in the world are pointless. The phrase "practice what you preach" may seem obvious, but unfortunately, many leaders don't follow that.
35. Stay Organized
Effective team management, in many respects, begins with the routines that guide your work every day. For instance, if you aren't organized, neither will your team members be organized.
36. Do Your Part and More
Management of a team doesn't involve blaming someone or just telling others what to do. Be ready to step in and offer assistance as needed, especially when deadlines are approaching or the work is lagging.
37. Encourage Group Socialization
With people you know, it's simpler to express your thoughts and opinions. Provide teammates with opportunities to connect personally with one another so that they can collaborate more efficiently.
38. Hold Team Building Events (Engage in Collective Activities or Retreats)
By allowing your team to interact with one another in real-life situations, these events make it simpler for them to connect and cooperate.
39. Cheer On Your Team
You should always be your team's biggest supporter in your role as team manager. It is your responsibility to ensure that your team feels valued for all their efforts.
40. Become a Master of Motivation
Motivation is crucial if you want your team members to maintain their attention, engagement, and progress toward achievement. By taking the time to develop your own motivational skills, you can help keep their spirits high.
41. Reward and Acknowledge Excellence
Rewarding your team for accomplishments is another way to foster workplace teamwork. By acknowledging instances of an employee's achievement, you may foster a sense of community among your team members and help them feel proud of their successes.
42. Keep Positive Vibes in the Office
Maintaining a cheerful atmosphere in your workspace is crucial, much like being your team's cheerleader. Find ways to make your teammates happy, whether by posting inspirational quotes on posters throughout the office or holding a weekly "Donut Day."
43. Create a Safe Space
Establishing a safe atmosphere is critical, especially when forming multicultural teams. Create rules that enable your team to function without being concerned about discrimination based on race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation to achieve this.
44. Reward Good Work
To achieve the objectives, your group puts in a lot of effort. If they believe that their effort is respected, they will be happy and more eager to contribute. Ensure that people receive the respect they deserve from peers and management.
45. Celebrate Wins
Plan a team celebration or think of ways to recognize each member of your team for achieving their personal goals.
46. Invite Feedback
Receiving and giving feedback can be challenging for both parties. It should still be done even when it's difficult. Everyone's professional development requires feedback, which is a crucial tool.
47. Hold Employees Accountable
Even if team members make a mistake, you should still respect them. Respecting team members does not, however, prevent you from holding workers accountable.
48. Know How to Retain Your Best Employees
The majority of workers and team members place a higher priority on having a positive work environment. Start by establishing a welcoming environment that values effort and encourages participation.
49. Encourage Mentorship
Encouragement of mentorship is one of the best ways to boost the performance of your team members. The mentor can use their extensive network to aid their protégés as they grow in their careers and teach them how to do so.
50. Invest in Training
If you want your skilled employees who show potential to truly thrive and add immensely to the development of the company, you must be willing to spend in training that will allow them to be top employees.
51. Look Into Resources and Work Environment
Your staff should have access to resources and an atmosphere that corresponds to your expectations. You must be prepared to invest in the resources required to implement this if you expect your team to achieve positive outcomes and contribute to the company's development.
52. Effective Team Management Tips for Project Managers
The responsibility of meeting deadlines and inspiring your team rests on your shoulders as a project manager. Employ these strategies to increase your team's efficiency and make it simpler to accomplish your objectives.
What Makes an Excellent Manager?
The person who holds the responsibility to administer and promote coordination of the team is called the team manager. The team manager exists to serve the progress of the team. A lot rests on their shoulders as they are responsible for making the entire team thrive together. A good manager is, therefore, a great communicator. They are often charismatic communicators who know when to be firm and when to be relaxed.
Why is Effective Team Management Important?
An organization will have more engaged and happy workers if the management structure excels at setting goals and providing constant feedback regarding progress. Let us take a closer look at how a firm benefits from team management.
Team Management Can Lead to Happier Employees
When a team can communicate with each other freely, rely on each other, and work like a well-oiled machine, the organization is assured of seeing success. Furthermore, as the organization sees success, so will the employees. As the organization grows, so will the employees.
More Productive Employees
The core building block of efficient team management is efficient communication. Through communication, even team members scattered across the world can work with great efficiency.
Additionally, communication ensures that the entire team is on the same page and is aware of their responsibilities. If done properly, this will remove all margin for error from the team's operation. This will lead to more productive employees.
It Can Reduce Employee Turnover
Employee turnover simply means the number of employees who leave the organization over a while. Several factors can cause employee turnover. The most glaringly obvious is employee dissatisfaction.
An employee can be dissatisfied with several factors. These can include low pay, bad work culture, lack of coordination, or lack of faith in the organization's vision. A manager who knows how to manage his team efficiently can allay all these worries.
Through team management, a manager can understand and empathize with an employee's short-term and long-term goals. They can promote effective coordination between the entire team. They can introduce progressive workplace culture. This is why efficient team management can decrease employee turnover.
8 Examples of Effective Team Management Skills
So, how exactly does an efficient manager promote the organization's growth? Or rather, what are the key skills any good manager must possess?
1. Focus On Serving Rather Than Managing
The average worker doesn't need constant monitoring and handholding. What they need is empathy. Managers who can put themselves in the shoes of the employee, hear their concerns and address them will be loved by both the organization as well as their team.
In effect, the manager must focus on serving the team rather than managing it. Every member of the team has a job to do. The team doesn't need managing. Instead, what it needs is someone who can assist the team with every roadblock.
2. Don’t Always Assume You Are Right
To assume you are the smartest person in the room is your biggest folly. The manager is not immune to human errors. Part of effective communication is listening to your team. As brilliant as the manager may be, the team can often surprise them with intuitive lateral thinking.
Empathy is very important when it comes to managing a team. Good managers will never predetermine themselves to be right. Instead, they will always try to collect every point of reference and maintain a figure of humility in front of the team.
3. Make Transparency a Priority
Teams are built on trust and communication. For the team to be engaged and efficient, the entire team structure must maintain transparency with each other. A good manager will always have the trust of his team.
Managers can promote transparency through several means. One of the simplest is to involve employees in decision-making. This will let the employee know they are the team's valued assets.
4. Setting Boundaries
Transparency and positivity are important. But workplace boundaries are equally important too. The team must understand their responsibilities and how much depends on them. Once this has been communicated, the team must be expected to work to uplift the entire team, not sow discontent.
Infractions like missed deadlines, lethargic performance, and lack of communication from a single individual can tank the entire team's morale. This is why, as the manager, workplace boundaries must be set. A manager must efficiently communicate to the employee regarding what is expected and accepted and what is to be abhorred.
5. Provide a Positive Workspace
The work culture of an organization is one of the key factors that affect employee satisfaction. And dissatisfied employees will drag progress to a halt. This is through no fault of theirs. The lack of a positive workspace is the real culprit.
A manager must ensure that the employees are well respected and their worries are dealt with effectively. A manager can also set up activities that promote camaraderie within the team and ensure everyone feels comfortable and upbeat.
6. Emphasize Constant and Effective Communication at the Workplace
Communication is one of the cornerstones of managing a team. Therefore, effective communication makes the whole difference when it comes to team efficiency. So, how do you communicate effectively?
To make sure that everyone can communicate with everyone else seamlessly, they must always be in touch. A few short steps or a few clicks of a button should enable them to communicate with any team member. Moreover, communication is also as much about being heard as it is about speaking. Taking constant feedback from your team promotes efficient communication at the workplace.
7. Encourage and Nurture Your Team’s Growth
Every member of the team is working towards a common goal. However, it is not unfair for them to have certain personal goals as well. These include personal growth and success at the workplace.
Through team management, a manager should always ensure that they are nurturing the growth of their team and not impeding it in any form. This will result in a friendly and highly motivated workforce.
8. Be Open to Change
A good manager is flexible. They need to have the skills to manage any crisis and find immediate solutions as required. Besides, a manager who is resistant to the changing modern workplace will hold the entire organization back.
One of the best examples of this was the Covid-19 pandemic. Suddenly, the entire workforce found themselves at home, manager and team members both. This is why managers need to be flexible and prepared to take on any challenge that is thrown their way.
Moreover, archaic workplace practices that are a remnant of the past must be obliterated if they stand in the way of your team's progress. The manager must not just be open to change but be the voice behind the change itself.
Efficient Team Management Makes the Whole Organization Run Smoothly
Everything mentioned thus far are the key principles of running a smooth operation and becoming a great manager. When the entire operation is running smoothly, and sterling individuals are leading the management structure, the entire organization will operate smoothly and with few hiccups.
Even in the face of crisis, through flexibility, communication, and managerial diligence, nothing can stop the organization from achieving its goals.
Motivating Your Team
Keeping a team motivated is one of the most important tasks of a manager. A motivated team is an efficient team. If you want to find out why an organization is faltering, look at how motivated its employees are.
One of the foundational practices that lead to a motivated workforce is positive feedback. Telling someone that they are wrong would only demotivate them. Instead, always try to be positive, even when disciplining your team. It is important to afford the dignity that your employees deserve.
Developing Your Team
A team that works together has a lot of opportunities to learn from one another. Moreover, a manager will ensure that their employees have all the means necessary to develop their skills and hone their talents.
Several modern workplaces have employee development programs that exist to teach their employees new skills which will help them in their personal growth. As the individuals in your team become more skilled, so will the quality of your entire team.
Employees who are encouraged to develop their skills also add to the net positive morale of the workplace.
Communicating With Your Team
The modern workplace is littered with communication barriers, red tape, and a dependency on traditional communication methods like meetings and presentations. Meetings and presentations are important. However, they are extremely inefficient when it comes to appealing to your team.
Let's understand how to communicate with people within your team as well as those outside it.
Communicating With Members of Your Team
When it comes to communicating with your team, it is best to embrace technology. There is software that you can use to bring the entire team closer together. Tech can help you let the team monitor progress, communicate with each other on one platform, and maintain transparency with each other.
Always make sure that you adhere to the tenets of effective communication as a manager. These are,
- Be empathetic
- Encourage feedback
- Always be constructive
Communicating With Members Outside Your Team
Organization-wide communication methods like Microsoft teams are a great way to promote communication within the team as well as outside the team.
When taking external help on a project, the team needs to be in touch with the individual helping. The short-term team member must be fully familiar with the operational protocols of your team.
Team members at a workplace are not children. As such, heavy-handed disciplining of your team will crush morale and motivation. If you want to be the head of a well-disciplined team, boundaries and deal-breakers must be communicated clearly.
It is also vital that all criticism and disciplining be constructive. Employees must feel that they are valued highly at the workplace. In this respect, a manager must be disciplined and lead by example.
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1. What are the 5 steps of team building?
Orientation and familiarization time are a part of the forming stage. People are looking for authority and leadership at this time, and there will be much uncertainty.
- The most difficult and crucial phase to get through is storming. Conflict and competition are prevalent throughout this time as new personalities start to develop.
- Consensus about the leader or leaders, and the roles of each member, emerges during the norming stage.
- Agreement and collaboration have been firmly established, and the group is mature, structured, and functional at this point.
- Most of the team's objectives have been reached in the adjourning stage. The focus is on completing final activities and documenting the work and results.
2. What are the 4 steps to team building?
Forming, storming, norming, and performing are the essential steps in team building.
3. What are the 4 elements needed for effective teamwork?
There are four key components that must be present for a team to be effective - Goals, Roles, Interpersonal relationships, and Processes.