Managing a team is stressful business – in the end, you are more responsible for their productivity and performance than they themselves are. A successful manager knows how to maintain good relationships with each member of the team, but also doesn’t form any personal attachments. He or she sees the bigger picture, and understands that the team has a certain job to do no matter what. Here are some good management practices if you’re overseeing a team, or are about to.
Being honest about what’s working and what isn’t
Perhaps the most difficult task that managers have is detaching themselves from the individuals in their employ. As a manager, your job is to ensure that things go according to schedule and that each of the team members fulfills their role.
Nobody enjoys letting people go, nor is it ever pleasant to tell someone that they’ve been underperforming. When hiring people for a team, make sure that they’re on board regarding your goals – people who have a goal-oriented mindset should be your first choice.
Remember that each of your employees understands a simple truth: productivity is their job. If they’re not doing as well as they should, nobody can fault you for reprimanding them or even shaking up the roster in order to get things done.
Don’t neglect the persons in your team
While it seems contrary to the previous practice, it’s far from it. A good manager will put the team’s goal above each individual member, but will also be able to recognize the team members’ individual states.
If a member of your team who’s otherwise doing great work starts to get sloppy or looks distracted, call them up and have an honest conversation. Work with them to resolve any problems they’re facing so that they can fully focus on their job. Remember: your team members will work harder if they’re in a calm and serene state of mind, and doubly so if they know that their manager is looking out for them instead of being locked on the deadline.
Not forgetting your own role
While the role of a manager is often the most important one in a team, it can also end up being the least-productive one. Managers often get complacent as they delegate more and more work to their employees – work that the employees are rarely equipped to handle.
It’s fine to urge your team to work hard, but remember that you’re supposed to be the hardest worker of them all. You’re supposed to fine-tune each gear in the machine to perfection: from creating a clear-cut plan to reach a specific goal, to making sure that everyone adheres to it, to making the necessary adjustments when possible, the biggest responsibility falls on you.
Poor managers are quick to blame the people working under them for their own lapses – don’t let yourself become one of them. When your team looks at you, they should see someone who works harder than any one of them – this will motivate them to get more results more than anything else would, save perhaps the promise of a raise.
Here’s a very scientific article on the 10 Proven Ways to Build and Manage Great Teams