5 Tips on How to Manage a Small Team Effectively

Managing a team can be tricky. Team performance and overall project success strongly depend on whether the team leader can manage the team.

We’ve collected 7 tips on how to manage the team so that you all bring great results.

Tip #1 Set clear goals and expectations for the team

Successful team management starts with defining a clear goal – what are you going to work on? In successful companies and productive teams, everything starts with why. This “why” should describe the company mission and give a clear Strategy for the team existense.

“Why” usually gives purpose to the team and a sense of emotional drive which helps teams go through tough times. It is kind of a glue that brings people together and connects them. The bad news is that having an emotional drive or connection with other team members is never enough. You need to decompose your goal by determining what steps you should take to get there.

A huge mistake of many managers is to assume that the team knows what needs to be done and how it should be achieved. Even if the best employees can’t read minds. That’s why you always need to clearly communicate what should be done, what’s the deadline, and what are the standards.

Here’s a quick checklist on how to set clear goals:

– Start with why. You need to provide a purpose of why the team exists and what every team member will be responsible for.

– Make sure everyone knows what he or she should achieve next.

– Decompose your goal by determining small manageable tasks.

– Define clear standards you expect for each task.

Tip #2 Build trust among team members

The ability to build trust among team members is an essential quality for a team leader. Brandon Smith uses this formula to define trust: (Authenticity + Vulnerability) х Credibility = Trust.

Smith considers authenticity and vulnerability as critical elements for building team trust. He insists that if people think you’re not credible, trust goes to zero. If the team leader isn’t authentic or vulnerable, employees’ trust goes to zero.

A great way to create vulnerability and authenticity for leaders is to share their personal stories. We all have experienced tough times and life challenges. Sharing some of those can be a powerful way to create an emotional connection with team members. You can also tell people you work with what your life was like when growing up. It makes people see you as a real person, not just a boss.

Tip #3 Hold regular meetings

Meetings can be a huge waste of time. As a team leader, your goal is to manage planning and review meetings so that they will be effective and have a specific intention. First of all, it is crucial that the software you use allows you to host sufficient meetings. If you use software that cannot hold a smooth meeting, then the meetings would not be effective and would likely waste time. Something like this product would be more of a suitable product to host effective meetings. That said if you want to host meetings where the in-person and virtual worlds come together, then looking at Goldcast Hybrid solutions could be a good idea. What will you do if you are in the office, but one of your employees is not there due to some personal reasons, and you have to hold an urgent meeting with that person? Repostponing the meeting or asking the employee to come into the office without notice would not be the best course of action. This is when you can use the hybrid solutions ( if you are interested, you can learn here about the technology in detail) offered by the aforementioned firm in the physical venue to showcase the remote employee and host a meeting.

Anyway, coming back to the topic of in-person meetings, if you do opt to host meetings, but have not previously, then you may be unsure of how to set out an effective framework. One of the most popular frameworks for team meetings is offered by the SCRUM agile methodology. The basis of SCRUM methodology is sprints.

A sprint is a period of time during which specific work has to be completed and ready for review. There are three main types of meetings that should be held during the sprint:

– A sprint planning is a meeting devoted to planning what needs to be done in the next 14 days. The most important tasks should be selected and visualized on the task board. Each task should be assigned to a specific team member.

– Daily stand-up meetings. Stand-up meetings should be held every morning for 15 minutes maximum. It should be held every day approximately at the same time. Each team member needs to answer only two questions: What have I done yesterday? What will I do today?

– Retrospective meetings. After the sprint ends, the team should review the work is done, which tasks were not completed, and why. The team should also analyze what went well during the sprint and needs to be improved.

Tip #4 Track how team members perform

Skilled employees want feedback to help them grow. Keeping track of employees’ performance also makes sense from a business perspective.

A great approach to measuring performance is to translate company goals into specific goals for employees. When you are able to align the company goals with the personal goals of team members, it helps a business achieve its targets as well as it helps a person grow as a professional.

You can involve employees in their goal setting. This will help you feel confident that expectations are aligned. Another thing to consider would be to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each employee through comprehensive personality tests like those provided by Tilt 365. Knowing what an employee is naturally good at, and what needs to be developed, can help with clearer goal setting and enable progress through learning. You can also take in the employee’s feedback and concerns to make the goals realistic and achievable.

Tip #5 Acknowledge good work

Don’t be one of these team leaders who gives feedback only when there’s something to criticize. By providing your staff with constant constructive feedback it will help build their confidence and encourage them to get more involved. The principle of recognition is showing that you care.

Encourage everyone in the team to talk about their own achievements in retrospective meetings. Such a tradition will definitely make your meetings much more positive!

Colin Shaw
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Written by Colin Shaw

Colin has been in the finance market for over 20 years and specialises in best business practice to make an organisation profitable. The only man for the job when it comes to numbers and accounts with a keen talent for simplifying finance for the wider market.