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 reason the team exists.
“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. 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 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. 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!