The idea of managing a team may seem like an obvious one. However, it can be more complicated than you realise. It is true that you are leading a team to complete the relevant tasks and processes that they need for the business, but there are lots of other factors and aspects that relate to team management. Many that you may not even realise.
To help you to become the best manager possible, we have put together our guide to understanding the principles of team management and how they relate to your role as a manager of a team.
You can define team management as the actions or strategies that ensure a group of people can work together as a team. They should all be focused on one shared goal and should take charge of certain aspects of the work that will then reach their shared end goal.
The manager is the leader of this team; they ensure that the work is finished and that the team who completes the work does so cohesively and in a coordinated fashion.
In order to meet your end goal, you are going to need to have the right team behind you. As a manager, much of the recruitment of that team is down to you, which means that the responsibility for making sure that they can deliver is also yours.
Whilst no person, or team for that matter, can be perfect, it is important to ensure that you recognise the skills and abilities of each person within your team. You should be able to work on their strengths as well as ensure that they can work on each of their weaknesses to change them too.
A great manager, or leader, can make or break a high performing team.
There is absolutely no way that you can have a team working together unless they communicate with one another. Communication can be hard to master, and it is certainly a skill that everyone needs to focus on as much as they can.
As a manager, it is down to you to facilitate communication within your team. You need to lead by example and ensure that you show them what effective communication looks like (as well as what it can do for the team overall).
As well as this, you also need to make sure that you do whatever you can to facilitate communication within your team. Give everyone a chance to communicate as much as they can and ensure that they have access to a range of methods of communication.
In order for everyone in the team to be able to tackle their work, there is going to need to be a coordinated approach. If you are not coordinated, then you could very easily waste time repeating work or doing tasks that do not need to be done.
A manager needs to coordinate their team. They need to allocate work and key tasks to make sure that everything is covered. They should also think about the working flow process, how one task will then be set up for the next, moving from project to project as needed.
Following on from the above, we also need to think about how we plan for the work that we need to do. Effective planning can really make the difference between achieving and not achieving your end goal, as well as how easily you can get there.
It might seem like a wasted chunk of time planning what you need to do, but we can promise you that it will make actually getting on and doing it all the easier. Think about what the end goal is, who is a part of your team and the skills that they have. You also want to try and identify any potential hurdles along the way and think about how you can easily move through them.
We have already looked at communication, and with communication comes listening. It is all too easy to pretend that we are listening to those around us when, in actual fact, we are not paying them our full attention.
Listening can be a hard skill to learn and an even harder one to implement, but it is truly vital when it comes to working together and making the most of the skills that we all have in order to reach our end goal as a team.
It is a known fact that individuals will work better as a team if they have a shared goal. This is why it is important for a manager to take the time to establish these shared goals and values for the team.
Not only do you need to be able to identify them, but you also, as a manager, need to be able to find a way to highlight and share these with those in your team. You should also be able to keep these as a focus, as this will help you to all feel motivated and driven to reach those goals.
One of the hardest things that a manager has to do during their working time is learning to delegate. The very act of delegation is handing over the control of the work that you do to someone else to complete, which can leave you feeling uneasy about whether or not it will be completed in the way that you want.
However, the thing about delegation is that by delegating those tasks to others around you, you can free up time for other tasks, other things that will help you to be a better manager and to lead your team to success.
Not only this, but when you delegate work out, you are giving those around you a chance to learn and grow, which means that they can develop their own skills and move forward with their own development.
For the most part, the life of a team is calm, and there are not likely to be any issues that you need to deal with. However, things can and do happen which upset this balance. This is where the idea of discipline comes from. Discipline is not as you may think of it back when you were children. You, as a manager, should never be telling off your colleagues, but what you should do is encourage conflict resolution within the team.
As well as this, you do need to feel able to tackle any disciplinary issues that arise. These should be completed in a way that is professional, unbiased and within the key rules and regulations that you need to follow for these circumstances.
We can all get a little lost sometimes, and we are going to need to have someone at the front who has the map and is leading the way. In a working environment, this is going to be the manager.
Managers direct the rest of the team to ensure that they all get to where they need to be together. They have the right tools and materials to allow them to know exactly where the team is going and where they have previously been.
This can then be used to drive everyone forward and map out the best route to complete the work, and utilise the skills that every member of the team is going to need to use.
Along with directing your team, as a manager, you also need to provide them with guidance on how they can get where they need to be. You may not know all the ins and outs of every single task that the team needs to do, but you will have an overview of the process as a whole. This can really help you to move forward through the process.
In order to ensure that you really take advantage of collaborative working, you need to encourage discussions between all the members of the team. It can sometimes feel that these discussions are not the best use of time, but they can actually prove to be incredibly valuable.
Discussions allow you to find out more about where others are in the process and if they have come across any issues that someone else may be able to tackle. It also looks at problems such as resourcing and allows you to think about how you can better allocate any resources that you have.
Motivating your team is another key aspect of being a manager. It can be hard to find the motivation to get the most important work tasks completed, especially at difficult or busy times. Whilst every individual is responsible for finding (and using) their own motivation, as a manager, you can help them along the way as much as possible.
Finding out what motivates the members of your team is important, as once you know this, you can use these motivational approaches to help them to feel that they can get the work that needs doing completed.
This is likely to be different depending on the person, which means that you are going to need to be able to tailor the methods that you use for each person.
As a manager, you are likely to know things and be privy to information that others in the team may not know. It is vitally important that you treat this information with confidentiality. Make sure that every person feels comfortable and confident that you are not going to “gossip” with anything that they tell you, and then they will feel more able to keep you updated.
The idea of remuneration is that it helps you to reach long-term success. This could be a financial success, being a leader in the market, or perhaps just making sure that you are a viable business for your external shareholders.
In order to make sure this happens, you need to be able to first identify these long-term goals and think about how best you can reach them in the future. This can then be something that you share with the team and help every member to focus on and reach for those goals.
Rules are not the most fun thing to think about, but they are necessary. Without rules, things within a team can seem unfair, and this can lead to resentment and conflict.
As a manager, you need to be able to set these important ground rules for your team as a whole. You need to think about the types of behaviours and values that you want your team to uphold; these will then form your ground rules.
Not only do you need to think about what these rules will be, but it is also down to you to ensure that you are encouraging the rest of your team to follow them. This is easiest done by leading by example.
If the rest of the team sees you following the rules that are set out, then they will also be more likely to follow them too.
Whilst many of the decisions that are made within a business will be made at a high level by a colleague, this doesn’t mean that some of the considerations and thoughts behind these decisions cannot be more of a team effort.
Consensus is when you come together to think about and consider what you may need to do as a team and as a business. Not only does taking a consensus approach mean that your colleagues feel included and valued for what they think and know, but it can also help the team and the wider business.
Discussing ideas with other team members can help you to learn another insight into what needs to be done or what is currently being done. It may show you areas in which you are not performing as well as you hoped, and it can also help you to think about whether or not you are following best practices.
Using consensus also helps you to formulate a shared goal; this will give everyone in the team something to look to and to focus on when it comes to completing their work.
Effective team management is a vital aspect of running a successful business. As a manager, it is important to focus on building the right team, facilitating communication, coordinating tasks, planning effectively, encouraging listening, establishing team values and goals, delegating tasks, practicing discipline, providing guidance, encouraging discussions, motivating team members, maintaining confidentiality, setting ground rules, and using consensus to make decisions. By following these principles, managers can ensure that their team is working towards a common goal and achieving success. With the right team management practices in place, businesses can create a collaborative and supportive environment that promotes growth and development for everyone involved.
To download a .pdf of this blog, please click here
Sign up today & receive a discount on your first course
We will keep you up to date with the latest news, updates and discounts.