It is a widely known fact that good teams under good management can achieve higher goals. They tend to focus on important matters and obtain results. So it is no surprise that a lot of companies spend a lot of time and resources behind operative team management.
From creating and assigning tasks to tracking their progress to keeping the team morale up, team management has to cover a lot of grounds. It is a multi-pronged practice and thus, requires much thought and skills.
A lot of key decisions will have to be made through various phases of the journey. And without an effective team management plan in place, making these decisions and abiding by them can often prove challenging.
This is why businesses assign various team managers along different stages of the job. These managers oversee the team and take every step necessary to make sure the team is in their best form. Today, we have noted down some of the best team management practices that can help such managers bring the best out of their team.
What is team management?
Team management is essentially the practice of regulating and coordinating a group of individual workers. Although it may seem simple, this practice comprises of various elements like communication, comprehension, feedback, teamwork, etc.
Usually, one individual is given the duty of team management so they can keep the team in check. It is their job to notice any shortcomings that may occur or come up with creative ways to keep the team spirit alive.
Team management is crucial in enhancing employee performance, both individually and collectively. This also contributes to increased productivity and elaborate collaboration. With effective team management skills, a company can achieve high ambitions and gain better ROIs.
Why team management is important
The advantages of team management are many. Efficient team management skills can create a clear planning process by prioritizing all tasks, setting deadlines, etc. This will make working easier and proceedings smoother.
Moreover, effective team management enhances team collaboration and coordination. This, in turn, results in synchronized teamwork and makes the office environment enjoyable and nice. With good work relations in place, a team can work harder to achieve higher goals.
For any successful endeavor, a clear picture of the overall performance and resources is necessary. This overall performance can be monitored with the help of improved reporting and analytics. Various team management software can help you in this regard and you can obtain higher proficiency in the workspace.
Team management best practices
When it comes to managing a team, there are various tips and tricks that can be carried out. However, not all of them work for every office. Here, we have noted down some of the most widely used team management practices that will help offices to keep the workstream flowing.
Share your vision
When the team is working towards a goal, they should have every information that they might need. It’s not a good team management practice to keep the team in the dark. Achieving a goal becomes increasingly difficult if the team members don’t even understand why they are doing something in the first place.
Sharing the plans, or even the idea behind a project results in better and more detailed planning. So, take your time to explain to your team members why certain changes are being made, or certain policies are adopted. If they understand the reasoning, it will be easier to flow with it.
You can do this in various ways. You can have big, in-depth team meetings where you analyze and discuss matters greatly. Or, if you feel the need for a personal touch, sit down with your employees, and explain what is required of them.
Encourage healthy communication
Although it may sound cliche, communication is the key. And one of the most common team management skill is maintaining communication in the office. By establishing relaxed communication, one can ensure a healthy work environment.
If respectful communication is ensured, team managers and team members alike feel more confident to discuss various aspects in length. Harsh criticism hinders creative thinking and often forces the shy or underperforming members to hide their problems.
Whatever goals you may set up, keep in mind that the company needs to achieve it as a whole. It doesn’t sit well if some members show outstanding performance while some others lag behind. Progress should be achieved by a collective effort.
Build positive working relationships
The nature of working relationships in an office indirectly dictates the productivity of that office. It is no surprise that if there are conflicts between fellow workers, this conflict will give rise to other issues like mistrust and lack of mutual respect. Thus, there’s a lack of teamwork.
People are different and unique in their own manner. So it is obvious there will be dissimilarities between them. But it is your job, as a manager, to look out for possible disagreements that may result in a clash.
Teamwork is the key to any budding brand. And in its core, there lies trust, mutual respect and communication. When there is scope for respectful interaction, the office environment becomes more comfortable and nice. If there’s a mutual understanding in place, employees will not shy from going the extra mile.
Ability to think strategically
This is actually a no-brainer. If the company is to thrive, it needs creative and analytic minds urging it forwards. While intuition and hopeful thinking may work great in personal life, they can prove deadly for a company.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Intuition is still great for businesses. But whether to act on this intuition or not should be backed by data and thorough analysis. You need to steer this intuition to look at things from a different perspective. Not to make key decisions solely based on them.
For efficient team management practice, it is best to cultivate overall strategic thinking among all the office workers. This helps everyone to stay on the same page and opens doors for more creative discussions. With a flaw of strategic thinking skills among team members, you can ensure better output.
Offer constructive feedback
Over the past few years, we have observed drastic changes in how businesses operate. More and more businesses are shifting more towards a customer-centric model, and past work experience of a prospective employee is often a minor issue that can be overlooked.
This is because learning potential is becoming increasingly popular. Businesses hiring fresh workers with no work experience is very common now. A lot of companies opt for enthusiastic workers who can learn continuously instead of skilled employees who go static after a while. This is because, if you are not up to date with your customer demands, you will fall behind. Thus, it is a must to stay vigilant.
Moreover, to ensure the learning curve keeps rising, it is important that all the staff are open to constructive feedback. Be it a fresh recruit or a seasoned operations officer. Offering constructive feedback has great team management benefits. As it strengthens working relationships and keeps the team growing.
While micromanaging may seem proficient, it often slows down the work. Not to mention, micromanagement also leaves space for dependency among team members. This can often result in serious commotion.
To effectively solve this issue, you need to develop independent workers. These are skilled employees who can run on their own if their affiliated team members or supervisors are absent. Enthusiastic employees are always eager to learn and turn into independent workers very quickly.
So, while hiring, you might wanna look for enthusiasm in your prospective employees. But that’s not all. To further nurture them, train them, equip them with awesome tools and resources. An independent employee is an asset to the company. And this saves you plenty of time to spend on other work.
And if you’re looking for tools to help you manage virtual teams, check out these remote team management software.
Look out for team burnout
Keeping an ambitious goal is beneficial for a business. A confident leap of faith could potentially result in a milestone for the business. But the analytics behind such a leap needs to be accurate.
Before taking such decisions assessing your team’s workload is crucial. While it is important to push employees so they can bring out the best in them, it is also necessary to know their limits. Pushing workers too much often results in team burnout.
Many serious issues like role conflict, lack of feedback, no positive connections, unfair workload, etc. give rise to team burnout. These issues cause unnecessary friction and hinder growth. So for effective team management and leadership, it is critical to look out for team burnout.
Employees will perform their best when they can be true to their nature in a free environment. Of course, managers will have to keep an eye on the overall progress of the company. But make sure this overview does not bind your employees.
If you are open to your employees, they will feel comfortable coming to you with questions or new ideas. They might have a fresh perspective that you didn’t think of. But this will happen only if the team managers or team operating officers are willing to learn from their subordinates and really listen to them.
Your attitude and work ethics can go a long way in building company morale. If employees have a hardworking model in front of them, they will, in turn, also give it their best.
Even if they are all working in a team, doing the same job, every employee will bring something to the team. And it is your job to recognize their special skill and capitalize on them. When people feel uniquely valued, they often perform better.
Moreover, you have to keep in mind that the team as a whole needs to progress. Which means, leave no man behind. So, if anyone in the team slows down or faces a hurdle, sit down with them and counsel. Tell them the world hasn’t ended.
Similarly, acknowledge the efforts and performance put forward by others. Money might have worked in the past, but now, it’s not 100% effective. So, it is important that you know your team and what motivates them. It could be a chance to work from home, some extra days off, or a paid vacation. Some me-time for a team member often results in great results for the team as a whole.
Have realistic expectations
While it is good to want to reach for the stars, it is also necessary to keep up-to-date with one’s resources. If you start off for the moon in a hot air balloon, it will not do anyone any good. Rather, you might be disappointed at the end of your journey.
So, it is crucial that you keep in mind your resources, budget, your team, etc. before making any policy or project goals. If you keep aiming too high, your team will be discouraged by the continued failures.
Now, we are not telling you to always stick to your regular pace. Once in a while, you will have to take a leap for the betterment of your company. But make sure the leap is well calculated. Inspire your team to put in their best effort. But keep in mind their abilities and workload.
Can team management software help?
We discussed some of the team management’s best practices. But as you can see, these work best when all the members work in the same office space. For bigger offices, or in an era where remote jobs are rapidly gaining popularity, these practices can be a little challenging.
To solve this issue, you can take help from a different team management software. These software accomplish a wide variety of tasks. You can use team management apps to assign tasks and conduct projects. Furthermore, some team management applications specialize in measuring productivity by keeping track of how much time is spent on a task.
Some of these apps can even be used to centralize document collaboration, while some will work as notification and report generation tools. In fact, we have even listed 15 of the best team management software. You can pick the ones that work best for you and work more efficiently and achieve a better work-life balance.
Team management in a nutshell
A good team under good management is driven by results and they focus on their ambitions. Every member of the team is unafraid of contributing their fair share. Moreover, an efficient team is keen on learning and builds a collaborative environment. This environment is beneficial for the company to thrive.
Effective team management skills lead to an organized team that is willing to take risks. And they use proficient tools so that any risk they take is calculated and is rewarded for it. To sum it up, some of the best team management practices are given below.
- Focusing on results
- Feedback culture
- Encouraging learning
- Sharing vision
- Good communication
- Mutual respect
- Healthy work environment
- Strategic thinking
- Organized team
- Improved analytics
- Ready use of tools
Moreover, these team management software can often be integrated with various WordPress plugins. Take the WordPress form builder plugin Fluent Forms for example. Fluent Forms offers 35+ third party integrations including Trello, Slack, etc. So, if you use services like this, you don’t have to put in extra effort for team management.