Management is a powerful position that comes with a lot of responsibility. Your success often relies on the success of others, and managing people and workflow can be fraught with complexities and challenges. Being able to balance authority with approachability can be a difficult act, and it is a fine line between running an office or a business with inspiration or intimidation.
Here are ten ideas that can help anyone, in any business, manage their team and their role more effectively and efficiently.
Learn to Lead
Whether you know it or not, people in your team look to you for direction. This may not just be for what to do next at any given moment, but also to know what way the company or department is headed. Having uncertainty about the overall aims of the team can leave people anxious, and they can be unsure what action to take when faced with a decision. They will need your advice to go forward, or maybe make the wrong choice, wasting both time and money.
Don’t let yourself disappear into an office or be hidden behind a wall of faceless emails and notices on a board. Get out there with the team and talk about the tasks and the challenges that face them. Get to know them a little, and understand their lives, as this will create a much more positive and productive atmosphere in the workplace. Your team members may have skills or experiences you aren’t aware of, or hobbies and interests that can add something to the office.
Not enough managers take the time to celebrate their team’s, or an individual team member’s, successes and professional achievements. It is important to offer some thanks and show appreciation for the hard work they do, and give an extra incentive for working harder and reaching a project’s goals. People’s achievements in their personal lives should also be noted. A birth in a family, or even passing a driving test can be a good excuse for some team building with tea and cake.
Set the Standard
Leading by example is a great way to empower your team. When working with someone who shows competence, and has a strong knowledge of the job they do and how it fits in with the larger business, it builds confidence not just in the manager but also for the employee. Having your own experience of a task and the ability to perform it to a high standard means you can teach and train team members to be more efficient workers while maintaining a high-quality output.
Motivate Yourself and Others
Keeping yourself motivated can be a difficult task at times, and the same is true for your team members. Many managers use targets, and keep a team’s progress updated on displays in the office. Some even use tactics from sales teams and marketers to incentivise progress, with prizes of privileges to keep staff motivated. You can reap the benefits too, by making group incentives that you all can share, and using a staff excursion as a team building event.
Get Expert Help
More and more managers are using specialist help and executive coaching to take their management skills to the next level. There are a number of popular books on management that can give insights into how to achieve managerial success. Executive Coaching can be provided by companies like The BCF Group who will help managers develop their existing skills, and work on eliminating their weaknesses to become stronger, more efficient managers. The course focuses on a few key areas that include executives, senior leadership, identified talent groups and graduate coaching. So, you can choose the one that is going to help you improve.
Control Time and Money
When operating a business or a department in a large company, time and money can seem like they are the same thing. It is up to you as a manager to not just control your own time effectively, but also manage your team members’ time, and ensure they are operating at peak capacity. See the hours your team members work in money, not minutes, and you will start to see ways to bring your balance sheet under control as you find ways to make your subordinates work more efficiently.
Delegate Your Authority
With the right members of staff, you can free yourself of regular tasks to give yourself more time to concentrate on the bigger picture. You can empower staff also, by delegating some of your work, and some authority with it, to responsible and dedicated staff members. This is a good reward for the hard working and diligent in your team, and gives you the added bonus of spending more time on managing larger projects.
It is Okay to be Friends
Having a friendly relationship with your team is a great way to improve productivity and your effectiveness as a manager. People will work harder so they don’t let you down, and will be ready to approach you with problems or mistakes without fear or intimidation. It is important to maintain healthy boundaries in any professional relationship, but that shouldn’t stop you from being a friend to your staff.
Give Yourself a Break
With all the effort and hard work that you put into management, it is important to make sure you take time out to relax and de-stress. The pressures you are under can be quite great at times, and if you are tense, it will affect your whole team. Make sure you make the most of down-time, and pursue things in your life that aren’t work related. Too many managers never put down the phone or log out of their emails and forget they need to live a full life to fully be a manager.
Running a team of people can be massively rewarding, letting you join another person’s professional and personal successes, and gives you an opportunity to lead people and grow personally and professionally yourself. By getting some advice and help from the resources around us, and communicating with our team, we can be an effective and efficient manager that people enjoy working for.
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