10 Effective Team Management Skills

Skills and techniques are easier to teach, but values, beliefs, and attitudes are much harder to teach - and harder for managers to learn. And precisely, these are the inner qualities that will most make managers successful - or not.

Small and medium businesses are the salt and pepper of most economies worldwide, meaning many small, mighty teams work individually and together daily. The dynamics and boundaries in the teams with few members are very different from large, corporate teams.

Managing a team can sometimes be tricky, and the manager's role isn't always smooth sailing on calm seas. The ability to successfully manage a small group of people within an organization is highly dependent on the team leader's capacity to understand the various tenets of team leadership. A team leader's ability to lead the team members successfully depends on various personal and professional factors and experience.

Every manager has a favorite within the team: it's human to connect better with people of similar values or those who can stroke our ego. A leader must walk that fine line between thinking (I want to be buddies with that person) and do (setting an example for the entire team).

Leadership is like beauty: hard to define, but you recognize it when you see it. Managers and how they manage their reporting staff members set the tone for the entire business operation. Managers are the front-line representation of your business. Remember that you, as the business owner, are promoting or selecting managers to manage people.

In a people-oriented, forward-looking organization, you will want to interview and select managers who:

  • Value people
  • Believe in two-way, frequent effective communication and listening
  • Want to create an environment in which employees are motivated and empowered to take charge of their jobs
  • Able to hold people accountable and responsible without using punitive measures
  • Demonstrate leadership skills and the ability to set a clear direction
  • Believe in teamwork.

What is team management?

Team management is the ability of the manager to coordinate a group of people to perform their tasks and achieve a common goal.

Team management involves activities such as supporting, communicating, motivating, setting goals, and reviewing work to help team members finalize their tasks. or achieve the team objectives.

If you want to be successful at managing the team, you need to have the right skills and apply the right techniques to achieve the expected results.


Team management importance

Successful team management has a wide number of benefits regardless if we work with a small or a large team. Let's recap the key reasons why you should aim for effective team management:

  1. Systemize how your team members work
  2. Handle difficult projects more easier
  3. Improve engagement across the workforce
  4. Boost employee happiness 
  5. Reduce turnover 
  6. Boost collaboration and communication
  7. Promote alignment among coworkers 
  8. Outline clear roles and responsibilities.


What is a good team manager?

We all have good managers and bad ones. The differences are extremely clear when we experience them; however, may be more difficult to explain them. You should aim your managers to act as a leader and avoid bossy attitude. The image below presents clearly the differences between these traits and focus on the one that are aligned with your company culture and values.

Some of the competencies best team managers get these 3 aspects right are the following:

  • Set responsibilities, delegate work, and motivate peers
  • Organize regular 1-on-1 to provide constructive feedback, coach, and remove bottlenecks
  • Focus on setting and achieving team goals.

In the following lines, we will expand into the strategies for effective team management in the workplace.


Key team management tips

Find below the top ten tips on how to manage a small team like the best leaders:

  1. Hire the right people
  2. Establish the team’s achievable goals and mission
  3. Maintain open communication
  4. Nurture positive vibes in your team
  5. Delegate responsibilities in a balanced manner
  6. Discuss teamwork and resolve team issues
  7. Provide constructive feedback and publicly reward the worthy ones
  8. Do your part and more
  9. Master conflict management
  10. Be enthusiastic, and celebrate wins.

Let's go into detail about each one of them, understand why these steps are important, and how to implement them into your own team.


1. Hire the right people

Finding the right team members for your team can be difficult and time-consuming, but it's crucial to your team and project productivity. When hiring persons, you should evaluate the potential candidates' competencies in terms of professional qualifications and skills. The hiring details help match particular potential candidates to the team's specific tasks or positions, ensuring they are competently composed. The team should also be balanced along critical lines such as gender, professional qualifications, age, and skill sets, among other team dynamics and diversity elements. Please get to know them one-on-one to learn more about their talents, skills, and strengths.

And when you have found the right people, don't forget to follow the onboarding process. Ensuring that the new hire has a great start within your business, is a huge factor when considering the employee retention rates.


2. Establish the team's achievable goals and mission

Every team member should know the clear, concise, and articulated goals daily. Otherwise, they will miss deadlines, forget tasks, or feel their work is in vain. If you want your team to work together, then give them something to work for together. Set goals as a team and discuss individual goals with each person to confirm you are all on the same page.

According to a Hypercontext survey, 37% of managers think that keeping the team on track to meet goals is the most crucial aspect of their job.

“Rowing harder doesn’t help if the boat is headed in the wrong direction.” — Kenichi Ohmae

There is no doubt that daily goals are important, but your team must also reach and achieve a long-term pursuit. Open up a discussion for your team members to provide insight or suggestions on this matter. Use this feedback to set a team mission for all of you to work toward every day.


3. Maintain open communication

Employees want to be kept in the loop about ongoing projects, goals, and deadlines, so you must communicate well with them and inform them about the organization's goings-on. Maintaining communication channels wide open is vital to the success of any project. Communication is the most critical aspect of teamwork as it defines the capacity and ability of all team members to channel crucial information to one another. Good communication ensures that each team member is allocated tasks that are effectively done and relayed back to the necessary team authorities. Good teamwork communication allows your project to run smoothly and avoid responsibility to overlap or deadlines being missed.

If you're looking to improve internal communications, consider the following ideas:

  • Invest in team-building activities
  • Use online tools for communication instead of meetings. Examples include: Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Chat. 
  • Establish a regular process: ie weekly 1 on 1 meetings
  • Encourage dialogue, and sharing of ideas from anyone.

4. Nurture positive vibes in your team

Your job as the team manager is to uphold a positive vibe in your office space and promote a positive work environment by providing compliments and recognition when someone excels in their position.

As a manager, you are the soul and spirit of your team daily. Everybody in your team should feel appreciated for all their hard work, and it is your job to ensure they have that sense of accomplishment. Motivate your group with short pep talks or one-on-one encouragement sessions to boost your employees' morale.

When you need some inspiration to boost the spirit within the team, discover a selection of 101+ motivational quotes for your employees.


5. Delegate responsibilities in a balanced manner

It's easy for tasks and responsibilities to fall by the wayside when multiple people work on the same project. Part of why it is vital that you, as a team leader, establish a relationship with your team and get to know them individually so you can assess their strengths. People perform better and are more engaged in roles where they feel they are employing their best skills, so delegating proper functions that suit each will significantly impact the team's productivity. A balanced delegation of tasks, in such a case, ensures that the team members can competently deliver without compromising on deadline and quality.

Continue reading about the key tips and how to delegate tasks effectively.


6. Discuss teamwork and resolve team issues

Great leaders actively listen, build accountability, ask questions, and discuss teamwork. Accountability is essential to maintaining an effective work environment, which is why you should hold performance reviews whenever possible, at least once per year. During these meetings, you must address each one's contributions to the team.

Teams can disagree on specific issues from time to time, and they don't always work themselves out, so there may be times when you need to step in and help those involved find a solution or reach a compromise.


7. Provide constructive feedback and publicly reward the worthy ones

When a team member does something exceptional, reward them - with a bonus, a small trophy, or even just a vocal recognition in front of the group. Such practices make the intended recipient feel good and show the rest of the team that hard work is rewarded. Sincere praise provides motivation and drive for the entire team. The only caution goes back to rule one: be consistent in your rewards so you won't be seen as playing favorites.

Don't be one of these bosses who only give feedback when you've got something to criticize! Providing your staff with positive feedback will help build their confidence and encourage them to get more involved in the future, so you must acknowledge their achievements and the effort they are putting in. The more people you have actively participating in discussions and attempting to improve the organization, the better.

Don't forget about the teamwork quotes. They can bring some extra joy and inspiration.


8. Do your part and more

Team management isn't about pointing a finger and merely giving others instructions to do all the work. Your staff will look to you for guidance and inspiration, so you should set a good example to gain their respect. When deadlines draw near or the workload is falling behind, be readily available to jump in and help however needed. If you expect them to behave professionally and commit to their work, you must do so yourself. Make sure that you are doing your job, continuing to develop your career, and supporting your team in doing so too. Strive to be your ideal perfect worker.

50% of employees quit their boss, not their Job - Gallup study

Read on: The vital strategies to be a top performer people manager.


9. Master conflict management

Bringing different personalities to work together in a team is challenging, and conflicts may arise from time to time. Turning a blind eye could lead to a negative atmosphere, which could affect staff productivity, and communication among the team may suffer. When an issue arises, you must manage conflict straight away before it builds aiming to find a resolution. To maintain a suitable and friendly working environment free of any tension, one should organize team buildings  or virtual activities that help bond team members together as a team.

In his exceptional book The five dysfunctions of a team, bestselling author Patrick Lencioni highlights five main areas where stellar management is required to ensure cohesive teams: trust, conflict, commitment, accountability, and results.


10. Be enthusiastic, celebrate wins

Good managers know that a good mood is contagious to those around them. There will be times when the work is overbearing or challenging. Find ways to maintain a positive attitude within your group. You should be ready and available to reward hard work whenever your team's goals and missions are achieved or surpassed. Schedule a team party or find ways to honor your team individually as a triumph over their goals.


In case you need more examples, we share 30 inspirational employee appreciation ideas, so that the employees feel better recognized.


Team management is an art that requires competent knowledge of how to manage different talents while bringing them together successfully. As a successful team manager, one should understand the team dynamics right from start to finish. In this regard, a well-composed team would be easy to manage by delegating responsibilities following the team members' competencies. 

At LeaveBoard, we offer tools to help with vacation scheduling, tracking and management. We offer a online attendance calendar where you can see when your team-members are out of office, and help with planning the upcoming work. And since each employee has an account, and the system has a lot of automation, productivity goes up, and so the job satisfaction.

A well-managed team should achieve its obligations, responsibilities, and goals within a specified duration of time. A team's success depends on how professional, knowledgeable, and compelling a team manager is.

 

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