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6 Things a management team needs to do

6 Things a management team needs to do

Establish Team Goals or Objectives

To establish team goals or objectives, it is important that they are aligned with the company’s broader mission or the specific needs of the department. For example, the goal of a technology company that has decided to release a new software product might be to complete the software prototype by Q2, having specific checks at each phase of development. In this case, the goal would be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound . Following the decision of the goal itself, strategies to achieve it should be developed.

Develop Strategies to Achieve Goals

Strategies are the foundation of goal achievement and should provide an answer to how the general objective determined earlier should be accomplished. For example, a sales team that was given a goal to increase the revenue of the company by 20% in the next fiscal year might develop strategies to accomplish it, such as increasing the size of the sales force, introducing performance bonuses, and entering new geographical markets. Importantly, each strategy should have a determined timeline and team members responsible for its accomplishment. And of course, it is difficult to overestimate the importance of evidence-based strategies that would be most likely to lead to the goal’s achievement.

Monitoring and Making Adjustments

After the goals have been set and the strategies for their accomplishment have been developed, it is essential to monitor their accomplishment. Perhaps the most efficient way to do it in the example of a customer service team that was given a goal to reduce call response time by 30 seconds in 3 months would be weekly review sessions. On such occasions, the call system data would be analyzed, and the team would establish the main points of failure and strategies for their improvement. The necessity of weekly review sessions is also presupposed by the perceived importance of real-time data to make necessary accomodations to the overall strategy.

Fostering Team Collaboration and Communication

Of course, communication is the key to success in any team; there is also a range of strategies to ensure it. A small project team, for example, would be likely to benefit from a daily stand-up meeting in which every participant would voice one’s assignment and mention the main blocker the person is facing. They might also use Slack or Microsoft Teams channels for instant messaging. These strategies are particularly important considering the fact that such a team might be rapidly losing its momentum due to the adverse effects of remote work.

Supervise, Train or Advise Team Members

Ensuring successful and productive management is a complex task that requires being aware of the team’s performance and helping staff members to work even better. Although multiple metrics can be designed to reach this goal, supervision, training, and advising are still the most effective tools that can be used. They help people to gain a better understanding of their work and performance.

Implementing Regular Supervision Sessions

Regular supervision sessions should become a part of each employee’s routine. They can be used by a team of customer support managers, for instance. Once every two weeks, customer support team leaders may meet with their supervisors and discuss the impact of their work through handling time reduction and customer satisfaction rate to help them identify the most effective solutions for particular cases. One-on-one meetings help each person realize strengths and weaknesses.

Developing and Executing Targeted Training Programs

Training programs should be developed and executed regularly to meet the demands of a particular team and the necessity of upgrading some of the skills. A team of software developers will receive some benefit from quarterly workshops on the most effective types of programming that can save time and increase effectiveness. Moreover, the development of a specialized, month-long program with shadowing experienced developers and participation in real-time projects can be very effective. To measure success, assessment tests may be developed.

Advising Employees through Mentoring

Mentor is not a person who can advise and direct; it is also a teacher. A successful advising strategy involves mentoring, or it means further development of a relationship between two co-workers of different levels. The case of the mentoring relationship is needed when it is necessary to share career development information, help solve problems, and acquire some new skills. Thus, mentoring will be an essential part of the advising process in the marketing department where two marketers cooperate and the first one leads a successful advertising campaign.

Mediate Interpersonal Conflicts

Effective management implies the ability to resolve interpersonal conflicts between team members quickly and efficiently. Not only does this keep the work environment harmonious, but it also guarantees that no one’s productivity is hampered.

Discover and manage conflicts as soon as possible

In terms of conflicts, latent ones are as bad as direct clashes. For example, the manager notices that the same two people of his department are vehemently arguing about the expedience of this or that method of decision-making in a project during all the last meetings. This means that he needs to do something about it . The best solution is to call them to his office and discuss the situation in detail. The main thing is that no one has yet taken the humiliation of other people as a principle.

Make communication as open as possible

The first way to resolve a conflict is for team members to freely voice their concerns. A good option is to hold special feedback sessions halfway through the week. There, any person who wants to say something can do it. In addition, here you can try “round-robin,” when each member must talk about one pleasant and one unpleasant moment in the work of a team.

Try mediation techniques

If the conflict is still in place, it is time to start using typical mediation methods . For example, during a meeting, people cannot interrupt each other. Each member makes his or her remarks, after which the mediator retells the most important parts of the statements. Finally, the best solution is teamwork – to try to solve the problem together.

Develop conflict solutions policies

It is also necessary to establish a clear policy aimed to form a technology of conflict resolution. For example, it should say that after two unsuccessful final conversations, each team member applies to a neutral mediator present in a meeting. An HR specialist may take the role of a mediator.

Motivate and Inspire Team Members

Motivation is the hallmark of all successful teams, and a team leader should work to inspire members of the team towards achieving their goals. Motivation often leads to an increase in morale or productivity, job satisfaction and team cohesion. To inspire members of the team leaders, therefore, implement the use of the following strategies.

Establish Clear, Time-bound and Achievable Goals

Goals provide the team with the right direction. As such, it is motivating to challenge a sales team to see how they can improve sales by 15% from the next quarter. Divide this target among the weeks of the quarter and almost every average team member is likely to feel motivated. Remember continuous goals may also prove successful.

Recognize or Reward Subordinate Contributions

Subordinates are likely to be seen performing their favourably or towards achievement of the team’s target. Once this goal it has been achieved, timely and meaningful recognition is very motivating. Additionally, it is motivating to acknowledge a subordinate’s input in public. The introduction of a qualified mechanism to reward those who reach the target could also motivate them. For example, upon achieving the sales target, awarding one a bonus or a substantive gift card may be seen as a motivating factor to the team members.

Create Positive Team or Company Culture

The leaders can motivate the team workers through encouraging participation in company activities or management programs. These programs should not only create fun but encourage social contacts, communication and interactions. This can be done by monthly team-building meeting or monthly solving-problems-practical workshops within an employee’s work area.

Provide Opportunities for Continued Career Education

Manage teams who provide or arrange opportunities for teams to update their competences or train employees in unrelated matters, such as leadership, management, communication or other interpersonal skills. For example, one can work with a similar budget for all team members with the addition of a development program that can work at a seminar or go online to complete the program every employee will have in for one year fully paid.

Help Employees Grow

Supporting employee growth, whether it be through specialization or general career development, is one of the most important tasks that organizations face. Managers who help their team members master new skills can observe increased engagement, productivity, and loyalty. Here are some tips on how this can be achieved effectively.

Conduct regular, thorough performance reviews

Performance reviews are one of the main tools in the arsenal of a manager who seeks to help their employees grow professionally. Although traditionally, they are associated with salary discussions, performance reviews where job performance and future goals are discussed in detail can become a source of new insights for both the employee and the employer . For example, during a performance review, a manager can discuss with an employee their achievements on the latest project, their strengths, what should be improved, and what area the employee sees as a future focus. Remember that the best discussions are two-way, respect the perspectives of both parties, and care about the outcomes that are important for the employee.

Create a plan for growth specific to each employee

Following the outcomes of the performance review, a growth plan should be designated for each employee. Such a plan may include particular professional training, participation in specific projects, or shadowing activities. In this context, consider an employee working for a tech company who wants to switch to project management and shows off their potential in this area on the current project team. If they are actively participating in the processes and getting great results, they could be instructed to shadow a senior project manager and sent to a certified course in project management.

Offer various opportunities for skills enhancement

Managers should ensure that employees have multiple opportunities to learn and enhance their skill sets. This could be achieved through formal training, workshops, or offering participation in small cross-departmental projects. For example, if there is a graphic designer in the company with five years of experience, they could be proposed to attend a user experience design course in order to make their contribution to bigger projects complete.

Remote Team Management

Managing a remote team is challenging and requires a special approach compared to a traditional office environment. In order to effectively lead a team in remote settings, it is necessary to make thoughtful use of technology, focus on communication, and build trust. In this type of working environment, the most common challenges include the difficulty getting help, getting overlooked, difficulty managing contractors or freelancers, or missing out on team banter .

The primary guidelines to managing a remote team are:

  • Establish clear communication channels. Ask employees to communicate via Slack, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or similar tools every day. You should make sure the selected tools fit the needs of the team, and everyone received training on how to use them. For instance, a remote team of developers could keep in touch with each other through Slack, and the Project manager could update the team tasks on Trello, while the team conducts collaborative coding and version control on GitHub.

  • Set and track clear goals. This will allow employees to remain focused since what gets measured gets managed. Project management tools like Asana, Jira, or Trello could be used to set tasks, assign deadlines, and track milestones. The remote project manager, for example, could set up weekly tasks to achieve on Trello, so their team members can update their progress in real-time and feel a sense of achievement and clarity.

  • Regular virtual check-ins. Ideally, these should be face-to-face meetings; however, it is a good idea to have a mix of individual and team meetings. Therefore, organise weekly video calls to discuss project status, address any concerns, and celebrate successes. For instance, a team leader might ask for a zoom meeting that takes place every Monday to set up the agenda for the week and every Friday to wrap up the week on what was achieved and what needs to be done.

  • Promote a strong team culture. Since it is hard to bond remotely, one should make use of regular remote team building activities, such as online gaming, happy hours, or remote lunch. This can add a new dimension to team-building activities, helping to build rapport. For example, a remote marketing could meet once a month in virtual settings and watch an online movie together, then they could also eat lunch and discuss how they perceived the movie afterward.

  • Support the team in a time of flexibility and work-life balance. Even though remote work presents the opportunity to work with more flexibility, it can sometimes create work-life balance issues. Therefore, setting ‘no meeting’ time blocks for employees or ‘no meeting’ days could help employees to leverage focused time . Lastly, managers need to remember about their own behavior and lead by example by giving their team regular time off and vacation.

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