Working hard and establishing a career comes with many challenges for professionals. But despite all of those challenges, many professionals find that the real work begins when it’s time to hire a team. It’s one thing to put in long hours crafting project proposals and writing business plans, but it’s quite another to put a team in place and take full responsibility for their activities.
Good team management is being part coach and part disciplinarian. You must be able to provide direction on a daily basis without negatively affecting the performance of the team. It’s a difficult balancing act even for the most experienced manager. Here are a few tips to help you be the type of leader who gets results.
The smaller the company, the more difficult this process will be. A good manager creates a line of personal separation between him or herself and the team, but if you’ve just hired your first employee, this line will be tough to enforce. You’ll spend your days working side by side with only each other as a sounding board. It can be tempting to vent about frustrating clients or discuss your personal issues with those early employees, but doing so can make it much tougher when it’s time to shift into boss mode.
Emphasize the “Why”
Some supervisors take a, “Because I said so” approach to delegating and justifying work. That approach, however, can lower employee engagement, which is crucial to performance. When businesses ensure that goals are aligned from the top down, meaning that employees have a clear understanding of why they are doing their jobs, then they are more likely to work toward those goals than if they’re merely “flying blind.”
Instead of simply issuing orders and waiting for them to be followed, managers should ensure employees understand how each task relates to the company’s overall mission.
Micromanagement kills morale in an organization, leading an employee to feel as though his supervisor doesn’t trust him or her to get the work done. It can be very difficult for a boss to assign work, then step back and let the employee take it from there, but it’s important to let go. Put good employees in place, and focus on the end result of each piece of work, not the steps the employee takes to get there.
Clearly Outline Expectations
From the time an employee is hired, he or she should fully understand his or her role and duties within the organization. Ideally, this information should be put in writing in the form of a formal job description. This document will serve as a reference point during the ensuing months, giving you written documentation that the employee was informed of these responsibilities from the start. It will also give the employee something to reference as the need arises.
One common worker complaint is that employers don’t seem to recognize the hard work they’re doing on a daily basis. To create the most positive company culture possible, you should regularly take the opportunity to show employees you appreciate their hard work. This could be something as simple as taking everyone to lunch or bringing pizza in for a big meeting. This is especially important if your employees have done something remarkable, like having worked overtime to help a big project reach a successful completion.
Great managers and leaders aren’t born with the built-in skill sets necessary to succeed. They often learn them over time through trial and error. By following the advice of the many successful leaders who have come before, new managers can create a positive work environment and lead their teams to success.