5 Tips for Taking your Team Management to the Next Level

Have you ever looked around your conference room (or virtual conference room!) and felt like your team should be achieving more? Do your team members have the raw talent to succeed, but there’s just something holding them back from growing your business to its full potential?

It’s happened to the best of us. Team management is a challenge that can cause many small business owners headaches. From playing to your team members’ best strengths to making sure morale is high, managing your team successfully is no easy task.

We totally get it. It’s a difficult job, but we have 5 tried and true team management techniques that you can use to push your team and your overall business to the next level. Don’t fear the dreaded team dysfunction anymore. Try out some of these tips and tricks today to not only empower, but also inspire your team so that you can start seeing the results you’re looking for.

Technique #1: Hire the Right People for Specific Roles

The best thing you can do as a manager is hire the right people for specific jobs and skills. When someone’s skill set is not tailored to a specific job, the entire team can be detrimentally affected, causing the productiveness and effectiveness of the team to decrease. By waiting for the right person and not just any person, your team will have a better chance of succeeding. Plus, when you play to someone’s strengths and put them in a role that suits their skill set, you’re enabling your team to be more effective, which will inspire your team to continue to develop their own skills.

Pro Tip: Rather than hiring and training someone straight away to take on all of the tasks and projects you’ll need accomplished, consider trying out a potential hire on a short term contract or, in the case of hiring a subcontractor, on a single small project. You’ll be able to get a sense of how they work, their results, and how they fit in with the team before pulling the trigger on a larger commitment.

Technique #2: Maintain Good Communication

One of the most important traits of any team is a high level of open communication. You want your team to stay in the loop on new projects, new clients, and new goals for your business so that they can effectively manage their own tasks and projects with the big picture in mind. When your team feels like they’re involved in the company, they become invested in your success and there’s nothing better than a whole team of people pushing for your business to succeed!

If you work virtually, consider using a great chat system like Slack, and a great project management system like Teamwork. Having the right tools in place will make it easier to stay in touch.

Pro Tip: Implement an “Open Door Policy” where team members can approach you with anything from suggestions and new ideas to requests for feedback or questions.

Technique #3: Express your Appreciation

As Ken Blanchard said, “Catch someone doing something right.” Never underestimate the power of a High-5… even if it’s virtual! Giving credit when it’s due can be a huge work motivator and can help form a bond between you, your team member, and your entire business. You might not be in the habit of praising people or expressing your gratitude, but practice makes perfect! Remember to acknowledge great work and take the time to verbalize how much you appreciate your team members on a regular basis.

Technique #4: Build your Company Culture

Your company’s culture is crucial to the success and overall happiness of your team. It’s your job as team manager to encourage your staff to find a healthy work/life balance so you can prevent burn out. Work can be stressful, we all realize that truth, but it doesn’t have to overtake your life or your team members’ lives. Research shows that when workers have a healthy balance of work and play, they’re more motivated and show better results than people who are just focused on their paycheque. By building a company culture that encourages positive boundaries of work and play, you’re building your company brand from the inside out—your team is your brand.

Pro Tip: If location allows for it, try setting up a lunch outing or an afternoon happy hour for your team as a reward when a big project is completed. They’ll not only appreciate your kind gesture, but it will also give them time to get to know each other better in a more relaxed environment.

Technique #5: Map Goals and Steer your Vision

If you haven’t done so already, mapping out goals for your team and making sure everyone is on the same page can be very helpful to the overall success of your team and ultimately your company. When individuals all share a common end goal, they can better achieve that objective collectively by mapping out the tasks and subtasks that will help them reach the finish line.

Steering the team on an ongoing basis is also important. Check in with your team members often (but don’t micro-manage) to make sure everyone is on the right path towards success and accomplishment. If your company’s goals are in the forefront of your team members’ minds and everyone is working toward the same goal, it makes it much easier to succeed.

BONUS Technique #6: Encourage Open, Fluid Communication

Having an open door policy is great but encouraging your team to communicate ideas and questions directly to one another is even better. Eliminate barriers by breaking “chains” of communication. Don’t force your team members to move information up a chain; allow them to go directly to the party(ies) they need to speak to. This will promote healthy communication, encourage good ideas to blossom, and allow you to pivot faster when needed.

Taking your team management to the next level is not easy but if you take the time to hire the right people, communicate your vision and goals clearly, trust them to do what needs to be done, and work hard and stay consistent, you’re sure to be managing your team like a pro in no time.

If you find you still need help managing your projects and team, an Online Business Manager or high-level Virtual Assistant maybe the perfect fit for your company. Contact us today for more information on how we could help!

Meet your host

Sandra Booker, Founder of Changemaker Inc. (home to Sidekick COO and The VA Studio) and creator of Scale Society and The Advisory Board, is a mentor, Fractional COO  and growth strategist. She specializes in helping overworked, overwhelmed, multi-hatted entrepreneurs become the CEOs of sustainably scalable, and powerfully profitable businesses. 

After helping local businesses thrive, and receiving accolades in her community (like the 40 Under 40 award) Sandra turned her attention to the world of online service providers, and her clients include familiar names like Chanti Zak, Tarzan Kay, and Laura Belgray.

In her (efficiently used) spare time, she teaches others how to build and grow their own 6-figure virtual assistant practices and is on a mission to create a million jobs by helping her clients and students scale their businesses.

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