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No one intentionally sets out to be a bad manager. That being said, we all know that some managers are better than others, and the performance of their teams and businesses are what set them apart.
Effective team management is an essential part of the day-to-day workflow that all businesses strive to achieve and perfect. Unfortunately, building a strong team management program is often easier said than done.
But, don’t worry, we’re here to help. And the fact that you’re looking for resources to improve your team management skills is proof that you’re on the right track. In this article, we discuss some of the best tips to help you make your team management efforts more successful.
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Team management is a business’s ability to coordinate both team and individual employee activities toward a common goal so that tasks get done on time and as smoothly as possible.
More specifically, team management comes down to a manager’s ability to organize and optimize the employees under their charge.
The skills necessary to do this are the same skills that make a manager good at their job. And, fortunately, these skills are not out of reach even if you haven’t mastered them just yet. With a little effort, anyone can learn them.
However you choose to categorize your team management efforts — as a business responsibility, a manager responsibility, or both — implementing such a program is essential for your continued success.
Cultivating strong employee/employer relationships is the foundation of all your team management efforts.
When you take the time to get to know your employees, you create a sense of family that brings everyone together and motivates them to give their best at all times.
And this process starts before your employees are even hired. Your relationship with your employees begins the moment you read their application for the job.
From there, you’re always building a better, stronger relationship. This will help foster loyalty to your business, as well as improve your employee retention.
The results of building these relationships include improved employee loyalty, streamlined conflict resolution, and numerous other variables that can affect your business for the better.
Whether your business has three employees or 300, effective team management depends on a clear and understandable chain of oversight.
We recommend creating your own hierarchy of oversight and publishing it in your employee handbook. That way, if an employee needs to get approval for something, they know who to go to first and don’t have to ask around to find out.
Once you establish your hierarchy of oversight, keep it as static as possible. If responsibilities are constantly changing and shifting from one manager to another, it’s very easy for employees to get confused about whom they should approach with certain issues.
For tips on creating an effective hierarchy of responsibility, check out this article from our blog: What Is An Organizational Chart And Why Does Your Business Need One?
Setting performance expectations early on is an efficient way to make your team management more effective.
These expectations may apply to an employee’s specific tasks, or they may apply to an employee’s day-to-day behavior within the large scale of your business.
Either way, both contribute to the smooth operation of your team in the short term and the long term.
For complete coverage and accessibility, it’s useful to set your business’s performance expectations down in writing and print them for all to see in your employee handbook.
In many ways, consequences and rewards are the driving force behind all the activity in your business. Without consequences and rewards, very little would get done the way you need it to.
To improve the overall process of team management, take the time to clearly identify the benefits of a job well done and the ramifications of a job done poorly.
Even if the consequences and rewards are a matter of common knowledge, it is useful to print the guidelines in your employee handbook so that all team members have access to the information whenever they need it.
It’s also beneficial to sit down with your team, both as a group and individually, to review the rewards and consequences for good and bad behavior (and good and bad work) so that there is no room for misunderstanding.
Your team won’t know if what they’re doing is working well unless you provide them with plenty of feedback.
Don’t be afraid to highlight both successes and failures in your feedback until every member of your team is performing to your business’s high standards.
Want to improve your employee feedback? Take a few minutes to read this article from the Sling blog: Employee Feedback: Why It’s Important And How To Give It.
Effective team management is intimately intertwined with company culture. How so?
Culture is what distinguishes your business from all others, and the framework in which your employees operate. Your organization’s culture is passed down from management (i.e., you), and it’s the way your employees will feel about the business they’re working for.
If they don’t feel comfortable working within that framework, they’ll be far less likely to conduct themselves, and complete their responsibilities, in a professional manner.
It takes a conscious effort to sustain a positive culture, and if you aren’t actively cultivating it, the culture you end up with may not be the one you want.
Take the time to meet with each team member one-on-one and actively listen to what they have to say about the project, their role in it, and the business as a whole.
After they’re finished, it’s your turn to communicate ways they can improve their own responsibilities and the overall success of the team.
We’re past the days of writing schedules out by hand and calling employees every week to let them know when to show up. Whether your business has one shift or three, Sling can help simplify the schedule-creation process.
This form of scheduling is easier on you, and smoother for your employees, too. They may not tell you, but they’re probably tired of hunting down their schedules or waiting for you to call.
When it comes to effective team management, organizing, assigning, and executing tasks (a.k.a. task management) is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak.
Task management is the process of taking both small and large jobs through to their completion in order to keep a project or the business as a whole running smoothly.
This often involves such activities as:
If one of those variables is out of whack, the entire team management process can suffer. That’s why it’s so important to make task management a priority in your business.
Time tracking is one of the most difficult and complicated processes that most businesses contend with.
One of the main reasons for this is because employees often forget to clock in or clock out, and, if they do remember, they may clock in too early or out too late. That can seriously affect your payroll for the worse.
Making the time tracking process easier to perform and simpler to maintain can prevent a number of major issues that can detract from your efforts to improve team management.
You can, however, avoid all that (or at least control it) by incorporating top-of-the-line team management software into your workflow.
Cloud-based suites, like Sling, allow employees to clock in and out of their shifts right from their very own mobile devices. If they’re running late or they forget to clock in, you’ll receive a notification so you can deal with it in a timely manner.
The best way to improve team management is with software specifically designed to provide structure and direction to your employees. The right tools will make your job easier, give you time back in your day, and better your chances of retaining employees.
Take your team management to the next level by downloading the Sling app for free today.