How to Improve Your Team Management Skills?
You have recently been appointed team leader at work and you don’t know how you will manage your new role. You think that you’re in too deep and cannot lead a group of individuals you barely know or former close associates.
This anxiety is common among many people given the task to lead fellow colleagues to achieve organisation goals. You may not have the proper team management skills but you can learn and apply as you settle in your new role or polish up on the techniques if you have been a manager for some time now.
Team Management Tools and Techniques to Improve Your Team Management Skills Include:
- Delegation– You are now the head of a team so you don’t have to do all the work yourself. Delegate various tasks to your team members this will help get the work done faster. Assign tasks according to each member’s capabilities. Don’t assign the IT guy the job to look into budget figures, that is best suited for the accountant in the team. At the onset of the formation of the team as the leader you should learn about the skill sets and expertise of each member so that you can delegate appropriately. A good tool to use to match team objectives and skill is a team charter. This outlines the reason for the team formed and how it will conduct its work. This tool is also crucial as it can be used to bring back the team on track if it goes off course.
- Motivation– As the team manager the people in your group look up to you for direction and motivation. So, you need to project a positive attitude which in turn will rub off on the team making them believe they can accomplish the task set out for them. Most teams are formed with people who have the necessary skills to achieve the task and all they need is affirmations, encouragement and a reminder that you believe they can do the job. People have different needs when it comes to motivation, some are highly motivated while others need managerial input to perform at their best.
- Communicate -This is the most crucial skill you need to have as a team leader. As a team manager you need to be able to communicate clearly to team members so that there is clear understanding of what is expected. You have to know how to run effective meetings and brainstorming sessions. Being an active listener is also a must. The key to a productive team is proper communication. You can find several tools to use for proper team management communication on the internet such as Google Hangout which allows for face to face communication among members working remotely. You could also use Slack for proper flow of communication. Slack makes it easy for file sharing, direct messaging or group messaging within the team. Slack also enables you to put all information need by the group to operate in one place for easy access for all.
- Development-Team members are most likely at different stages in their career and have different skill levels. As team leader you have a role to help members develop their talents and careers further. To do this you should assign them tasks that are challenging and offer regular feedback on how they can improve their skills. How good you are at developing others will determine your own success as a team leader. If you can help members become better others will want to work under you. To help members develop you could collaborate with them during different assignment. A tool you could use to check your teams work and help them improve is google docs. Through Google drive you can store large files and collaborate on documents with each of your team members.
- Manage Discipline– This is an area many team managers would love to avoid. But every so often you will have to reprimand one of your team members. If you don’t ensure they is discipline within the team you may not be able to achieve desire. Discipline issues could include lack of respect among team members, lack of punctuality etc. When discipline issues arise as the team manager, take time to gather information on the issue, once you have the information about the issues decide how you going to handle it and finally act. If you let an indiscipline case go unhanded other members may resent the indiscipline person and also resent you for not taking action.
Once you move from worker to managing a team you have to build or develop your skills to effectively lead. Make use of the available tools and techniques to lead your team to success, and while at it make sure you avoid mistakes some new managers make such as using your new found authority to intimidate. People skills will be the most crucial in your role ensure you are good at it!