Managing a team is no cakewalk. Constantly checking in with your team members to ensure they are engaged and satisfied is a huge responsibility. So what is the key to being a strong team leader? Here are six tips to help you enhance your leadership skills and manage your team effectively:
1. Strategically Delegate Jobs
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. As a team leader, you should strategically assign tasks based on each member’s skills and expertise. Through thoughtful task allocation, you can ensure that everyone is working hard towards your team’s overall goals.
In addition to job delegation based on your members’ strengths, teamwork is all about collaboration. Switch it up and assign a project that involves various members of your team. Collaborative projects enable members to bounce ideas off one another, share experience, and help improve each other’s strengths.
If you see specific areas that your employees lack particular skills, offer some help or invest in professional development. Send them to a conference, enroll them in a class like corporate language training, or invite an expert to come present to your team. Investing in your employees will not only let them know you care, it can increase engagement and tenure at your company.
2. Build Positive Work Relationships
People are social creatures—we need friendship and positive interactions just as much as food and water. With that said, it’s no wonder that the better our working relationships are, the more engaged we’re going to be. Your responsibility as a manager is to maintain a positive atmosphere at the workplace, so lead by example. Get to know your direct reports on a personal level, as much as a professional level. That will make them more comfortable coming forward about issues at work or home that are hindering them from completing their best work.
3. Manage Conflicts
Unfortunately, managing a team is not all fun and games. One of the toughest responsibilities for managers is working with opposing viewpoints and resolving conflicts. Turning a deaf ear to any issues may lead to a serious discord in your team, decreasing productivity and effectiveness. By developing your own conflict management strategy, you can address issues right away before they disrupt your team any further.
Develop your own conflict management strategy or follow this guide:
Listen to the perspectives of every participant.
Focus on behavior and events, not on personalities.
Identify points of agreement and disagreement.
Prioritize the areas of conflict.
Develop a plan to find a compromise.
4. Incorporate Team-Building Exercises
Whether it’s playing in a corporate sports league or eating lunch together, team-building exercises are critical to a team’s success. By frequently hosting bonding activities, you’ll be able to build a stronger team and improve overall employee engagement.
5. Adopt a Project Management Software
The perks of using project management software are endless. Not long ago you only had a pencil and a sheet of paper, but now you can adopt a tool that streamlines every part of your daily work routine. There are plenty of apps to save you from organizational woes and help you lead a team effectively like Trello, Zoho, Wrike, Monday, and Smartsheet. All you need to do is define which tool is relevant for your needs and your company's budget.
6. Encourage Peer Feedback
Frequently giving and receiving feedback is crucial to an employee’s success at your company. However, encouraging your team members to exchange feedback with each other is just as important. Whether it’s collecting anonymous surveys or including peer reviews in annual evaluations, 360 feedback will give you a better idea of how your team members are working individually and together.
As you can see, there is no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to managing your team effectively. But at the same time, there is plenty of room for creativity. By using these tips as your groundwork and incorporating your personal management style, you’ll be able to build a successful team.