Managing a team for the first time could bring up conflicting ideas and thoughts in your mind. Establishing an authority over a new set of employees could be tough. Building a healthy professional relationship with your team, along with earning their trust and respect, takes time. You need to take things slow, proceed strategically and shouldn’t rush to achieve goals. Getting the employees work together towards a common goal isn’t easy and involves myriad of challenging situations. Let’s have a look at some effective strategies for managing a new team that could help you develop a collaborative and productive team and establish yourself as a successful leader.
- Know Your Team Members
The first step towards building an efficient team is to know your team members. This can be done by holding meetings and team-building activities. For virtual teams, you can have online conferences or calls with employees. While managing a new team learn about their aspirations, issues and priorities, and discuss their team experiences and work dynamics to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your team. This would help you bond with your new team and formulate effective leadership approaches.
2. Clarify Your Vision & Goals
Set ambitious and achievable goals for your team. Communicate your vision and expectations about how you expect your team to work and achieve goals. Setting clear goals would help your team in better decision making and in performing tasks efficiently. This also helps in laying the foundation for holding the team members accountable. If you are inheriting an already existing team that’s working on a set goal, it’s always good to redefine the goals. This could help you in rethinking strategies and reorganizing roles.
3. Encourage Open Communication
Encourage open communication in your team where the team members can freely discuss their ideas, thoughts and issues with their leader or among themselves. Opinion of every team member matters regardless of his or her position because it leads to idea generation and collaboration. The role of a team leader doesn’t end with getting the tasks done. Managing a new team also involves taking care of professional development of your team members.
4. Encourage Feedback
Provide constructive feedbacks to your employees to make them understand your expectations. Personalize the way you provide feedback by determining how the employees prefer to receive it. It’s also important to encourage the team members to provide their own feedback to understand the issues they are facing, their motivating factors and what changes need to be incorporated in your management style. Instead of only directing your team on how to work, take up the role a mentor or a coach that encourages them to do better and grow professionally.
5. Solve Issues Along with Team
Being a new team leader you may notice issues and complications in your team that hinder the performance of your team. It’s important to identify and acknowledge such issues and work along with your team to solve them. You can also take suggestions and guidance from your team members on solving problems. Take responsibility and work actively to make the operations smooth and solve issues that your team confronts.
6. Formulate a Training and Development Plan
Being a manager you need to understand the needs of your team and ensure that all the team members have everything they need to achieve success. This not only involves providing material resources to your team but also empowering them with advanced skills and knowledge. This calls for developing an effective training and development plan. You can mandate undergoing specific training or certifications. Also make sure that you are listening to each team member and working on their requirements and needs. Help your team members take advantage of your training and development plan for achieving professional growth.
7. Celebrate Accomplishments
To keep the team’s motivation on celebrate the milestones achieved. Organize a team lunch, or a team outing or send a department wide appreciation email to mark the success of your team. Such activities boost the morale of your team members and encourage them to do better. In addition to feedbacks, it’s also important to acknowledge the hard-work and success of the employees. This is a great way of earning the trust and respect of your team.
8. Reward the Good Performers
Recognize good performances and reward them in appropriate ways. If you do not hold the authority to give monetary incentives or a pay hike, go for a verbal praise before the team or the whole department. Appreciate the achievements of your employees and boost their confidence. Avoid playing the blame game. If you spot a problem or performance issues find out ways to fix them and offer effective solutions. Instead of adopting the role of just a leader for managing a new team, try to be friendly, approachable and motivating.
Building a team, maintaining its energy and constantly motivating it to work better and towards a common goal require a streamlined strategy. Managing a new team is often challenging but if you know the right strategies, it could be highly rewarding too.