Published on Friday, August 26, 2016
In a role as a team leader, you have to find ways to let your team be the best they can be, both individually and as a group. You’ll get the best outcomes that way, the most successful projects and a more engaged, happy and stress-free workforce. All good things that you should want for your staff. So how do you get there?
Here are 5 tips to help your team do their best work, every day.
1. Step Back
Don’t micromanage your project team. They are (or should be) the experts in their job and how it contributes to the project. It’s not your job to tell them how to do their job, although you can of course provide the right kind of guidance if they need it.
Everyone has a preferred working style and in a leadership role you’ll have to get used to working with people who have different styles to your own. That can be hard if you aren’t used to team work and it is very tempting to step in and insist that a task is done in a particular way (especially if you used to do their job and used to do the task in a particular way).
Step back. Work on the basis that if what they are turning in is good enough, that’s good enough. Even if they arrived there in a different way to how you would have done it.
2. Share The Bigger Picture
Your leading the team but they’ll do their best work if they know where you are leading them. Use all the tools at your disposal to help them see the bigger picture. iMindQ, a mindmapping tool, is great at breaking down key concepts into simple diagrams that help teams see where their projects fit in the organization and what the major goals are.
Most people feel that they can make more of a contribution if they know what they are contributing too. By understanding the business justification for the project, the business case, the objectives and how it all aligns to the strategic goals, you’ll be helping them see where they fit in the company and the bigger picture.
3. Set A Great Example
You want your team to be reliable? Be reliable yourself. You want your team to respond to emails in 24 hours? Always get back to them in that time.
If you struggle to adopt these behaviours then create some systems that will help you model them. For example, create calendar alerts before meetings so that you are never late. Block out time in your diary to do your reports on time so that they see you are hitting reporting deadlines every week.
Model the behaviour that you want to see from your team members and set a great example for them. That goes in all areas of your project: the processes you want them to follow, the attitudes that you want them to show and the flexibility and openness that you want to see from them.
4. Give Them The Tools They Need
Your team can only be great if they have the tools they need to do their jobs. That could be anything from the software they need for giving a great presentation, to an intern to help manage some of the aspects of their job that they don’t have time for.
It might also be things that aren’t traditional resources like arranging them to have access to the project management software tools from home so they can work from there. Or training in a particular system that they could use to make their role a little bit easier.
with your team to uncover their needs. Ask where they are struggling and what would make their lives easier. You may not have the authority to provide it, but in many cases you’ll know how to put forward the justification to get it if it is not within your power to organize in the first instance.
5. Thank Them
This one is easy! Your team will be far more engaged and able to do great work if they feel appreciated. It doesn’t cost anything to say thank you and it’s simple to do in person, on the phone or even on email.
It barely takes any time at all. Once you remember to do it, saying thanks is a great strategy for building the confidence of your team and showing that you appreciate their efforts. You know your team members are paid to be there but they still choose to bring their best self (or to not bring it).
Make your thank yous timely, by aligning them to when someone has completed a task, stayed late or helped out in some way. Or even just at the end of the working week when you let people know you appreciate their efforts this week.
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