Being a great team manager is not easy, but even if you’re not a people’s person and left in this difficult role, there are tricks to getting better. In every work environment, a team manager is a crucial aspect of a team’s performance, and therefore a big responsibility. Leading a team is a lot of fun, but only when you’re not overwhelmed by the role itself. Here are some tips for being a great team manager at work.
1. Set the Example
We’ve probably all been there: your manager comes in at noon, spends a lot of time chitchatting by the coffee machine, and leaves at 4PM, while you’re working like a horse. Do you remember how that was so not cool? Being a great team manager comes with being a great example, so don’t stop working once you get that promotion. The rules you apply to your team should also be applied to yourself.
2. Provide a Career Path
There’s nothing worse than having the feeling of being stuck in a position, so providing your team members with a career path can motivate them to keep doing a great job. Schedule individual meetings where you discuss the person’s strengths, and talk about how they can improve on weaknesses and how you can help them. Find out what they want to learn. If you’re able to provide this, you’ll help them move forward in their careers.
3. Show Interest
Business is business, but sometimes it just doesn’t work. There’s nothing wrong with showing interest in your team’s private lives, if they’re willing to share it with you. There’s also nothing wrong with sharing some aspects of your private life. It makes things less corporate and awkward, and going to work is so much more fun once you know whom you’re actually working with.
4. Acknowledge Accomplishments
Did someone do a great job? Speak it out. Tell the person it was a great accomplishment and that she or he did well. Even better, you could bring it up in a team meeting. This way, everyone can see that when you deliver, you’ll be greatly appreciated. There’s nothing worse than team managers who refuse to say “well done.”
5. Encourage and Offer Help
Companies may say they work in teams, but in reality, it’s often as if everyone works for themselves. As a team manager, you can encourage the team spirit by offering help when someone needs it. Additionally, you can encourage your team to help each other. Make them share their knowledge, and make them learn from each other. If one person has difficulties negotiating and the other is great at it, these two people should talk.
6. Team Outings
Some companies provide a budget for annual team outings. If you work for one of these companies, great! But even if your company doesn’t provide a budget, you can propose to plan a happy hour, just to talk to each other outside of the office. Although everyone will have to pay for themselves, it doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
7. Have a Vision
If you don’t have a vision, you don’t know what you want to achieve. If you don’t know what you want to achieve, your team won’t know what to focus on. Please have a vision. More importantly, make sure you communicate your vision to your team. Schedule a meeting, give a short presentation and everyone will be on the same page. Your team results will be so much better.
8. Leave Your Ego at the Door
Yes, you are a team manager, but that doesn’t mean you’re better or wiser in general. No one likes to work for big egos, so leaving your ego at the door is just about the best thing you could do for your career. When you’re wrong, admit it. When you don’t know something, say so and find out. It’s really simple and totally OK to not be perfect.
9. Be Approachable
You don’t want people to be scared to approach you, so being approachable is key. No matter how busy you are, stay polite and friendly, and smile if you can! If someone comes up to you at a bad moment, kindly ask them if it’s OK to discuss it later. Then, make an effort to not forget about it. Also make an effort to reply to emails – they can be so short and sometimes they take less than a minute to write.
A team manager usually has a great set of skills and knowledge of the field. As a manager, you’re the leader, guide and motivator for others. If you’re a pleasant person to work for, you’ll also notice that your team will walk the extra mile, meaning the goals that you’ve set are within reach. Together you can do great things, but it all starts with the leader: you. What makes you a great team manager?