5 Tips For Leading Your Team Effectively
If you are running your own business and have now got a team working alongside you, it does open you up to a whole new world. Along with all of the business acumen and specialist knowledge that you have needed to get this far, you now need to become a great boss. It is a challenge, but it is one that we are happy to help you with today. Here are our 5 tips for leading your team effectively.
Get the basics right
The first thing that you must do is to get the basics right for your team. This involves making sure that they are comfortable in their workplace every day.
Spend some time ensuring that every person has a risk assessment carried out on their workstations and that you have covered health and safety regulations with everyone.
Think about the work environment itself. Take a look around and make sure that everywhere is clean, as light and bright as you can make it and at the right temperature. You can add extra touches such as pot plants and bright colors to lift people’s moods.
There should be a breakout area provided for breaks and lunchtime, and make sure that there is always fresh water and ideally a hot drinks selection.
You might put a clothing policy in place or provide a uniform, and in either case, make sure that everyone can reach those standards and feels comfortable doing so.
You can set up recurring payments to ensure that everyone receives their salaries on time, without having to remember to process them separately. However much they love working for you, the key to their continued satisfaction at work will always lie in getting paid.
In order for your team to be able to carry out their roles effectively, you need to communicate openly with them on a consistent basis. They need to feel involved in the business’ goals, vision and targets so that they can play their part in helping you to meet them.
Keep the lines of communication open by operating an open door policy and spending as much time as is reasonable working alongside your team.
Make it a habit to hold daily meetings before everyone starts work each day. Just a few minutes each morning updating everyone on the plans for the day ahead, sharing any news, and giving people an opportunity to share any positive feedback is a great way to set everyone up for the day.
Hold team meetings giving everyone the chance to offer up suggestions and then take the time to have individual sessions with each member of your team. This gives you the chance to support and develop them, shape their goals and it is a time for them to speak with you about any help they might need or obstacles that they are facing.
Train and coach consistently
As soon as you have hired a new team member, they should have a training plan put into place for them. This need not be an onerous task, it can be as brief or as detailed as you want it to be, but is should cover off their initial training requirements.
After they have been given the training needed for them to start carrying out their job, you should seek to provide on the job coaching with them to reassure them that they are getting it right or to offer guidance around things they might need to do differently.
Training should not be seen as something that only new employees require. There will be new policies, plans and equipment from time to time, and as such, your whole team will need further training.
The most experienced of team members will still benefit from your coaching and support, even if just to reassure them that they are doing things as you want them to.
Look for opportunities to praise and reward
You should always be looking for opportunities to praise your team, either as a group or as individuals.
Assuming that everyone has their basic needs met, the training and coaching required to do their jobs, and are clear on what you expect from them each day, you can keep them motivated through praise and reward.
Most people thrive on doing a good job and being recognised for doing so. How that recognition needs to look will vary from team to team and person to person, so you need to work out how best to do this. Some people would love acknowledgement in a team meeting and a playful trophy, whilst others would much prefer a quiet ‘well done and thank you’.
Do make the effort to get this one right as some people might abhor the limelight and instead of motivating, you could end up inadvertently demotivating them.
Whenever your team gets some great customer feedback, meets a deadline or achieves something together, celebrate with them. Tell them, thank them and treat them.
Manage individuals fairly
This one can be challenging, but it is absolutely essential when you are leading a team. You need to ensure that every individual in your team is managed fairly and held accountable for their actions and work.
Just as you seek to recognize and reward, you need to notice if someone is not playing their part or carrying out their job effectively. It is only fair on the rest of your team that that individual is held accountable for their actions.
To do this, spend time talking it through with them in order to raise your concerns and to give them the chance to explain what is happening. You can then agree a plan moving forwards, including the changes that you need to see and the support that you will provide.
From time to time, you will see the signs that it is time to let someone go, whether you spot it in their own behavior or through receiving customer complaints. If you have done all that you can to support them and they are failing to improve, it is only fair on the rest of your team that you let them go and hire someone to replace them that will deliver for you.
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