If you’ve spent any time managing employees in the past, you likely already suspect that teamwork helps improve the workflow.
But research has now proven just that. One recent study found that employees who worked as a team kept at a task 64 percent longer than those who worked alone.
Unfortunately, managing a team of individuals and getting them to work well together isn’t always easy. To help different personalities connect, employees feel content in their positions, and your entire employee machine performs cohesively, you need a few smart strategies.
Keep reading to learn 8 tips for achieving effective team management.
1. Set Clear Goals
No matter the type of business you have, setting goals for your employees in one way or another is a must.
People like to feel as though their work matters. When you have many different employees performing routine tasks, it can be easy to feel as though one employee’s work doesn’t have a big effect on the success of the company.
By setting clear, attainable goals, you’ll give your team something to work towards and help them see that their work really does matter to you.
2. Ask for Feedback
Employees who feel as though their opinions are valued are more likely to feel committed to their employer.
To make sure that no employee ever feels as though they are unimportant to you, keep a line of communication open. Let your team know that they can come to you, either in person or even anonymously, about any issues they may have.
When you do receive feedback, do your best to address it. If you can, try to make changes, or else explain in detail why you can’t make changes, that reflect that feedback. Even if you can’t follow the feedback completely, letting your employee know that you care enough to consider it will go a long way.
3. Establish Accountability
No matter how well your team gets along, if one person isn’t pulling his or her weight, resentment will destroy any trust you’ve established.
Establishing a system for holding your team accountable is important.
Not only will this allow you to see that everyone is working when they are supposed to be, but it will also help other members of your team feel as though everyone is held to the same standards.
There are several ways to hold your team accountable. You could set short deadlines for small amounts of work, and set consequences if those deadlines are repeatedly missed.
You could also use a time tracking tool, like the Time Clock Wizard, to check in on each team member’s hours worked.
4. Manage Conflict Immediately
Nothing destroys teamwork faster than unresolved conflict. Unfortunately, your employees are bound to argue or disagree from time to time.
Addressing each conflict, no matter how big or small, as soon as it happens will help you minimize the effect it will have. The longer a conflict goes unresolved, the more animosity your employees will feel towards one another.
It’s also important to learn how to resolve conflict correctly. If you don’t, you’ll likely end up putting a patch on a still-smoldering issue. After a time, the issue will bubble to the surface all over again.
5. Be Human
As the owner or even upper management within a company, employees are unlikely to view you as an equal. In terms of maintaining control, this isn’t always a bad thing. You do want your employees to respect you.
At the same time, showing your employees that you are human and that you make mistakes, get upset, and sometimes don’t know what you’re doing, isn’t a bad idea either.
Being open with your employees about your own struggles will help them feel as though you can relate to them. It will also help them relax more in the workplace, as they won’t be as worried about the consequences if they do make a mistake.
6. Host Team-Building Activities
When your employees are working well together, they’ll get more done, faster. They’ll also be more satisfied with their work and their position at your company.
With the demands of a busy workplace, it can be tough to build teamwork from the inside out. That’s why it’s a good idea to get out of the office from time to time in order to participate in team-building activities.
These activities don’t have to be complex. Take your team to an escape game, a rock-climbing facility, or anywhere else that allows them to work together while also having some fun.
7. Offer Development Opportunities
Keeping your employees learning is not only great for your business, but also a good way to keep them from feeling stagnant in their current position.
Offering career development opportunities, like workshops, conferences, and classes, will help bring your team together while also giving each individual a chance to learn and grow.
8. Keep it Casual-Sometimes
Just as being open about your own mistakes and struggles will help your employees connect with you, being casual with your team will also help them feel as though they can come to you with questions and concerns.
This doesn’t mean that you need to be casual all the time.
But having a laid-back conversation with an employee about their weekend plans, the kids, or other things going on in their lives shows that you care about their well-being.
Achieving Effective Team Management
Achieving effective team management doesn’t have to be a challenge. By being open with your employees, managing conflict, setting goals, and encouraging development, you can help your employees feel appreciated and teach them how to work better together.
Once you’ve built your dream team and they’re working together seamlessly, the last thing you want to do is lose one of them.
Even with your awesome remaining employees, any time the dynamic of your team changes, there are bound to be changed in their work as well.
Check out these tips next to learn how to improve your employee retention and keep your awesome team together longer.