How to get the Most Out of a Managed Team

Gimena Aguerreberry
April 11, 2021

Being a manager isn’t easy, part of your job is to lead, inspire and motivate your team so they can achieve a set of goals for the company and for themselves.

Not everyone is easy to work with, and while you can effectively manage your employees, making them work efficiently as a team to achieve a common goal is no small feat.

Efficiency means a level of performance that uses the lowest amount of inputs to create the greatest amount of outputs. An effective manager should know each member of the team and understand what drives them to be better, to help them overcome productivity falls and reach their full potential.

In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to get the most out of a managed team.

Set Goals

We all have some talents, it’s your job as a manager to know those talents and keep them in mind while allocating tasks to your team.

Knowing your employees' skill-set is the backbone of a productive team.

People perform better and are more engaged in roles where they feel they are employing their best skills, so delegating tasks that suit each will improve your team's productivity.

Managers should develop goals that are SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, results-oriented, and time-bound). Doing so inspires commitment and allows individuals a sense of ownership in achieving their goals.

Build Trust

People work best when they are given an environment where they are allowed to do things ‘their way’. Most employees tend to lose interest as soon as they are being micromanaged.

Employees trust managers when they believe them to be competent, honest, and reliable.

A recent study found that one in three employees don’t trust their employer, while another study by EY found that number to be even lower: only 46% of people had trust in their organization and only 49% in their boss/team.

These statistics are shocking as without trust, employees are more likely to be disengaged and - in the worst-case scenario - this might even result in a toxic work environment. This is not something you want to happen, and it certainly won’t support developing an effective feedback culture.

Your employees must believe in you and each other. When they don’t, communication, teamwork, and performance inevitably suffer.

Praise Good Work

Most people want to be acknowledged for their efforts. We all need to feel that our contributions are valued.

A public act of appreciation, in front of the whole team, can work wonders to inspire others to do their best. This promotes a healthy work culture in an organization and leads to higher performance.

A study of employee engagement showed that personal recognition is the number one driver of employee performance — more than pay, promotions, inspiring work, training, or autonomy.

When delivered well, and well-deserved, praise gives people the drive and motivation to continue doing the kind of work you want to see.

The power of workplace praise is more than anecdotal. Gallup found that giving praise has a profound impact on a company’s bottom line and its retention. Employees who report that they’re not adequately recognized at work are three times more likely to say they’ll quit in the next year.

Make Meetings More Productive

Meetings shouldn’t be a waste of time, they should only be held if you need to discuss things that a phone call or face-to-face discussion won’t help you settle.

To make your meetings productive, make sure that only the necessary employees are invited. There’s no need to make every team member attend a meeting if it doesn’t involve them.

Keep the meeting as short and concise as possible, a meeting shouldn’t last more than half an hour.

Give each other Feedback

Performance reviews and constructive feedback are essential in boosting team productivity. Getting to know about the areas of opportunities motivates people to make some changes in the way they work.

It's common for managers to rate and review their employees, but great managers want feedback to flow both ways, to make sure their employee surveys not only look at organizational culture as a whole but management effectiveness, too.

When you provide your staff with positive feedback, you’re helping them to build their confidence and encouraging them to get more involved in the future. But you also need a culture of open dialogue that can make collaboration easy.

John Baldoni, a leadership consultant, and author of Lead Your Boss: The Subtle Art of Managing Up says that leadership is all about perception; if leaders do not know how they are perceived, their performance will suffer.

While certain aspects of manager effectiveness apply across most companies, true insights come from identifying those that best align with your organization’s mission, culture, customer needs, and strategic goals.

"How to get the Most Out of a Managed Team" by Gimena Aguerreberry is licensed under CC BY SA. Source code examples are licensed under MIT.

Photo by Javier Allegue Barros.

Categorized under people & culture.

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