When the excitement of the promotion wears off, we are faced with the fact that we now have a team to manage and no clue what to do with them. We may know from our past experiences what kind of manager we don’t want to become. However, in most cases, our career training may include little to no training on effective management skills. So what do you do when you’re faced with the challenge of managing a team with little to no experience in team management experience or knowledge? Here are six basic tips that will help you build and maintain a healthy team of loyal, trusting members.
1. Set Boundaries
Two very common ideas among new managers are (1) if you are “friendly” with your team members, they will respect you more, and (2) if your team fears you, they will respect you. These are both myths that can be damaging to your career. In developing your relationships with your team, be very mindful keep it professional. Your aim is not to be their buddy, nor is it to be a dictator. Set boundaries and adhere to them.
2. Set Expectations
Set clear expectations. Let your team know what you need, when you need it, and what you want it look like. Do this for everything that concerns you; from processes and reports to dress codes and internet use. If you have the attitude of “I don’t care as long as the job is done”, that is what you will get — a job done with no care. Always remember when your team is performing poorly or unethically, it is you that will be held responsible.
3. Hold Weekly Meetings
Weekly meetings are a necessity when managing teams. The meetings keep everyone on the same page. They allow you and your team to share your experiences, voice concerns, and offer opinions and suggestions. Most importantly they help you build a relationship with your team and within your team.
4. Set Goals and Incentives
Setting small, achievable, and measurable goals helps in creating a sense of achievement. It also creates ownership and responsibility amongst the team members. Offering valuable incentives for exceeding goals creates healthy competition while lessening the stress reaching goals.
5. Share the Wealth
If you gain knowledge of something that can or will affect your team, share that information with them. If you receive an award or recognition for your department’s success, share that success with your team. (After all, you couldn’t have done it without them!) If you receive reprimanding for your team’s poor performance, share that, too! Of course, do not share information that jeopardizes your management role or violates the code of management ethics that is established within your organization.
6. Thank Them
Thank your team and thank them often. I’ve found that “thank you” is the most powerful, action-driving phrase you can utter in business. You may never know just how much a simple “thank you” means to some members on your team.
Wrap-Up: Of course these tips are not all inclusive, but they will definitely help you along the way towards management success.