As the workplace continues to evolve and teams become more agile, managers will need to sharpen their game in order to keep up and lead effectively. With new methods of working emerging, leaders will need to find ways to streamline team management practices, implement processes that encourage collaboration, and remain a driving force behind their team’s success.
Old habits must go if we want to keep up with changing times. If you’re a manager who wants to be effective in the year ahead, read on to find out the top seven team management tips for 2022.
Don’t be afraid of change
Change is a constant. It’s the one thing we can count on as an organization. After decades of studying workplace trends, one thing is clear: everything changes. In business, change is a given. When we look at how technology has transformed industries such as media, publishing, and retail, it’s clear that change is not limited to one sector. Change is happening across all industries, at all levels. You may be wondering, “How do I lead my team when everything is changing?” The truth is that a leader who only believes in managing the status quo will struggle to deliver results. Instead, the best managers are flexible and open to new ideas. They see change as an opportunity to learn, grow, and improve—not a threat they need to shut down.
Build a culture of constant learning
If your team members are constantly learning, they are constantly growing. If your team members are constantly growing, they are constantly succeeding. In other words, one of the best ways to improve team performance is to create a culture of learning. A key part of this is helping your employees find ways to continuously improve their skills. A survey of more than 3,000 leaders found that they are struggling to get employees to develop the skills they need to do their job well. In fact, a whopping 84% of managers reported being “somewhat or extremely concerned” about employees lacking the skills they need to do their job well.
Make transparency part of your team process
Transparency is more than just having an open-door policy and being accessible to your employees. It’s about being open about the entire team process. If you are more transparent about how you make decisions, assign tasks to your team members, how you evaluate performance, and how you approach key projects, you’ll create a safe environment for your team members to speak up—and your employees will feel more empowered to do their best work. To be more transparent, focus on building a culture of open communication. This can include holding regular team meetings, setting team goals, and making it a priority to answer questions as they come up.
Focus on measurable outcomes
What gets measured gets managed. This age-old adage applies to team project management as much as anything else. In order to be effective, managers need to have a clear understanding of what they expect their team members to deliver and when. To have this clarity, you’ll need to conduct regular one-on-one meetings with your team members. During these meetings, you should be asking what members need from you, how they can do their best work, and what they expect to achieve over a certain period. You can also use a management tool, such as an OKR chart, to keep team members focused on key projects and outcomes.
Leverage collaboration and automation tools
Heycollab project management
Managers are often expected to drive results, mentor team members, and lead their employees. But many of the most common tools for managing employees—such as Excel formulas, spreadsheets, and traditional project management software—are designed for individuals, not teams. These tools don’t encourage collaboration and can create silos within your organization. And when employees don’t have the right remote team tools to collaborate and share information with one another, productivity suffers. Fortunately, today’s workplace offers many collaboration and automation tools that can help you manage your team more effectively. You can use tools such as Zoom, Google Docs, Asana, and Slack to make sure all team members are informed and engaged. You can then use collaboration tools to move projects forward and make sure your team is always working on what matters most.
Be transparent with performance reviews
One of the main ways for managers to hold themselves accountable is through regular performance reviews. Unfortunately, many managers struggle with how to go about conducting a performance review. Not only do they find it difficult to keep up with how employees are performing, but they also find it challenging to communicate that information in a productive way. That’s why transparency is key when it comes to performance reviews. You want to make sure you’re being honest and transparent with your team members. You want to make sure that your employees understand how they’re doing and where they can improve. And you want to make sure that you’re not holding anything back from your employees. After all, what’s the point of holding someone accountable for their performance if they don’t know what they need to improve?
Use technology to create a virtual office environment
Manage your team in Heycollab
Advanced project management software can help you with this goal. We won’t go into the various options available today but suffice to say there are many tools out there to help you keep your team focused, organized, and transparent. A good project management system allows you to assign visibility and access to team members, along with displaying various tasks for particular projects. Instead of distributing these items on an individual basis, the system enables you to create a virtual “war room”.
Team members can clearly see their role in a project and know exactly what their responsibilities are. More importantly, the rest of the team will know it too. Everyone can see everyone’s progress. When the proverbial “to-do” list is public, everyone wants to make sure those boxes get checked fast. In this scenario, everyone is more likely to produce quality work.