How to be a good manager and lead efficient teams

How to be a good manager and lead efficient teams

If you are managing one or more virtual teams, you are not alone. The Workforce 2020 survey claimed that 83 percent of executives plan to increase use of consultants or intermittent employees over the next three years.

Virtual teams can be a challenge to manage because one needs to create a corporate culture remotely. Here are 10 strategies to successfully build a virtual team that can be implemented instantly.

1. Define work systems.

Different people have different ways of going about tasks. Setting standards can shorten the time needed to achieve the desired result. By setting standards and defining repeatable work systems, the team has generally less questions and gets a feeling for how long certain tasks should take. These work systems need to be both standardized to allow for maximum effectiveness and tailored to allow the necessary freedom to complete the task at the best of one’s ability.

2. Establish multiple communication tools.

The benefits of establishing multiple communication tools is two-fold. First of all, your team has a way to communicate something that is urgent to the right person immediately. Secondly, it unifies processes such as what to use for conference calls, screen recordings, and so on. It is clear what tool is used for what, which contributes to creating that internal feeling of togetherness.

3. Schedule regular meetings.

Scheduling briefings at the same time on the same weekday contributes to creating a routine. Routines provide the team with something they are used to and familiar with. That in return puts the team at ease and reduces stress. Video calls are one of the best ways to maximize efficiency because they recreate the routine office feeling remote teams are missing out on.

4. Have clear and detailed deliverables.

Simply telling somebody to do something is usually not the popular way to go about managing teams. Micro-managing isn’t either which is why some managers avoid giving instructions with too many details.

Based on my experience, it is better to provide more detailed descriptions of the tasks with examples of what the final result should look like. Give the team the freedom to execute it than less instructions and having to deal with potential misunderstandings.

5. Make sure work hours overlap.

Regardless of what time zones your team members are in, it is recommendable to have at least three to four hours a day where most of the team is online at the same time. Even if some of the team members are unlikely to need each other to complete their tasks, being online at the same time brings the team closer together and is the quickest problem solving solution there is.

6. Create a professional work environment.

Professional attire and a distraction-free work environment are part of any corporate culture. Additionally, setting professional standards contributes to being efficient and puts people in the right mindset.

7. Choose (video) calls over chatting and emails.

With Skype and email being available at everyone’s fingertips, it is tempting to chat and send a quick email whenever there is something to discuss. This can easily lead to misunderstandings. With virtual teams, video calls or at least regular calls are more than a way to avoid misunderstandings. They connect the team members on a more personal level.

8. Find the right people to work with.

Not everyone is cut out for remote work and not everyone fits the team personality-wise. There are quite a few professional personality tests out there, and they can be a great way to determine whether someone is the right fit is still to ask yourself whether you are sure about that person or not. If you are not, it is usually best to move on to the next candidate. Additionally, double checking all references is a must to make sure you know as much as possible what you are getting yourself into.

9. Establish a meritocratic system.

Meritocracy — or the process of rewarding and recognizing people based on their skills — stimulates people to work harder and better. Make sure to set up reward systems to keep your team motivated and to better pinpoint the team members that can take on more responsibility.

10. Use project management tools.

Project management tools can be ideal to keep track of deadlines. They also send alerts and reminders for deadlines and give you a quick daily, weekly or monthly overview of what needs to be done, by who, and when. Things like Google Docs can still be a great addition and the same is valid for time tracking applications.

How to be a good manager and lead efficient teams

Free Book Preview: Unstoppable

Even if your job title doesn’t include “manager,” there’s a good chance you’ll have to handle some management duty sometime in your career. And, as an entrepreneur, you’re already a manager, because almost every one of your responsibilities has some management element to it.

In short, your employees are the ones making your vision a reality, and your job is to make sure they do it efficiently.

But being an effective manager is about more than just driving your employees to work harder — or more efficiently. Forcing employees to work a certain way can breed resentment, even disloyalty, while being too soft can lead to bad habits, laziness or boredom. There’s no “right” management style, as each employee and company is going to have an individual perspective.

But there are some universally “wrong” ways to manage. Avoid them by following these 10 “golden” rules of effective management:

1. Be consistent.

This is the first rule because it applies to most of the others. Before your management approach can be effective, it must be consistent. You must reward the same behaviors every time they appear, discourage the same behaviors when they appear and treat every member of your team with an equal, level-headed view.

2. Focus on clarity, accuracy and thoroughness in communication.

How you communicate to your team can dictate your eventual success. When relaying instructions, recapping meetings or just doling out company updates, strive for the clarity, accuracy and thoroughness of your communication. This goes for any other medium, whether that means in-person communication, email or a phone call. Clarity, accuracy and thoroughness are the best way to avoid miscommunication and keep your team on the same page.

3. Set the goal of working as a team.

If you want your team members to work together, have them work for something together. Setting goals just for the department or one individual breeds a limited mentality and forces team members to remain isolated. Instead, give staffers a unified focus and purpose, to inspire them together.

4. Publicly reward and recognize hard work.

When a member of your team does something exceptional, reward him/her — with a bonus, a small trophy or even just a vocal recognition. Do this in front of the group; it will make the intended recipient feel good and show the rest of the team that hard work is rewarded. The only caveat goes back to rule one: Be consistent in your rewards so you won’t be seen as playing favorites.

5. Be the example.

As the manager and leader, you should set an example in terms of your behavior. If you show up late, your team will be less punctual. If you lose your temper easily, others will be amiss in keeping their emotions in check. Strive to be your own ideal of the perfect worker, especially in front of the team.

6. Never go with ‘one-size-fits-all.’

Your team is comprised of individuals with unique preferences, strengths, weaknesses and ideas. Never use the exact same approach to motivate, encourage or mold all of them. Focus on individuals, and customize your approach to fit each one.

7. Remain as transparent as possible.

Transparency shows your integrity as a leader, and builds trust with the individual members of your team. If you lie about something, or withhold information, you could jeopardize your relationships and the respect you command as a leader.

8. Encourage all opinions and ideas.

The more people you have actively participating in discussions and attempting to make improvements to the organization, the better. Never chastise a team member for voicing an opinion respectfully — even if it goes against your original vision or isn’t well thought out. Cutting someone down for voicing an opinion builds resentment, and discourages people from sharing their own new thoughts.

9. Help people enjoy work.

You don’t need a pool table or dress code abolition to make work fun. You can make the workday more enjoyable with such new elements as surprise lunch outings, a dedicated break room or even just casual conversations with your workers. Help your people enjoy coming to work, and they’ll do their best work for you.

10. Listen and ask questions.

If someone doesn’t agree with your management style or doesn’t like the direction of the company, don’t silence that person. Listen. And ask questions of your entire team: What do you think of this? How do you feel about that? This open dialogue makes it easier to proactively identify problems and work together to create a mutually beneficial environment. It will also make your employees feel appreciated and acknowledged.

As you’ll notice, these rules leave plenty of wiggle room to apply your own personal “brand” of leadership and management. They stand as fundamental truths, considerations and principles that govern an effective management role rather than a strict instruction manual to success. Stay true to these principles in addition to your own, and you’ll unify your team in a rewarding and enriching environment.

We expect to lead and be led. In the absence of orders I will take charge, lead my teammates and accomplish the mission. I lead by example in all situations. – Navy SEAL Creed

Most great leaders have a passion for building and leading an elite team. Who wants to lead a team based on mediocrity and moderation anyway? That would be a direct negative reflection on who? The leadership. But leading elite teams takes persistence and a consistent pursuit of personal and professional development. Constant personal reflection and taking action based on regular feedback.

I try to constantly study the art of leadership and have drawn many comparisons from my time in the Navy SEAL teams to my experiences as an entrepreneur leading a growing company. Here are five tips for leading an elite team.

Create an environment of leadership. At all levels. When you consider the caliber of team members you find in the military your first inclination might be to wonder how they recruit and develop such selflessness. Such an attitude of service and loyalty to the person to your right and left. But with further consideration, one will realize that it is more about the environment and culture that creates these attitudes and makes them a reality.

Elite teams have leaders at all levels. There are many successful organizations out there where the most senior leaders are absolutely not leaders. They are authorities. And because they are authorities, people do what they say. But those people would never truly follow them. And then there are people at the very bottom of the totem pole that are true leaders. Emergent leaders that take charge in the absence of orders and inspire those around them.

Make the team feel safe. Management and leadership are different disciplines.You cannot manage a team into combat. They must be led. It is hard to think that anyone would feel safe in a combat situation. It is all about trust and loyalty. When you trust the leadership and the team members to your right, left and rear, you have an overwhelming sense of comfort. When bullets start flying, politics go out the window. You are fighting to protect your teammates and nothing more.

Imagine if everyone on your team embodied this kind of philosophy? What an unwavering sense of loyalty that would create, and therefore a distinct competitive advantage over your competition. This starts at the top by senior leaders staying calm under pressure, communicating effectively, providing resources and removing obstacles. When the team feels safe and supported, they will do everything in their power to execute their responsibilities and go above and beyond to help achieve company goals.

Actively manage through adaptive change. This is critical in combat as in business. All businesses experience change, especially growing businesses in dynamic industries. Great leaders know when it’s time for change, even if it means reinventing your business. This can be a scary thing for the team and often things get worse before they get better.

Change management requires a few key things from the leadership. First, you need to communicate what the change is and why it is necessary for the company to continue to be successful. Second, you need to ensure that each team member regardless of rank or position understands how this change impacts them and what is required of them for productive implementation. Third, you need to make the team aware of what the leadership is doing in order to provide support and resources during the transitional period of change. And fourth, over communicate consistently during this time and get feedback. In the SEAL teams we say “pass the word.” Simply put, this means tell me what the hell is going on. Make sure to tell your team what the hell is going on.

Be a servant to your team. I recently finished reading Steven Pressfield’s historical fiction ‘The Afghan Campaign’ about Alexander the Great’s invasion of the Afghan kingdoms in 330 B.C. And Alexander, in all his ambition and arrogance, was at heart, the epitome of a true servant leader. He led from the front affording himself no additional comforts that his men didn’t have during their brutal trek through the Hindu Kush Mountains.

Great leaders embrace the concept of servant leadership asking nothing of their team they haven’t already done or aren’t willing to do themselves. And while you can’t always be in the trenches side-by-side with your team members, making a conscious effort to do so periodically goes a long way. Then, when you’re out there steering the ship they know you still care intimately about their specific roles in achieving the company’s vision.

Always eat last. Traditionally, in the military the officers eat last at chow time. This is a simple but impactful gesture of leadership. When you sacrifice for your team, they will sacrifice for you. It is the team that must execute on a daily basis and therefore it is imperative they have the resources to do so, even before you do.

Earlier I referenced the book ‘The Afghan Campaign.” When Alexander was leading forced marches through treacherous and unforgiving mountain conditions, eventually the food ran out. He could have easily had a personal supply train providing him with food and all the comforts of home, but he didn’t. When his men didn’t eat, neither did he. Yet he still projected strength and positivity despite seemingly impossible odds.

These five elements of leadership are not easy to execute on a consistent basis. It requires a daily focus and attention. Asking yourself, with each move and decision you make, am I being the best possible leader I can right now? If not, adjust accordingly.

How to be a good manager and lead efficient teams

Learn how to deliver an efficient communication

Structure your objectives and express them with clarity with this guide.

The skills you need to lead are not the same skills you needed in your role as an expert contributor. Management is a job in and of itself, and to master this role (just like you did your last one), you’ll need a new set of management skills in your toolbelt. Really, it’s a fine balance between mastering your interpersonal skills and learning the technical skill required in your new role. You’ve landed in the right place to learn exactly what hard skills and soft skills you need to hone in on to lead successfully.

Improve these management skills:

  • 1. Clear and effective communication
  • 2. Time management and prioritization
  • 3. Relationship and team-dynamic building
  • 4. Strengths-based coaching and delegation
  • 5. Problem solving and solution orientedness
  • 6. Delivering and receiving constructive feedback
  • 7. Emotional Intelligence and soft skills

7 management skills to lead successfully

1. Clear and effective communication

To be a successful team leader, first, be a successful communicator. As a manager, this means being clear and being human. The more clearly you can get your point across, the greater the chances are your team will follow your vision and be able to succeed in their own roles.

Scenarios where effective communication is pertinent:

  1. When delivering important and impactful news like a change in strategy, failure to reach objectives, or someone leaving the team. Are you giving enough visibility behind why the decision was made and how it affects them?
  2. When communicating your expectations of each employee. If someone delivered these same expectations to you, would you find them clear?
  3. When explaining team and employee goals and objectives in a way that is motivating.
    Are your words motivating and encouraging when discussing goals?

2. Time management and prioritization

Being involved in your team’s high-level time-management without micromanaging is a key skill of effective management. Your team’s capacity to be productive is essential for their overall performance. Your high-level strategic thinking should help guide how they make choices and decide on the initiatives they chose to work on.

How to help your team manage their time and prioritize projects:

1. Question their ways of working, tools, and processes: Are they the most efficient and relevant to their needs?

2. Help them reflect on any outside requests they take on from other teams: What’s at stake when they do and how can you help them learn to say no?

3. Lead the prioritization of their tasks based on the business objectives: Encourage them to reflect on their choice of project or tactic based on the goals they need to reach.

3. Relationships and team-dynamic building

More than anything, being a manager is about nurturing positive, trusting relationships. You’ll get the best out of your team when they work well together, feel comfortable having difficult conversations, and enjoy the time they spend with their peers.

Here’s how to ensure you keep relationships a top priority:

1. Understand how your team feels about their trust levels with you and their colleagues using anonymous feedback tools like Officevibe. You can actually get tangible data on how employees feel working with their peers and with you.

2. Before collaborating successfully, take time to learn about one another and how everyone likes to work, what motivates them, triggers them, what needs they have, etc.

🛠 We built a tool to facilitate this team collaboration discussion in our manager toolbox.

3. Prioritize getting to know your employees during more informal 1-on-1s in addition to your performance-based sessions. Learn about their lives and interests beyond work, and share yours too. The more you can humanize yourself as a manager, the more successful you will be able to lead.

4. Strengths-based coaching and delegation

Becoming a great manager means becoming an orchestrator for your team. You’re there to ensure things get done, not do them yourself. Your job is to help employees shine by understanding their development goals and letting them work on tasks that develop their strengths. But…

34% of Officevibe respondents do not agree that their organization makes proper use of their strengths.

Tip: To understand your employees’ strengths, communicate with them often to learn when they feel best at work. Ask questions like “What project did you feel most proud of and why?”

5. Problem-solving and solution-orientedness

It’s inevitable that you and your team will face challenges and difficulties. Time spent looking for who’s at fault or dwelling on the issue is time that is not spent on promoting learning or finding solutions.

Management is in part about being confident in your decision-making skills, critical thinking, and problem-solving techniques, but more so about coaching your team to hone in on these same leadership skills.

Tip: Instead of giving the answer, ask questions that challenge assumptions to help employees find the root of the problem. For example, “Why did you use this method?” or “How did you come to that conclusion?

6. Delivering and receiving constructive feedback

Giving and accepting constructive feedback is one of the most important skills a manager can build. When employees see they see that they can apply the feedback that helps them grow in their career, constructive criticism becomes widely appreciated.

Feedback tips for managers:

1. Don’t wait: Give feedback in a timely manner so employees can start improving right away.

2. Be specific: Avoid generalisms when giving constructive feedback (check out our latest post on giving tough feedback while working remotely)

3. Ask for feedback too: This helps level the playing field and allows you to improve in your role as well. Officevibe lets managers collect constant feedback from employees.

7. Emotional Intelligence and soft skills

Managers of the modern workforce need to prioritize their ability to connect with people beyond numbers and goals. Developing your Emotional Intelligence will help you build trust with your employees and really understand what motivates them. People management skills require that you really understand people.

The process of developing your Emotional Intelligence and people skills in part means learning to manage your emotions in high-stakes situations and getting to know yourself better too. Having the ability to identify your own biases and be aware of your emotional triggers will help you become a better leader.

How to be a good manager and lead efficient teams

Learn how to deliver an efficient communication

Structure your objectives and express them with clarity with this guide.

The skills you need to lead are not the same skills you needed in your role as an expert contributor. Management is a job in and of itself, and to master this role (just like you did your last one), you’ll need a new set of management skills in your toolbelt. Really, it’s a fine balance between mastering your interpersonal skills and learning the technical skill required in your new role. You’ve landed in the right place to learn exactly what hard skills and soft skills you need to hone in on to lead successfully.

Improve these management skills:

  • 1. Clear and effective communication
  • 2. Time management and prioritization
  • 3. Relationship and team-dynamic building
  • 4. Strengths-based coaching and delegation
  • 5. Problem solving and solution orientedness
  • 6. Delivering and receiving constructive feedback
  • 7. Emotional Intelligence and soft skills

7 management skills to lead successfully

1. Clear and effective communication

To be a successful team leader, first, be a successful communicator. As a manager, this means being clear and being human. The more clearly you can get your point across, the greater the chances are your team will follow your vision and be able to succeed in their own roles.

Scenarios where effective communication is pertinent:

  1. When delivering important and impactful news like a change in strategy, failure to reach objectives, or someone leaving the team. Are you giving enough visibility behind why the decision was made and how it affects them?
  2. When communicating your expectations of each employee. If someone delivered these same expectations to you, would you find them clear?
  3. When explaining team and employee goals and objectives in a way that is motivating.
    Are your words motivating and encouraging when discussing goals?

2. Time management and prioritization

Being involved in your team’s high-level time-management without micromanaging is a key skill of effective management. Your team’s capacity to be productive is essential for their overall performance. Your high-level strategic thinking should help guide how they make choices and decide on the initiatives they chose to work on.

How to help your team manage their time and prioritize projects:

1. Question their ways of working, tools, and processes: Are they the most efficient and relevant to their needs?

2. Help them reflect on any outside requests they take on from other teams: What’s at stake when they do and how can you help them learn to say no?

3. Lead the prioritization of their tasks based on the business objectives: Encourage them to reflect on their choice of project or tactic based on the goals they need to reach.

3. Relationships and team-dynamic building

More than anything, being a manager is about nurturing positive, trusting relationships. You’ll get the best out of your team when they work well together, feel comfortable having difficult conversations, and enjoy the time they spend with their peers.

Here’s how to ensure you keep relationships a top priority:

1. Understand how your team feels about their trust levels with you and their colleagues using anonymous feedback tools like Officevibe. You can actually get tangible data on how employees feel working with their peers and with you.

2. Before collaborating successfully, take time to learn about one another and how everyone likes to work, what motivates them, triggers them, what needs they have, etc.

🛠 We built a tool to facilitate this team collaboration discussion in our manager toolbox.

3. Prioritize getting to know your employees during more informal 1-on-1s in addition to your performance-based sessions. Learn about their lives and interests beyond work, and share yours too. The more you can humanize yourself as a manager, the more successful you will be able to lead.

4. Strengths-based coaching and delegation

Becoming a great manager means becoming an orchestrator for your team. You’re there to ensure things get done, not do them yourself. Your job is to help employees shine by understanding their development goals and letting them work on tasks that develop their strengths. But…

34% of Officevibe respondents do not agree that their organization makes proper use of their strengths.

Tip: To understand your employees’ strengths, communicate with them often to learn when they feel best at work. Ask questions like “What project did you feel most proud of and why?”

5. Problem-solving and solution-orientedness

It’s inevitable that you and your team will face challenges and difficulties. Time spent looking for who’s at fault or dwelling on the issue is time that is not spent on promoting learning or finding solutions.

Management is in part about being confident in your decision-making skills, critical thinking, and problem-solving techniques, but more so about coaching your team to hone in on these same leadership skills.

Tip: Instead of giving the answer, ask questions that challenge assumptions to help employees find the root of the problem. For example, “Why did you use this method?” or “How did you come to that conclusion?

6. Delivering and receiving constructive feedback

Giving and accepting constructive feedback is one of the most important skills a manager can build. When employees see they see that they can apply the feedback that helps them grow in their career, constructive criticism becomes widely appreciated.

Feedback tips for managers:

1. Don’t wait: Give feedback in a timely manner so employees can start improving right away.

2. Be specific: Avoid generalisms when giving constructive feedback (check out our latest post on giving tough feedback while working remotely)

3. Ask for feedback too: This helps level the playing field and allows you to improve in your role as well. Officevibe lets managers collect constant feedback from employees.

7. Emotional Intelligence and soft skills

Managers of the modern workforce need to prioritize their ability to connect with people beyond numbers and goals. Developing your Emotional Intelligence will help you build trust with your employees and really understand what motivates them. People management skills require that you really understand people.

The process of developing your Emotional Intelligence and people skills in part means learning to manage your emotions in high-stakes situations and getting to know yourself better too. Having the ability to identify your own biases and be aware of your emotional triggers will help you become a better leader.

By Razor Suleman April 25, 2013 July 22, 2015

How to be a good manager and lead efficient teams

Success in business happens because of successful employees. That being said, strong managers are one of the most critical components of Employee Success — after all, employees leave managers, not companies.

It’s important to focus directly on managers as a lever of engagement to recruit, retain, and inspire the greatest asset to your company: employees. To do this, provide the tools to be successful instead of expecting managers to be successful.

When looking at specific areas like recognition in the workplace, we see just how important managers are to success.

Management potential

For example, strong manager performance in recognizing employee performance increases engagement by almost 60 percent according to Towers Watson. Increased engagement leads to improved customer service. Better customer service means more loyal customers.

You get the idea. Even Peter Drucker — the man who invented management — said, “The productivity of work is not the responsibility of the worker but of the manager.”

But the front-line manager faces incredible stress. Between managing a team, driving results, and answering to leadership’s expectations, managers juggle competing goals and often work more or less in the dark. So how do we give managers the training and the best practices we need to make managers successful?

To start, we need to promote the right people. From the beginning, we often set up our managers for failure. We take our top performers and make them managers, but management is a completely different job.

Bringing in the highest sales numbers does not automatically equate to building and leading teams. Often you look back and realize you took a top performer and made them poor manager.

When looking at a potential manager, performance is an important part of the puzzle, but it’s not the whole picture. Great future-managers connect with teammates and influence coworkers. They engage teams and motivate them toward success, which can be done in part — but not entirely — by example.

Article Continues Below

At Achievers we create tools that empower and enable managers to engage their team, and also to measure an employee’s engagement with coworkers. Looking closely at recognition leaders and influencers provides a new perspective — and a new data-set — to pick the highest potential internal candidates for management.

Shedding light through analytics

Managers in 2013 face fewer resources, a mandate for employee engagement, and new talent battlefields, in addition to the usual responsibilities of inspiring a team and hitting company targets. With the metrics available today, there is no excuse to send management in blind.

It is easy enough to observe an employee’s usual hours and deadlines made or missed, but a thorough understanding of team attitudes, willingness and ability to help out, and performance under pressure requires more effort. But still, it’s important. Actionable insight can make or break teams and ensure your company is performing at its best.

We know that knowledge is power. That insight is the key to holding managers accountable and instilling personal responsibility in a manager’s team. That’s why we added Achievers Analytics and Manager’s Corner to our latest product release.

Setting clear goals and expectations is crucial, but needs to be paired with consistent support and measurements of success to be effective. By giving our managers access to metrics on engagement, recognition and influence, we paint a more vivid picture than just looking at sales numbers and hours worked.

By helping our managers do their jobs better, we build companies that work better overall. Managers need actionable insight to make better human capital decisions and move business forward.

How to be a good manager and lead efficient teams

Managing is a skill that can be learned. Every day, pick one of these 10 ways to improve your skills. Work on it. Then pick another one. You’ll be a better manager before you know it, and others will notice too.

Work With What You Have

As a manager, you are only as good as the people on your team. The majority of the time, you don’t get to choose who works for you. They may not meet your standards or desires for your team, but they were hired for a reason and they are yours.

Work with all of your people to identify areas that need improvement. Once you have identified the areas that individuals need to focus on, develop goals for them to strive for while working.

Motivate Your Team

A desirable trait for a leader is motivation. If you are motivated, your team stands a better chance to become motivated and buy-in to the ideas and tasks you are selling to them.

For team members, the buy-in is a belief in what they are doing. For your team to buy-in to the work, you have to buy into it as well. A leader that does not portray belief in a task will receive shoddy results.

Build Your Team

It is not enough that each person is motivated to succeed. They need to work together as a team to accomplish the group’s objective. If they could get it done individually, they wouldn’t need you to manage them. Develop your team-building skills, and then approach every day as a day the team wins or loses together.

Be a Leader

You have built the best team from the best employee available. You motivated them to peak performance. What is missing? Motivating a team is useless unless you provide direction. You need to turn that motivation towards a goal and lead the team to it. It is the ability to lead others that truly sets a manager apart.

Be a Communicator

Communication may be the single most important skill of a manager. You can’t be a leader if you can’t communicate your vision. You can’t motivate people if they can’t understand what you want. Communication skills can be improved through practice. To work on getting your point across, prepare your points ahead of time, and practice them out loud.

Monitor Money

Most managers are expected to help the company make money, directly or indirectly. That means bringing money in the door and spending less than you bring in. Depending on your function in the organization, you may have more influence on one area or the other, but you need to understand both.

You can help your company, your employees, and yourself by understanding how to manage the company’s money. This could include knowing your part of the budget or researching ways to save the company money in your department.

Monitor the Time

The one thing you will probably have less of at work than money is time. The better you get at managing time, the more effective you will be as a manager. Time management, in a nutshell, is planning the amount of time you and your team spend on tasks. Once you plan it, do your best to stick to it.

Improve Yourself

Don’t focus so hard on your people that you forget about yourself. Identify the areas in which you need to work and improve them. Some ideas to help you identify your weaknesses are regular counseling sessions with your boss, communicating with your peers about areas you can work on or researching some leadership techniques and adopting the ones you like.

Practice Ethical Management

Corporate scandals of the last half-century have driven home the point on the importance of ethical conduct in business. Strive to be ethical, and expect your team members to be as well. You may have to enforce ethical behavior and at times report unethical actions.

Take Reflection Time

One of the keys to effective leadership and management is setting aside some time for reflection. When you turn down the volume and think, instead of acting, you will usually be able to calm yourself down and create options or actions that will best suit the situation you are confronted with. Take the time to think and consider your actions, reactions, and your next steps.

Leading fairly and by example, and standing up for teammates are key

How to be a good manager and lead efficient teams

A team leader isn’t quite a manager role—most team leaders don’t have hiring and firing power over their team members—but it’s not the same as the role of a regular individual contributor either. While companies and departments vary, these common practices can help make you—and your team—successful.

They are eight fundamental principles about how a team leader most successfully interacts with their team members.

Act With Fairness

As a team leader, you often are required to assign tasks or even set the schedule for your team members. You may like some of your team members more than others, that is natural and human. But, that doesn’t mean you should show preferences for your favorite team members.

If you’re having trouble with fairness—and team member complaints are one way to gauge your efforts—ask your manager to look over the task assignments, assign jobs without names, or let a different employee pick their schedule first each week.

Lead by Example

Team leaders generally work alongside their team members. If you’re gossiping or slacking off, your team will lose respect for you. Instead, work hard. Set an example of what you expect from your teammates. Don’t talk about team members or others behind their backs.

When a team member comes to you with a complaint about a coworker, decide if this is a problem or just whining. If it’s just whining, shut it down. If it’s a true problem, solve it. But don’t gossip about it. Fix it or don’t talk about it.

Take On the Unpleasant Tasks

You may think that now that you’re the team leader, you’re finally exempt from doing the tasks you always hated. For instance, if your team is responsible for cleaning the customer restrooms, make sure that you’re on the schedule for that, too. While it’s an unpleasant task, your team members will have more respect for you if they see you taking your turn.

Make the Tough Decisions

While you generally don’t have hiring and firing authority, you are responsible for making recommendations to those managers who do. You might be included in job interviews for prospective employees who will potentially join your team.

As a team leader sometimes you have to recommend or enforce disciplinary action on a coworker who is also a friend. You may need to recommend suspension or even termination of a team member. Disciplinary actions are difficult, but they’re critical to your team’s success. You must handle the problems when they occur.

Follow the Law

If one of your team members has a baby and takes 12 weeks of FMLA-approved leave when she returns you may be tempted to give her the unpleasant tasks—after all, she’s been gone for three months. This is, however, against the law. You can’t punish someone for taking legally approved leave: it’s called retaliation if you do, and it’s a growing reason for why employees sue employers. Treat the returning employee like she’s been there all along.

Likewise, if you have an employee with a disability, work with your manager, the human resources department, and the employee to develop reasonable accommodations as the law requires.

Record all overtime. Don’t allow your employees to work off the clock, and never ask a coworker to do it. Make sure that you follow all laws and ask your manager or human resources staff member if you have questions.

Follow Company Policy

Sometimes you may want to grant an exception to company policy, but don’t do so without approval from your boss. The reason for company policies may not be immediately clear to you, but it’s critical that you follow them in order to protect you and the company from accusations of illegal discrimination.

For instance, you may think it’s not a big deal to grant an exception to Jane but not John, but if the exception is not made for the proper reasons, John could claim discrimination.

Radiate Happiness at Work

This advice might seem silly and unnecessary, but your attitude sets an example for the entire group. If you’re positive and pleasant, it can make your whole team work harder and better together. Happy employees are more productive, too.

Stand Up for Your Team Members

Never throw a team member under the bus. If you want to celebrate their successes, you must also stay prepared to support them in their failures. Remember that mistakes happen and you should work to fix them, not simply blame people for them.

The Bottom Line

Leading a team marks a significant step forward in your career. Make sure you approach the responsibility in the right way. These tips will help you lead people to all of your success.

Table of Contents

As a leader or a manager, it is your job to create an environment where everyone can meet their potential. Furthermore, it is your job to keep the team heading in the right direction. Objectives and Key Results make it easier to deliver results.

Basically, setting goals is not enough to actually achieve them. With all of that in mind, one of the best solutions is to find a good OKR performance management software to automate the process.

With 94% positive reviews and 74% of those being 5-star ratings according to getapp.com, Weekdone serves as a good solution to deliver results within your own company. The OKR method is suitable for the modern world of work, and Weekdone provides good value for both managers and team members.

On the basis of our customer case studies and different successful leadership methodologies, we at Weekdone compiled 7 steps which will guarantee your successful outcome as a team. Choose a suitable medium for you! The 7 steps come in the form of slides, text, or infographic for your convenience.

7 Step Guide For a Leader to Deliver Results as a Team

Step #1: Big Picture and Goals

It is absolutely vital that everyone on your team understands the bigger picture. This is especially true when examing their role of reaching their Objective. People with goals tend to achieve 10 times as much as people with no goals at all.

So, the ideal thing to do is to set a company goal with measurable metrics. Then, you should find a singular location (such as a dashboard) or a forum to share this knowledge. With that in mind, you can then align your company goal with each member of the team . Even the act of writing down a goal increases the odds of achieving it, helping you to really deliver results.

The best way to evaluate your big picture goals is to connect your larger projects with the OKR methodology. This way, you can easily track and align goals at every level in your company. Though starting out with spreadsheets or emails is alright for getting started, it’s also ideal to switch to OKR performance management software as soon as possible for the sake of transparency.

Step #2: Assign Tasks According to Each Team Member’s Strengths

In order for your team members to be happy and productive, it is essential to play to their strengths. According to a Gallup survey , employees are 61% more engaged if their managers focuses on their strengths. In addition, people feel better doing tasks that they are good at and, most importantly, they perform better. Make sure you know your team’s strengths and give tasks accordingly.

Step #3: Sharing and Delivering Results

Teams achieve better chemistry and results if there is a dashboard or forum to share ideas. At Weekdone, we urge leaders to implement a suitable brainstorming format to generate ideas within your team. There are many different formats out there to choose from.

How to be a good manager and lead efficient teams

The benefits of brainstorming and sharing ideas are essentially getting ideas, solving problems, and overall, being better as a team. Furthermore, brainstorming serves as a good “idea bank” where everyone can contribute. For example, this “idea bank’s” results may lead to process innovation, operations, and product innovation.

Though these brainstorming and “idea bank” methods are typically reserved for meetings, sharing results does not have to be confined to face-to-face meetings only. Using a status reporting tool that focuses on connecting OKRs to projects cuts the time spend in meetings to only what is absolutely necessary. Because of this, using a good OKR performance management software like Weekdone makes sharing results easier through a cloud-based dashboard.

Step #4: Increase Engagement by Implementing Methodologies

One of the key parts of achieving your goals is repetition with a system that helps to keep the work process going. In the beginning, I already emphasized the importance of goals and that the best methodology for that is Objectives and Key Results – OKRs . OKRs are used by the likes of Google, LinkedIN, and Zynga.

Using a goal setting and tracking method helps people to start moving towards important goals, not small unimportant tasks. On the other hand, employees love it for the clarity of knowing what’s expected from them.

I also urge you to try out the Problems, Plans and Progress – PPP methodology . It is used by companies like Skype and it helps to enhance team collaboration and keep everyone informed. It also clarifies what needs to be done in order to achieve a certain goal.

Step #5: Constantly Improve the Work Process

Using weekly check-in methodology helps to bring out the flaws and problems of your team’s work process. In order to achieve the results as efficiently as possible, it is critical to make continuous improvements in your workflow. As a leader, it is recommended to check in regularly to see how everybody is doing and if they need a push to get them over a hump. This can be done in an online status update format or just by talking to your team members individually.

Improving the work process can also mean introducing new tools.

Step #6: Encourage and Motivate

All methodologies and goal setting techniques are tools to help your team achieve better results, but we have to remember that we are dealing with humans. People are emotional beings and by setting goals and giving tasks according to their strengths increases the odds of success, but it does not mean that you should not motivate them. The best times to encourage and motivate your team is at the beginning and the final part of the process.

People tend to get stuck and in order for them to finish their task, it is recommended to reinforce the fact that they are moving in the right direction. They should also be informed that they are a vital part of the outcome.

Step #7 Deliver Results with Feedback and Recognition

On the last step, I started to touch on the emotional side of delivering results. There is still one last thing leaders should not forget. Give your team members feedback and recognition. These two elements are known to motivate people more than money .

In addition, regular feedback makes everyone twice as happy and makes sure they are engaged .