Team management - what should it look like?
The boss in the entire structure of the company is a key figure. It is he who decides about mutual relations and influences the level of employees' commitment during the performed duties. He is the leader with the responsibility of forming and managing the team of employees.
In the initial phase of creating structures in the company, one of the most important issues is selecting the best candidates, not only in terms of experience and knowledge, but also personality and identification with the company's values. An ideal employee should have the same goals as the organization and have a specific set of features that allow him to perform his duties effectively.
One of the commonly used methods to obtain as much valuable information about the candidate as possible during the recruitment process are:
- skills tests (diagnosing intellectual level),
- personality tests,
- motivation questionnaires and a competency-based interview (i.e. verifying the candidate's level of competences based on the analysis of his previous experience in various professional situations).
Team management - be a leader for employees
The employer becomes part of the team he is in charge of when hiring (at least one) employee, so it is important for him to develop a leadership position.
A leader is a person who:
- he controls his emotions and controls them;
- is resolute and makes informed, well-balanced decisions;
- is able to see defects - both his own and the whole organization;
- easily gets along with other employees, cooperates willingly;
- inspires respect;
- is disciplined and conscientious, motivates and encourages others to work;
- is able to discover the potential of another person, and this benefits both the company and the employee himself, who begins to believe in himself and feels fulfilled.
An efficient leader is able to create in his team the effect of the so-called synergy - the skills of individual employees reinforce each other, allowing the group to achieve higher results. The benefits achieved in this way are not only synonymous with good financial or sales results. There is a good atmosphere in the team, a sense of shared responsibility for achievements and everyone's commitment to the work performed.
Team management and motivating employees
One of the basic functions of a leader in a group with proper team management is motivating employees. The basis for starting these activities is knowing the needs of employees and adjusting the activities to their expectations and skills. Well-distributed tasks allow employees to prove themselves, and it is easier for the leader to evaluate the tasks performed.
Although for most people finances are one of the most important factors influencing their motivation to work, full employee commitment can also be achieved in other ways. This is especially important in the case of small and medium-sized enterprises, when non-wage incentive methods are much more effective than small salary increases or bonuses.
One way to motivate employees is to change their duties. Reducing the monotony of work increases efficiency and promotes employee development. Additionally, an important stimulus to identify with the company is involving employees in making decisions important for the entire team. Here, a lot depends on the character of the person - whether he is focused on developing his skills, or whether he prefers a permanent job and avoids changes. In this case, new tasks may discourage work and negatively affect the work of the entire team. Therefore, expanding the duties of an employee, increasing their independence and the scope of decision-making can only motivate people who are willing to develop.
Every employee wants to be appreciated for a job well done. However, a positive effect can only be achieved if the praise is given immediately after completing the task. It is important that it is honest, supported by arguments and communicated in an appropriate form - it is worth remembering that for many people praise on the forum can be embarrassing. Criticism and pointing out mistakes should also not take place in front of witnesses. Such a conversation should be conducted face to face and suggest to the employee that he has the opportunity to improve his behavior for the future.
Partner relations of the boss with employees and a good atmosphere also help build a well-coordinated team, trigger loyalty, commitment and creativity. Regular meetings, partnership-based talks and efficient communication have a positive effect on the motivation of the entire team.
Team management by goals or quality management?
Effective and rational team management makes the boss a real leader. However, the development of a proprietary and functional company management system may cause many difficulties. Therefore, the entrepreneur can use the already existing management models: ZPC (by objectives) and TQM (by quality).
Team management by goals includes the following cyclically repeated phases:
- systematization of the company's goals;
- setting by managers and subordinates intermediate and individual goals, correlated with the strategic decision-making area;
- strategic and operational planning and linking individual goals with overarching strategic goals;
- ongoing control of the implementation of goals belonging to the strategic decision-making area and to the individual area of freedom of action;
- assessment of the effectiveness of management and work of personnel, i.e. feedback on the results.
The key feature of this management model is the setting by managers and subordinates of individual goals, goals of the opposing party and company goals, and then systematizing them and linking them to the main goal of the company's operation. The implementation of goals is subject to ongoing control, which is focused on the correction of errors and largely depends on self-control. The basic rule when it comes to managing a team by goals is that it must be strictly adhered to with responsibility for errors and all kinds of shortcomings in achieving goals. The goal of ZPC is to strengthen and motivate the entire organization by allowing employees to co-shape goals and tasks. Start a free 30-day trial period with no strings attached!
Most effective ZPC systems have six components:
- Goal setting at the highest level of management;
- Individual goals;
- Independence in carrying out plans;
- Efficiency reviews.
Another well-known management concept is team management through quality - TQM. As in the case of ZPC, all employees participate in it through teamwork, commitment, self-control and constant improvement of qualifications.
TMQ is based on eight elements:
- Customer focus;
- Employee engagement;
- Process approach;
- Systemic approach to management;
- Continuous improvement;
- Make a decision based on facts;
- Mutual beneficial relationships with suppliers.
In quality management, the optimization of production processes plays a large role and - importantly - quality improvement never ends. The goal of TMQ management is to achieve long-term success, the source of which is customer satisfaction and benefits for the organization and its members.
How to convince an employee to act and change?
According to psychologists, man has two states of action - emotional and rational. In coaching, this type of dependency is compared to a story about an elephant and a rider or a supporter and a competitor. When confronted with changes in a person, one of these states is released, and it is often an elephant. He does not want changes, because introducing them tires them. This is not only due to laziness, but also from the fact that when a person tries to modify his behavior, he has to be in great control. All energy is concentrated in this place, absorbing the creative enthusiasm for work. In such a situation, it is necessary to efficiently manage the team by the leader. As a group leader, he has to catch up with rational proponents of change and get along with them. The rider, using his soft managerial skills, is able to convince the elephant to change. Through conversations and appropriate communication, the rationalist will prepare and tame the stubborn opponent. When introducing changes in the team, the leader must remember that apart from supporting the supporters of the new team, a lot depends on his attitude and actions. First of all, he cannot take silence as acceptance. The leader should listen to the comments and problems reported by the team. Such feedback builds the right atmosphere and forms the basis for efficient changes.
Giving orders, evaluating employees, dismissals
The boss is responsible in the company for managing the team by issuing orders. The way in which they are communicated determines the attitudes of employees:
- If orders are expressed in a polite tone, in the form of a request, the employer shows respect for the subordinate. When the orders are given dryly and in an unpleasant way, it happens that the employee feels attacked and compelled to do something.
- The use of words such as "thank you" and "please" is the basis of good manners. Such returns are not superfluous, the basic aspect when it comes to efficient team management, the lack of them when outsourcing tasks in the long run may deprive the subordinate of respect for the work of the subordinate and lead to his departure from the company.
- The instructions given must be understandable and specific - at all costs avoid misunderstandings while performing the tasks.
- The commands must be valid. If the task is unknown or inaccurately explained then the operation, in this case the work, may not be fully effective. Thanks to the justifications, the employee may additionally identify certain gaps in the task and propose a better solution for it.
- It is worth addressing employees by name. The subordinate will certainly appreciate the fact that the boss knows his name and will feel more attached to the company.
- If possible, the employer should give each employee a chance to organize their work themselves. As a result, his actions will be more effective, and he will feel more responsible for the work done.
Team management is also a grading system.After following the instructions, the boss makes an appraisal of the employee. It can do this once a month or immediately after executing a specific command. Assessment is an important element of cooperation, both for the entrepreneur and the employee. Thanks to the evaluation of the work, the subordinate receives important feedback about what he is doing well and about which issues he makes mistakes. The employee feels the need to improve their performance and is motivated to be an ideal employee. The other side also benefits - it increases the effectiveness and commitment of a given person in the company. Lack of communication and talks summarizing the work may lead to a situation in which the boss makes a decision to dismiss, and the employee is surprised by it. Being aware of the mistakes made is a necessary condition for improvement. Thanks to it, the employer has the opportunity to observe changes and willingness to work or confirm his doubts in relation to the potential of a given employee.
Lack of potential is not the only reason for dismissal. Depending on the profile and culture of the company's organization, there are various reasons for dismissal of employees. Making such a decision should certainly not be caused by the emotional state in which the employer is at the moment. You should analyze all the arguments "cold" and, in addition to the employee's shortcomings, also think about your team management and behavior as a boss towards a given person. Were the duties and tasks explained clearly and specifically, were instructions applied, and did the employer give a chance for improvement? An examination of conscience and drawing lessons from this type of situation is most appropriate. In a small business, entrepreneurs get used to their employees and find it difficult to decide to resign from a given employee. However, the boss should be guided not by emotions such as habit, but by facts. If a given employee has ceased to be effective and there is no function for him in the company that he could take, for the benefit of the entire team, he should be said goodbye.