Managing employees effectively can be tricky. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, nearly 1 in 3 employees don’t trust their employers. That’s a pretty alarming statistic, isn’t it?
A recent global survey shows that companies will face various challenges, including geopolitical and economic uncertainty, social changes, and cyber threats. In this environment, employees can only succeed if they’re fully engaged, motivated, and eager to contribute to a company’s growth. For these reasons, it is a must for senior leaders to know how to effectively manage a team.
As the senior leader, you must also know how to create the right environment for employees to address social and political issues, commit to transparency, and invest in leadership development to make all this happens.
How to manage employees effectively: 8 golden rules
Managing work teams is not an easy task. However, with the right knowledge, you can do it successfully. If you want to keep your employees engaged and motivated while ensuring they deliver excellent customer service and meet deadlines, here are some effective management techniques that can help you succeed.
Maintain transparent communication
I believe that doing great work and communicating openly is one of the key effective management techniques for any business to succeed. That’s why it’s an integral part of how I manage a team. When you’re upfront with individuals on your team, they become more likely to trust you.
For one thing, transparency builds trust with the individual members of your team and encourages people to work with you. So it’s important to be open with each other. No ambiguous phrases, misinterpreted reactions, or hidden secrets.
Whether you’re managing a remote software team or a physical sales team, the following tips will help you maintain transparent communication and master efficient management.
Ensure that your team knows what’s going on. If you want your employees to be productive, you need to let them understand the company’s overall direction and how their work fits into it;.
Keep them informed on what’s happening. This includes sharing relevant news that could impact the team or department (e.g., a new initiative or policy change);.
Communicate regularly (daily or weekly) when people are most likely to read communications from you—such as during the morning meeting or before lunch break. Regular communication helps ensure that you’re on top of what’s happening in your company.
Balance freedom and responsibility
To effectively manage work teams, you must strike the right balance between freedom and responsibility. These two factors complement each other to boost productivity. Balancing on the edge of freedom and responsibility is the biggest and most rewarding challenge in life, and that is what we pursue at Uptech.
By freedom, I mean minimum bureaucracy. For example, any team member is free to bring initiatives, regardless of their status. By responsibility, I mean that we are not afraid to take commitments and realise them.
Striking a balance between freedom and responsibility can be tricky. The best way to achieve this is by defining the right balance for your employees. You can only do this if you understand their personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. Knowing these allows you to decide how much freedom they deserve and keep them well on track.
For example, if an employee has powerful leadership skills but lacks motivation, give that person more freedom to feel comfortable around others and motivate them to share ideas. On the other hand, if the employees are already motivated but lack leadership abilities, then give them less freedom because they may have problems making decisions without guidance from above.
Cultivate healthy teamwork
The power of teamwork does wonders. Teamwork is the foundation of success for any business, regardless of size or function. People are the most significant capital, and I believe that inspiration grows inside a team through trust and partnership.
Trust leads to accountability and better communication. Also, when you put the effort in to gather people around one idea and show that together they can create great things, it will build a much better rapport among the team.
As someone who wants to manage effectively, you must ensure everyone understands the importance of idea sharing and why it matters for moving forward as a company. A culture of idea sharing can be developed by focusing on the idea and not necessarily the person sharing the idea. Be careful not to discourage ideas or trigger negative feelings because you don’t agree with your team member.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about management techniques, it’s this: managing employees effectively is about creating an environment where people feel safe enough to openly discuss their concerns without fear of being reprimanded or punished for speaking up. When you create such an environment, your employees will be more likely to take ownership of the projects they’re working on.
Creativity plays an essential role for businesses in any industry. Encouraging creativity in the workplace can help businesses develop unique and innovative solutions and offerings. By doing it, you differentiate the company from the competitors and attract customers.
As the manager, you must encourage your team to think outside the box. You can do this by being sensitive to their concerns and interests. According to a study by BusinessSolver, 92% of employees would be less likely to quit their jobs if their bosses showed more empathy. That is to say, when you become empathetic, you can avoid mistakes that would otherwise kill creativity and hurt your team’s productivity.
Also, you can encourage creativity by giving your team new tasks and challenging them in new ways. Challenge assumptions – even your own. Encourage your team to develop new ideas, share them with you and other employees, or even submit their ideas for a contest at work.
Even though you’re worried about some of these ideas being impractical or unworkable, don’t discourage them from sharing! Instead, consider giving them permission—and time—for their creativity to flourish. You might be surprised how quickly things start flowing when employees feel they have support and encouragement behind them!
Set common goals
It’s an essential skill of a good leader to be able to gather people around common goals. This is an important management rule. Setting goals just for the department or one individual is good, but it may become an ineffective strategy on a larger scale. To build a successful business, you must give your employees a unified focus and purpose that will inspire them together.
In my opinion, you first need to define what success looks like to set a common goal. Some examples of this could be:
- “By the end of this year, we want our website traffic to increase by 20% over last year”;
- “By 2022, we hope to have 5 million active users on our platform”;
- “Our product needs more features.”
Then, after you’ve figured out what success looks like in real terms, establish processes and procedures to help manage these common goals so that everyone can perform their duties more effectively and together as one cohesive unit.
In addition, the goals must indicate success or failure at achieving them. For example, a goal such as “increase sales by 10% this year” isn’t very specific or measurable; while “increase sales by 20% this year, by offering more discounts and promotions than last year’s campaign” is much better because it shows exactly what needs to be done.
Delegate jobs to the right people
You don’t have to do everything yourself. Delegating tasks, projects, or responsibilities is an effective management technique. It is also an essential part of being a good manager. Delegating tasks to the right people saves time and helps your team develop as professionals. More importantly, delegating prepares you to manage larger teams and inspires employees and team members to perform better.
Time and again, I have noticed that people are more engaged in roles where they feel they are employing their best skills. So, delegating proper functions that suit each team member will significantly impact productivity– that’s how to manage a team.
Another rule of managing employees effectively is to ensure that your team members can do their jobs. The job you give them should align with their skills and experience so that they can complete it successfully. For example, if an employee is an expert at using Excel but Word, don’t ask them to edit a document for you.
One more management tip you should consider is to assign tasks in advance as much as possible. It will let your employees have enough time to prepare for any extra projects that need their attention.
Help people grow
Investing in your employees helps foster an engaged workforce. Companies that invest in the growth of each employee have proven to be more productive, profitable, and attractive. The employee gets to learn more and grow as a person while keeping the company at the forefront of innovation.
At Uptech, continuous improvement is among our core values. I believe that every step we take in building a product should be practical, making it better or at least teaching us something new. Therefore, I help the team stay interested in the work and effective at it by providing professional coaching and regular feedback, recognising achievements, and offering challenging projects.
If there’s something specific that an employee wants to work on improving at work, I find ways for them to pursue those activities outside of their everyday responsibilities. For example, if they wish to train on how best to use the company software program, I allow them time off from their regular duties to go through training sessions.
When employees are allowed to learn and grow, they will be more motivated and engaged in their work. It’s your responsibility as a manager to help employees build their skills, gain new knowledge, and explore career options within your organisation, as this is one of the key management tips.
Lead by example
Managing employees effectively is all about setting a good example. It demonstrates to your team that you’re willing to do what it takes, even when it’s difficult or uncomfortable. Only someone who leads by example can expect trust and respect from the team. That’s why I always ask myself if I am doing my job well, running a business right, taking vacations at the right time, etc.
If a leader is dishonest or unkind, employees will notice quickly. Remember the statistics on employees’ trust by Edelman Trust Barometer. A trusted leader must enforce the company’s code of ethics. So if you expect your team to behave professionally and commit to their work, it’s vital to do so yourself.
One common mistake leaders make is promising something and not delivering on it. For example, you might say: “I’ll get back to everyone next week,” but then don’t follow through until two weeks later—and even then, you only do it halfheartedly. That’s not a good management technique, and it’s not fair to your employees.
Leading by example can help foster a sense of trust between senior leaders and their teams. In addition, it makes it easier for both groups to communicate openly and honestly, especially when problems arise.
The point of this post is to share some insights on how to manage effectively and answer the question, ‘how do I manage a team effectively?’ While it’s a big question, and I know there are many other management rules you will find out there. But these eight are fundamental management rules, drawing from my experience and extensive research.
Remember that the skill of managing employees effectively is a kind of art that takes time to master. It requires a careful balance of being firm and fair, as well as being flexible and understanding. Everyone is unique and has different needs, so you must be flexible and work with each person individually rather than applying one-size-fits-all tactics across the board.
About the Author
Dima Kovalenko is the CEO and co-founder of Uptech where he is responsible for providing services in the design and development of mobile and web applications for early-stage startups and established businesses.