The success of your team is critical to the overall survival of your business. Sure, you can achieve goals here and there with some dysfunction on your team, but if you want to accomplish your vision (and beyond), you must create a high-performing team.
Managing successful, high-performing teams requires diplomacy, skill and genuine care for each employee at your company. Follow these tips to help you get started:
Resolve Conflict Quickly.
Whenever you have more than one person working together, there’s going to be conflict – it’s just how life is. So what can you do to make sure it doesn’t fester and cause havoc for your team? Address disputes as they arise, which means you may need to mediate discussions between employees to ensure there’s a positive outcome. Doing so will show employees you value differences, but you don’t want these differences to get in the way of productivity.
Encourage Employee Development.
Make the necessary investment in the education and training of your employees. Your goal should be to raise new leaders, not spend your day micromanaging your employees. If possible, consider offering education assistance and paying for ongoing training. You may also consider forming committees or assigning leadership roles for projects. The more you empower your employees, the more productive and happy they’ll be over time.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate.
Every member of your team wants to know what’s going on, whether the news is good, bad or ugly. Hold regular staff meetings (in person or via conference call) to keep employees updated on new procedures, special promotions, updated trends in the industry, and more. Be consistent with these meetings, so everyone knows about and expects them to occur—post updates on an employee-only space (such as a Facebook page for employees only). Additionally, encourage your employees to communicate with each other and find ways to help them collaborate effectively. For example, if they’re working on projects together, ask them to update each other regularly using a spreadsheet or other project management software.
Set Realistic Goals.
Employees can help you establish feasible goals to help motivate daily productivity. Some goals may include increasing new customers or boosting sales by a certain percentage. The more involved your employees are in the development of these goals, the more likely they’ll work to achieve them. Make sure the goals you set are SMART goals – specific, measurable, achievable, reasonable and timely. Measure the progress of goal completion and communicate the results regularly to encourage achievement.
Recognize Your Employees.
Everyone likes to feel needed and important. Recognize your employees when they accomplish goals, whether as a whole or individually. You can provide both monetary and non-monetary awards based on an employee’s achievement. Make the recognition a big deal (because it is) – send out a congratulatory email, throw a party, give them a bonus or promotion, or find some other way to acknowledge an accomplishment. You may also want to recognize employees who accomplish things outside of work – which means you need to get to know them. For example, let everyone know Joe just accomplished his goal of running a marathon. This type of acknowledgment builds camaraderie and allows the employees to get to know each other better. Additionally, on a more fundamental level, you should greet your employees every day and thank them for their efforts before they leave to go home.
Above all else, you must be optimistic and enthusiastic about your business. If you’re excited, it will be contagious. You’ll find that as you implement the suggestions above and lead by example, your employees will enjoy being at work and their productivity will increase as well.