Leadership is everything in business as well as other areas of life. Every efficient, successful organization has a defined vertical structure. Being positioned higher in your organization’s hierarchy means that you’re responsible for your team’s performance.
Here are several ways you can increase your team’s efficiency by utilizing proper team management methods.
Establish a Clear Line of Communication
Communication is everything in a team. There is no way to establish any kind of cohesion without clear, effective communication. While different team members need to be able to distribute information among themselves, their line of communication with you as their superior is orders of magnitudes more important.
Instructions that are passed vertically need to be clear, timely, and simple. It is your job to arm your team with all the information they need to achieve any set goals. They need to know what to do, when to do it, and what means to use to get the job done. If they are missing any of these key pieces of info, that’s leadership failure.
Delegation of work, but also a delegation of responsibility, is one of the key postulates of leadership. You need to give your team members individual jobs and pass on certain responsibilities.
The delegation also means creating efficient schedules. Fortunately, the employee scheduling process is made easy with the right tools. However, that doesn’t change the fact that you need to stay on top of your team’s availability.
Another important factor necessary for efficient delegation is your knowledge of individual team members, their skills, strengths, and weaknesses. If you can familiarize yourself with these aspects of your team members, you’ll be able to make snap decisions and negotiate any problems that come your way.
Lead by Example
Those in leadership positions are looked up to. People in your team will look to you for guidance, even if they’re not direct about it. They will closely observe what you do and how you handle different situations.
If a project is facing delays, and you ask your team to work overtime, you better be in there with them. They will notice. Leading by example is a great way to boost loyalty and efficiency. This is a double-edged sword. Negative behavior can destroy whatever trust your team has in you and your ability to lead. Their individual productivity will suffer and your entire team’s cohesion will go out the window relatively quickly.
Incentives are a risky tool but one that can make all the difference in the world if used correctly. That being said, incentives can come in a number of forms. You can offer your team bonuses, access to various perks, or simply days off.
The important part is to be realistic with the goals they need to achieve in order to win whatever you’re offering. If you push the goalposts too far, you’ll end up with a burnt-out team that now sees you as being dishonest. If used correctly, incentives can be a real force multiplier in key moments.
Promote Team Building
Team building is one of those terms that is somewhat frowned upon by employees of many large organizations. The team-building efforts we’re talking about have nothing to do with forced paintball matches or company hikes.
What we’re talking about is your involvement with your team. You should make a habit of having a meeting with your team every week or so. Mind you, this doesn’t mean you should schedule the conference room every Friday at the end of the day.
On the contrary, that type of behavior will usually make your team dislike you since all they want to do on a Friday evening is go home. Instead, do a standing meeting every Friday morning. Gather your team in a room and go over key events and tasks that are coming up, or have already been handled.
These meetings should last no more than a few minutes. The idea behind this form of group communication is to let your team know that you’re there for them and that you’re at their side.
Practice Your Leadership Skills
Leadership is a skill that can be developed through hard work. Sure, some parts of leadership require inherent character traits, but most of it can be taught.
By working on becoming a better leader, you’ll be able to convey your needs and company goals to your team more efficiently. As a result, you’ll be treated with improved performance, loyalty, and better overall efficiency. Remember, your team is depending on you to do your job as much as you depend on them to do theirs.