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Nearly half of employees report quitting a job because of poor leadership and team management—56% believe managers are promoted prematurely, while 60% think managers need more training.
Have you ever considered you might be killing your team’s motivation without even realising it? Or, perhaps your employees are working in a toxic environment, and you’re totally unaware.
A team that is able to work well together—on and off the playing field—is one that achieves results.
So, are you holding meeting after meeting, encouraging cooperation and teamwork, and you’re still not getting the results you want?
Great leaders are great decision-makers. They encourage employee development, free-thinking, and have respect for their employees.
If you’re looking to upgrade your team leadership skills, keep reading for some expert leadership and team management strategies.
Diversify Your Team
Different points of view can never be a bad thing.
When hiring, you may think that finding people who think and act just like you do is best for your business. However, this isn’t only hard to find, but it doesn’t profit your business.
When you build a diverse team, including members from different backgrounds, experiences, and cultures, you can create an environment that will benefit from several different points of view.
There will always be work. There will always be tasks to check off of a list, more meetings to call, more people to follow-up with. But employee burnout is real, and not allowing them time to recharge their batteries is counterproductive. Plus, overworking your employees creates an environment of resentment.
You never want your employees to feel inadequate. Once they start to hear complaints from their loved ones about working too much and similar complaints at work about missed deadlines, they will become negative. This negativity will affect your employees’ focus, and they’ll start to feel like they’re failing at work and at home.
Ensure that your policies are fair. You should encourage loyalty and reward your employees for their hard work whenever possible. When you can, give your employees ample time to be with their loved ones. You can even consider assigning mandatory “self-care time” or strive to give a few extra days off after the completion of challenging projects.
By ensuring balance, you’re letting your employees know that you care about them as humans, not just employees.
Similarly, you should give your employees time to get to know each other on a personal basis. We’re more inclined to support each other when we know each other on a deeper level. We’ll go the extra mile when we’re a part of a team.
To foster employee engagement, schedule team-building exercises, and encourage after-hours get-together. Take time to ask questions about your employees’ personal life—this will help build trust and loyalty.
Always refrain from passing judgments. Your business environment should be one where encouragement and positivism thrive. Take the time to consider that each of your employees has a family, problems, and a set of limitations.
Narrow Your Focus
Think you don’t have enough time to think strategically? Often, managers will complain about being too busy. This stems from poor decision making—being reactive instead of proactive.
If you can relate, you might be taking on too much. You should narrow your focus on where you make the most impact at work. And then inspire your team to do the same by making clear decisions and acting on them.
The top 27 CEOs, interviewed by Harvard Business Review, admitted that the more time they spent planning their days, the more comfortable they felt managing their time.
Lead Yourself Before Others
You can’t be an effective leader without analysing your own actions before those of others. You must lead yourself before thinking about leading anyone else.
So, to hone your leadership skills, ask yourself: What do you value? What are your goals? Can you identify your strengths and weaknesses?
Having the ability to name your shortcomings can ultimately help your team. This is because by knowing where you need to improve, you can develop a plan to fill the gap in your capabilities. Perhaps it’s something you can do yourself, but you may also be able to hire someone to complement your skills.
Knowing your weaknesses goes right along with understanding that you’re not the one with all of the answers. Great leaders know they should have more questions than answers.
Any employee can be told what to do, but the best employees can look at a problem strategically and develop their own solutions—that’s exactly what you should strive to teach them.
When approaching a problem with different parts of our brain, we become more emotionally attached to it. This connection makes us more likely to remember the solution and apply it again in the future. Questioning people rather than asking leads to greater accountability and enthusiasm.
Your questioning should also extend to expectations and issues surrounding team performance. When devising your leadership strategy, don’t shy away from conflict. Difficult conversations take courage, but they can lead to better pathways forward.
Employees will likely work harder when their hard work is recognised by their supervisor. All work without recognition can lead people to become uninspired and unengaged.
Recognition doesn’t have to be an elaborate affair—a simple “thank you” and a performance-related bonus certainly helps. Most people want to know when they’re doing a good job and are appreciated by their employer on a consistent basis.
Rethink Company Meetings
Too many meetings can be draining for employees, which wastes company time. Consider cancelling meetings scheduled for the sake of having meetings. You may have put regular meetings in place to encourage consistent work, but you could be creating the opposite.
Learn how to recognise an unproductive meeting so you can show your employees that you respect their time. First, you should always start meetings on time. Many leaders waste 5-10 minutes of each meeting waiting for people to show up and catching up those who are late. If you start meetings on time and don’t stop to catch people up, they’ll learn to arrive on time.
Meeting objectives should always be clear—make sure everyone present knows what decisions they’ll be making during the meeting. They should be able to come prepared to discuss ideas or ask questions.
Finally, don’t discuss items that are on track. Instead, discuss items that need to be corrected. This method will eliminate discussion that doesn’t add value to the meeting.
Encourage Continued Education
As a leader, your employees should see you as a role model. They will expect to learn from you through shared insights, knowledge, and expertise. If you don’t take the time to transfer knowledge and support your employees’ learning journey, they won’t feel like they’re worth the attention.
By encouraging and supporting employee self-development and acknowledging their effort to grow, you can rest assured that you’re providing them with a solid support system. Don’t be too proud to acknowledge that you don’t know everything—encourage employees to cross-train among all departments.
It’s important to realise that everyone has something to contribute and should be open to learning from each other. Ask employees to collaborate, take classes, develop additional skills, and then bring what they learn back to the business.
Above all, make sure to remind your team that their development is an essential piece of the business’s overall success. As a leader, they should know that you’re there to support them. They will sense in your daily interactions if you are committed to their growth and development as much as your own.
Don’t Forget to Have Fun
All of this sound really serious—and it is—but don’t forget to have fun with your employees. Don’t fake genuine experiences with your team. Rather, strive to provide an environment where people feel comfortable being themselves and having fun.
If your team feels good about being at work, they’ll work harder for you. Plus, they’re more likely to stick around for the long haul.
Try These Expert Team Leadership Strategies
Bad leaders are toxic to an entire organisation. Even the best employees need guidance from good leaders.
If you only gain one thing from this post, it should be this: No one is perfect. Try your best, appreciate your employees, and remember you can’t know everything, and you’re on your way to mastering how to lead a team.Are you looking to improve your leadership skills? Continue to follow my blog to guide your mindset, and contact me if you have questions.