Five SMART Ways to Successfully Manage Your Team

By David S. Chang

Image Credit: Pexels

Managing a team, especially one that is spread out and not in one location. Here are some tips to help you better manage your team, reduce turnover, and be able to successfully accomplish your goals.

Make Your Expectations Clear

Making your expectations clear is an essential part of leading a team, especially where there may be multiple different teams who need to work together. During a monthly conference call, hold a 5-minute meeting before you begin to set an agenda and establish what you expect of everyone.

Use this time to make it clear what is required from each member of staff and what they should do if they encounter a problem. The less you leave to guesswork, the easier it will be for everyone to be on the same page.

Another good way to make your expectations clear is to send out an expectations document or something similar outlining what you want and expect. Illustrating a chain of management is often useful as this indicates how problems should be addressed and to whom. Ensure that everyone has a brief job description and that each person knows what the roles and responsibilities are. This prevents duplicating work and confusing instructions.

If your team don’t know what your expectations are, it’s very likely to lead to fumbled results. Being clear doesn’t mean you have to be strict. Being clear simply puts a structure in place that helps clarify roles and responsibilities.

Create a SMART Plan

Giving everyone a copy of the plan or schedule at the start of every event is a good way to ensure that everyone knows what is happening all the time. This can be in the format of a timeline, a full plan of the upcoming quarter, or a brief explanation. It is always better to overcommunicate. Get your team involved in the process of planning. This will help them be a part of the process and get buy-in.

Of course, you can’t plan for everything, which is why your plan must be flexible. Give your staff the resources to think creatively and problem-solve on the spot. Using an ‘if this then that’ sequence is a good way to provide a framework for solving problems but it might not work for every issue. Staff training is important. Following a plan is one thing but knowing how to manage unexpected issues within your company guidelines is another.  

Leverage the Right Technology

Using the right technology can help you propel your business forward and help your employees work better with each other. Having the right tools in place can help create an environment conducive to their productivity.

If your company has a wide base of staff with multiple shifts and moving pieces, a crew scheduling app can be a valuable resource. The app can be used to notify staff of upcoming jobs as well as give them the chance to indicate availability. This means that instead of ringing every member of staff up individually, you can simply post a job on the app and see who gets back to you. 

Software like this can also help you stay fully compliant. You can keep all the paperwork you need in one place as well as actively track the hours your employees are working. You can also use apps to track your costs, including overtime and get real-time notifications when an employee is about to reach full-time status.

You can use tools like ELMO Cloud Payroll software to consistently deliver secure, accurate and compliant payroll. Managing pay, organizing timesheets, and ensuring you are compliant with local laws are critical to employee morale. Technology software such as this can fully integrate with other common systems and help efficiently onboard new employees and automate important systems.

Create An Environment Of Trust and Work with the Skills You’re Presented With

When you have an ever-changing team, you can’t always guarantee that you will get the best possible team. You have to learn to work with the skills you are presented with and create a culture of trust. Trust is a two-way street and you want to empower your employees. This means getting to know people fast, particularly new team members who you may not know much about.

Your people skills are vital. You need to be able to identify who would be best for each role and then clearly explain exactly what you want from each person. Understand that this whole process should always be about putting people where they will work best.

If you aren’t sure what the best decision is, you can always rotate your staff through different roles to see where their skills are. This is actually a good thing anyway because each staff member can see what everyone else is doing. Even better, the staff may less likely to get bored in a repetitive job. 

Provide Meaning for your Employees and Keep the Job Fun

Your employees need a sense of ownership to their work. If you have employees that find meaning in their work, then by creating meaning at work, they will become enthusiastic employees that are committed to doing the right things right.

Employees of this nature can help grow your business in many ways. However, creating this mindset can seem difficult. As employees develop their skills along the way, they will want ownership of their work. In addition to providing the right perks, and benefits you will create very loyal employees.

When you enjoy what you’re doing and feel a connection with your co-workers, you are much more likely to do well. But while an ever-changing team might not have the same sense of connection as a team that works together every day of the week, there are still some things you can do to boost your team. 

Playing a quick team building game at the start of each event is a good way to break the ice. These games don’t have to last more than a few minutes but they should introduce everyone and energize the team too. If you have new people joining the team, make sure that they are introduced to members who know the ropes. This will give them a bit more support while they are learning. 

Another advantage of making the job fun is that you are more likely to get repeat staff. This will make managing future events a lot easier since you won’t be training everyone fresh every time. Plus, the more often people work together, the quicker they gel and complement each other’s skills naturally. 

Managing an ever-changing team takes a slightly different set of skills to managing a more static team. However, the fundamentals are the same: make sure everyone feels valued, create a clear path to success and keep the job fun. Keep these three things in mind and make sure you are as organized as possible and you will find your job much easier. 

David S. Chang

Award-Winning Entrepreneur, Wealth Manager and CEO | Chief Editor, Author, Keynote Speaker, Consultant ArtofThinkingSmart.com | Political Consultant | Army Officer National Guard | Living To Fulfill Needs, Solve Problems, and Live Passionately!

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