6 Team Management Tips To Help You Be A Better Boss
Article 3 of 6 about the key ingredients to efficient business operations
To truly grow a business, you need a team. For entrepreneurs, having a team also means managing a team. This can be the most rewarding…or exhausting…part of running a business.
But these 6 tips for better, easier management of your employees will help you:
- Maximize employee productivity
- Spend less time managing people and more time managing business
- Ensure you’re hiring the right people
- Streamline the onboarding and training process
- Build a business that each member of your team loves and values being a part of
The winning strategy for employee management
Like in sports, the role of the manager isn’t to win the games. It’s to bring in players with various specialized skills and work to get the most out of them. They determine which type of players they need, set standards for each, train and evaluate them constantly and provide everything they need to excel. Sometimes, they have to change players or adapt their existing systems to succeed. Managers who do all of this best ultimately win.
As an entrepreneur in growth mode, your role is to bring in skilled employees and get the most out of them. This takes systems, standards and proper training and resources for each team member. Without these, you’ll spend far more time dealing with people rather than pursuing your dreams.
Not to mention, having employees is a massive investment of time, energy and money. If you want to maximize your return, here are 6 tips every business owner should have in place to improve employee performance and make the hiring process much easier.
1. Clearly outline your organizational structure (for now and the future)
If you’re building a team to help grow your business, start by plotting out a framework of who you’ll need to bring onboard and why. When designing your business’ organizational structure, be clear about:
- Which roles will be needed?
- Who will be responsible for what?
- Who will report to who?
- Who has authority to make decisions?
- Will you require divisions or teams?
It’s crucial to be looking long term here. How do you see your business evolving in the coming year…2 years…5 years? You don’t want to be revisiting your organizational structure every 6 months.
2. Hire the right person for the the job (no, seriously)
I know what you’re thinking…duh! But wait. Far too often, employees don’t work out as hoped because the recruitment process was perhaps rushed, misaligned or too vague.
Maybe you weren’t clear enough on the specific skills, tasks and type of person needed to perform the role in the best way?
Or you assumed their skills were more transferable than they actually are? For instance, just because they led their previous company in sales doesn’t mean they’re skilled at writing ad copy.
You need to be specific on exactly what skills you require and ensure your prospective hire is both qualified and enthusiastic about the tasks involved.
Too often, people end up in roles that aren’t aligned best to their abilities. This usually means lower productivity and often diminished health & wellness (people don’t do well at a job they don’t thrive in).
Before your next (or first) round of hiring, be sure to read our post about [What you need to do before you consider hiring].
3. Understand everything that goes into onboarding a new employee
The decisions around starting and growing a team are among the biggest you’ll ever make as an entrepreneur. But without a thorough hiring process, the experience can ironically put way more on your plate than you were hoping to alleviate by hiring in the first place.
Follow this 5-point checklist to help get your new hires up and running much quicker:
- Clearly define the job and your expectations before they start
- Develop an onboarding program/manual, including company overview, values, key training, introductions to key stakeholders/customers etc.
- Prepare the work environment with everything they need to get started, including equipment, software, passwords etc.
- Introduce new employees to team members and explain the entire chain of who they’re working with and who to turn to
- Regular 1-on-1 progress meetings during their first 60 to 90 days
Also, as the owner, be sure you fully understand the legal requirements in your locality of having employees.
It may seem like a lot of work up front, but if it pays off, the rewards of a solid hire are exponential for both you and your customers.
4. Set standards and expectations for business performance
Just because your employee shows up to work everyday doesn’t mean they’re deeply contributing to your growth (we’ve all seen that in our past jobs). Along with determining which roles and skills are needed to achieve success, you need to establish how they will be fulfilled with measurable targets.
Along with establishing benchmarks for your business itself, you also need to set measurable targets for your employees. We show you [how to easily set up a Performance Management System for your business and team here]. In short, you need to define clear objectives for each role and set a standard for what they need to deliver.
Here’s how to make sure your team members are pulling their weight:
- Step 1: Ensure each role has 3-4 clearly defined responsibilities
- Step 2: Establish performance objectives for each responsibility
- Step 3: Hold regular one-to-one meetings to review performance
- Step 4: Take action where needed!
If everyone is doing their part, the tangible results add up. First, it’s important to ensure everyone is clear on the part they play in that progress.
5. Set standards and expectations for your people
There’s a personal side to employee management too.
Everyone loves hearing “job well done!” And people usually (if you hired the right person, as per above) welcome opportunities to fix mistakes, learn and contribute tangibly to success.
Once you’ve established your aforementioned performance management targets, regular and constructive reviews can pinpoint achievements and areas needing improvement. Celebrate the successes and accept that occasionally, the conversations may be tough. As the owner, you need to be able to handle both.
6. Establish a culture for your workplace (even if it’s virtual)
Your vision of business success should also include creating the type of workplace environment you want to be in every day. Establishing a positive workplace culture enhances every area of your business, guaranteed:
- Health and wellness
- Internal Communication
- Recruitment and retention
- Customer engagement
As a leader, it’s up to you to establish the core values, policies and resources needed to embed the culture you desire. Your employees and new hires must buy into your level of openness, honesty, challenging the status quo, celebrating success, beliefs, tolerances and compassion.
Otherwise, an unexpected and unwelcome workplace culture can start to form on its own beneath you. The kind of environment many entrepreneurs detached from in past careers – and are motivated not to replicate.
The best bosses are always learning
A strong team doesn’t happen without strong leadership. For an entrepreneur, transitioning from a solo visionary to a team leader requires a lot of preparation and learning along the way.
Things in your business will evolve over time, but establishing this team management framework will help you get the most out of investing in your team.
At Cove Enterprise Hub, we work with entrepreneurs to build more effective teams.
Click here to book a FREE 30 minute call with us to discover how we can help you improve your business operations by building your dream team.