The other day, I found myself reading a Ragan article about internal messaging and how to celebrate employees (not just the executives) at work. And it got me thinking…why don’t we take the time to spotlight and collaborate with our colleagues?
Learning how to effectively manage a team is a lot of hard work. And it takes a lot of courage and a lot of patience. But it’s all worth it when you have a team that has your back no matter what…when you have a team that will come together just to be helpful…when you have a team that genuinely gets along and functions properly.
It almost sounds like a fairy tale, right? But it can happen! In my opinion, it takes more than one manager to hold a team together. It has to be a collective effort — which brings me to the main point of this post: managing a team is not just for the directors but for everyone. So if you’re an employee in need of some team-building tips, grab a snack, relax and enjoy the rest of this post.
First of all, just be human for a sec.
Take the time to think logically about things. Think about the things that make you sad, happy, angry, excited, anxious. Now imagine those things happening to your fellow colleagues. How would you accommodate them? How would you help them if they were feeling mad or overwhelmed? And how would you handle it if they were joyful or pleased with something? “Being real”, as the young folks call it, can go a long way.
Determine everyone’s strengths and weaknesses.
What does each team member bring to the table? How can your coworkers make life easier on the job? Use those strengths to complete projects and improve the work environment. And when it comes to your team’s weaknesses, what can each person do better? Is there a way for one team member to collaborate with another team member to work on those weaknesses? Or should your colleagues go outside of the department to strengthen their skills? Work together to make your team great.
Trust your team.
One thing I’ve witnessed a lot throughout my career is the lack of trust at work. But if you want a team who will trust you back, then you have to give a little to get a little. Try adopting the “innocent until proven guilty” stance. When a new team member comes on board, it is because he or she was specifically chosen to do that job. This means that the resume, background check, references and work experience all checked out. All that to say, if your colleagues haven’t given you a reason to NOT trust them, then TRUST THEM. Don’t always assume the worst or think that they’re going against you. Don’t believe the first rumor you hear about them; talk to them first. Trust that your colleagues are doing their jobs and making the right decisions (unless proven otherwise).
Find out what their dreams/desires are.
What are some things that your team members are interested in at work? Maybe the graphic designer is interested in learning more about media relations. Or maybe the admin wants to learn more about social media. Whatever it is, try to incorporate some of their interests into their work responsibilities.
To add to that, take the time to learn a bit about what your colleagues do for fun outside of work. This will provide great insight when it comes to buying gifts or celebrating birthdays in the office. The more you show you care about people as individuals, the higher chance you have of increasing morale.
Encourage and listen to their ideas.
Everyone on your team should have a voice. And everyone likes to be heard. Make sure you’re engaging with your team on a regular basis. All opinions matter. And remember: two (or more) heads are better than one.
One of the most annoying things in the office is when someone is treated better than the rest. Sigh. No favorites, please. This causes so many unnecessary problems, and you’ll quickly lose the respect of your fellow colleagues. This is not to say that you can’t have close friends in the department. (We can’t help who we connect with, right?) BUT don’t forget that there are tasks to complete, and everyone should be held to the same standard with the same deadlines.
TO MY MANAGERS – Lead by example. Let your team know that you trust them, believe in them and will defend them at all costs. When everyone else sees you doing it, they’ll start to follow along.
I hope that this post gave you something to think about. If you haven’t gotten anything else from this post, just remember to be human from time to time. We’re all doing the best that we can. We’re all going to bump our heads a few times, but with each other’s support, we will continue to press forward. How do you help manage your team at work? Have you tried any of the tips mentioned above? If so, how has it impacted your work environment? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!