Build great Teams – People management

Accelerate To Team Success – An Excerpt – Introduction

Accelerate To Team Success - An Excerpt - Introduction

This is an excerpt from my Accelerate To Team Success book. It is a quick-start, self-help book for the owners of small businesses who have made that leap from doing everything themselves to hiring a team. Learn how to manage your team using the experience of someone who’s been there and come out the other side! Dip in and out to find out how to do something you’re facing today, or read in a logical order from start to finish. This book covers how to build the right team, how to manage that team effectively and how to plan for the future. It includes plenty of examples using the 3 ‘stars of the show’ to help explain the ‘why’ and illustrate the ‘how’. Team success can be yours!

Expanding your business so that you need to a team to help you deliver your product and/or services is a great step forward. Most people who’ve done it, however, will admit it comes with challenges, especially if you have no experience managing people. An article from Business Insider states the main challenges that new managers of teams face are:

  • Dealing with issues between team members.
  • Motivating team members.
  • Performance reviews.
  • Finding the resources needed to support the team.
  • Creating career paths for their team.
  • Maybe you’ve been running a small business on your own for the past few years. You’ve built the company up from nothing, and until now you were the employee and the manager. Now your business has grown, and to keep delivering what you’ve promised to your clients, and to continue to grow the business further, you need the support of a team.

    Let’s assume you’ve hired your first few employees or maybe you’ve inherited or bought a small business that already has a team, but you have no previous experience of managing people. Maybe you’ve worked as part of a team before, so you have experience of working with other team members, but you‘ve never been responsible for team members. Managing a team and being part of a team are very different experiences.

    Whatever has brought you to this point should be seen as a step forwards and upwards, and demonstrates your success and ambition. As you may already have realized or experienced, now you have a team working for you, you are also responsible for many aspects of your team’s careers. You are responsible for your team’s development, as a whole and individually. You’re responsible for making sure they receive the training and support they need to do their jobs today, but you’re also responsible for making sure they receive the training and support they need going forward so that they’re ready to perform the roles they will need to perform in the future, whether that’s for your business or not.

    You’re responsible for keeping your team motivated and engaged, so they’ll be productive and achieve what you need them to achieve to make your company successful. You’re responsible for setting goals or objectives for your team members that align with your business goals or objectives, but which are also relevant to them as individuals. You’re responsible for reviewing their performance against those goals, and for coaching them to keep them on track towards those goals, or to get them back on track if they go off course. You need to remember to give recognition when it’s due.

    You now have to worry about growing your workforce, or at a minimum replacing any people who leave. Both of these involve recruitment, interviewing, and induction processes. You have to communicate well with your employees all the time, and be able to discuss whatever topics come up, which will no doubt include having to deliver difficult messages, such as those around poor performance, from time to time. Addressing a performance problem is a conversation that many managers put off, which often makes the situation worse. Learning how to tackle difficult conversations can be daunting for many people but it is key to become a great people manager.

    You will have to manage potential conflict between team members, and possibly between a team member and yourself. You also have to learn to delegate to, influence and negotiate with your team. Finally you have to be able to manage conflicting demands, worry about your employee’s work-life balance (and your own) and think about their general well-being.
    If you’re a business owner who’s gone from being responsible for managing all aspects of your business on your own, to working with staff who are now delivering work that you used to do yourself, you not only have to learn to manage your team, you also have to learn to be comfortable delegating work to your team and coaching them to deliver the results you are looking for.

    You might expect that having people to delegate will be a huge relief to someone who was previously doing it all themselves, but handing over accountability to others can actually be a very difficult adjustment.

    Many people fear giving up control; they worry that someone else won’t be able to do the task correctly. So you then need to find a balance between providing no guidance and feeling disappointment when the person hasn’t done what you wanted (remember – they can’t read your mind!), and providing such close supervision that the person feels smothered and never learns to do it themselves.

    If you micromanage every step of their work, they won’t learn any accountability for what they are doing as you’ve essentially told them every step to take and checked each step in detail along the way.

    Finding a happy balance where you communicate well, set clear expectations and provide helpful, timely feedback may initially take longer than it would take for you to do the work yourself. The temptation may be to simply take over and do the work yourself. It’s true it may be quicker in the short term, but it won’t remove the burden from you, and it won’t get you to the point where someone else is accountable and doing the work well for you.

    That’s a lot to suddenly be responsible for. But the worst of it is, it all involves interacting with people. People are complex. Expecting someone to suddenly be able to handle all the issues, interactions and emotions that come with managing people is a big ask.

    On top of that there are many frameworks, processes, policies, many with legal implications, which you need to be aware of and navigate your way through. You can learn how to do this on your own through experience – but that experience might be a hard one, especially where there are legal implications.

    You may have demonstrated fantastic business acumen as a small business owner working on your on, but suddenly, as a manager of other people, everything’s changed and you don’t feel as successful as you did before you had a team to worry about. Remember, when you have a team, it’s your team’s performance that reflects your performance – it’s no longer all about you! You have to learn to be successful through your team. Adopting a mind-set where you can be successful through others is vital, but not always easy.

    Want to read more of Accelerate To Team Success?

    To read more and find out how you can ensure team success simply order a copy of Accelerate To Team Success now! Email me and let me know what you think

    Sign up for one of our workshops to put the tips in the book into practice and ensure team success.

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    About the Author:

    Nikki Faulkner photo Dr Nikki Faulkner founded Mulberry Bush Consulting to work with business leaders and their teams to make the 'People' side of their business as effective as possible. Mulberry Bush Consulting's specialty is helping small businesses who are new to having employees and helping businesses who are growing rapidly and increasing their employee-base at a rate that is creating a significant challenge.

    You are not alone and we can help.

    We offer a Team Success program that will help you build a successful team that will support you, freeing you up to spend your time and energy growing your business.

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