In fact, studies now show that a smaller number of members in a team is linked to more engagement and accountability. At work, small teams tend to be more productive because leads can focus their time and attention to fewer members.
However, spearheading a small team is still no easy feat. Just like any organization, small teams also have their fair share of challenges. And it is in everyone’s best interest to keep even a small boat floating.
Here are five strategies on how you can bring in the best out of a small yet effective team:
Use time tracking tools
You can use a free time clock software to set deadlines and objectives to manage project time more effectively. Time management tools can assist you to keep track of your team’s work and any project advancement.
It provides you monitoring tools that can be used to record the time that is spent on assignments and projects, such as timesheets and project trackers. You no longer have to wonder where time is wasted and which projects are receiving a disproportionate amount of attention. This time, you now have objective evidence.
Communicate with the team effectively
Having effective communication skills is one of the key ingredients of a team with good governance. When you communicate well with your teammates, you minimize misunderstandings and encourage the exchange of ideas that can propel your team to success.
For first-time managers, this might be easier said than done. To start with, you must create a welcoming atmosphere where your team knows that their feedback and opinions are all valued. Encourage them to open up. In that way, no one can feel as though they do not have a chance to express.
Staff meetings are a good way to build an open communication line in your team. During assemblies, convey the messages that you want to impart with confidence. Your audience will not only hear what you are saying, they will also see and feel your enthusiasm.
Having a proactive behavior in every discussion will help your teammates retain the discussion better. And with better retention, you possibly get more valuable inputs from them.
After you have established good communication in your team, the process of setting expectations and goals in your tasks will most likely go by smoothly.
Encourage teamwork and collaboration
Teamwork or collaboration has a dramatic effect on organizational performance.
Just like establishing good communication, teamwork is not something that just appears out of thin air. It is hard work and dedication that create a culture of teamwork in the workplace. When there is collaboration, the tasks at hand become more fun and uncomplicated.
Effective collaboration does not mean delegating an equal amount of work among the team. It is about knowing and sorting out tasks properly according to the skills, interest, and availability of the members.
Here are a few things to keep in mind about teamwork:
- Be informed about the team’s common goal and objective.
- Learn when to ask for help, especially when you are in need of an inspiration or support.
- Let your team know about the progress you are making.
- Encourage the team to question things from all angles.
- Appreciate the efforts of the team and celebrate achievements together.
Set realistic deadlines
It is easy to postpone work when you think you have all the time in the world to finish it. Without a sense of urgency, you can always switch to things that are more enjoyable than the work you are avoiding to get done.
To stop the team from postponing and avoiding work, set a realistic deadline that is near to the present. If you firmly believe that a task can be done in a week, direct the team to get it done in a week’s time. This will keep the team stay driven throughout the process.
Before you set deadlines, it is necessary that the team knows what is expected from them. Explain the objectives and goals in mind clearly so that you are on the same page with everyone in the team. Make sure that the team agrees to the deadlines that you set so that they would have a sense of accountability in everything they do.
Evaluate your team regularly
Most of the time, it’s pretty easy to identify whether or not a team is successful. But how do you repeat those successes?
Giving room for feedback can help you measure the effectiveness of your style of leadership. It will also give you the privilege of knowing if this specific leadership is well accepted by everyone in your team.
For personal and career development, it is important to regularly know each of your member’s strengths and weaknesses. An age-old aphorism goes, “a team is only as strong as its weakest link.” The team can either be brought down by the actions of an individual or be brought up by a particularly strong contributor.
Take the time to determine if a person is raising up or bringing down a team. Once you have identified the individuals, see if you can coach the other members of the team to take some of the same attitudes and practices.
Lastly, establish a baseline and clarify your definition of success so you can better judge and provide feedback on how successful your team is. Conducting regular evaluations significantly determines how great a team will be moving forward.
The fundamentals of succeeding in managing small teams lie in the knowledge that managing these teams is just as hard as managing mid-sized or even bigger teams. People often believe that managing a small team is easier, but that is hardly ever the case.
At the end of the day, the success of a team is only just a reflection of the combined efforts of each individual in a team.