Improving your team performance

Managing teams, humans, is a difficult kind of art. And getting the most out of them is an obsession for every responsible or team leader.

Surely, a certain economic raise often provides comfort and rewards the work of people, but it’s not all about money.

Responsibilities, work ethic, dedication, motivation, are usually not directly connected only with salary. To reward effort, building self-esteem, confidence, increase enthusiasm, could help to achieve maximum performance and get out the passion of a team.

These practices could help you to get the full potential of your team:

  • Give freedom: As far as possible, giving freedom would make everyone to work the best they know. From a set of minimum “best practices”, given freedom allows you to use all the talent and creativity. It is not always possible to give that amount freedom, and some people don’t want it, but some autonomy can also bring personal satisfaction.
  • Create leadership roles: Giving an important role to a member usually leads to greater involvement. There are many small roles or responsibilities in the normal development of teamwork, enough so that everyone can play a leading role within the team.
  • Mark targets or milestones: Without a milestone, the work can be monotonous and repetitive. Everyone has a competitive spirit. Milestones usually give a sense of purpose, and can even be fun.
  • Make clear the expectations: Not communicating what you expect from a person’s work can lead to unexpected and stressful situations. You can not change your mind from week to week, and if conditions or environment change, you should inform asap.
  • Allow ideas, suggestions, and even ask for help: When you don’t allow suggestions or ideas, or trash them without considering, you create robots. And robots are not involved, nor care what they do. You won’t always carry them out, but make them feel valued for their ideas. Also let them help often means respect and recognition to their abilities, and allows people to strengthen their confidence and also your confidence on them.
  • Connect to people: Everyone works for money, but works also with and for people. Any friendly talk, discussion, sometimes support, show interest in certain situations, or even words of encouragement, may be more important than any meeting or formal evaluation.
  • Be fair and consistent: Although the goal is to treat people equally, it is difficult not to treat people differently, either by ability, affinities, needs, etc.. To avoid surprises, you should be consistent, communicate often, and treat people fairly. This will prevent your difficult decissions to be considered unfair or preferential treatment for someone else.
  • Training and future plan: All jobs should help for staff training, even if they develope outside the company. The big question: Is it better to have a team without specializing for a long period of time, or an expert team with the risk of changing to another job? If you’re interested about the future of your employees, they will be interested in yours and the company.

Of course, management is not an exact science. Not always are given the perfect conditions, and the points I have recommended could be difficult to follow.

Anyway, I hope these points would be helpful to someone.

Also published on Medium.

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Also published on Medium.

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