8 Core Skills for Team Management
What Is Team Management?
Team management refers to how well a leader or an organization selects and coordinates a team to achieve certain objectives.
Every team has a mixture of personalities and people. Engaging everybody to work toward the same goal can be challenging.
In a corporate environment, a team must work together to achieve an objective over an agreed period. This may be a research project, a presentation to the corporate board or something else.
The management of a team is largely judged by the ease with which their objectives are achieved.
There are many different management styles and methods, but well-managed teams have certain factors in common. Strong communication, cooperation and the correct delegation of roles are some of the key ways to achieve success.
In all major corporations and businesses, team projects are implemented to work towards set targets. Results can be achieved quickly in this way, as all team members have an opportunity for input.
In this article, we will investigate why team management matters so much in a corporate environment.
We will also describe the core skills for successful team management. They apply not only to managers but also to all members of a team.
These skills are transferable to other team environments. Whether you are on a sports team or run a small business, you should consider applying these core skills.
Why Does Team Management Matter?
There are several excellent reasons to ensure that good team management is used in your organization. It will help teams to achieve their goals on time, keep staff motivated and more.
Read on to discover the main reasons to implement effective team management.
The stress of a deadline can put pressure on an individual to complete an assigned project.
In a team environment, this pressure is not solely on the individual. With more people pulling in the same direction, the fear of a deadline is reduced.
The impact of a deadline on an individual’s productivity can have varied results. It may force someone to complete the work but it does not necessarily mean they will produce work of the best quality.
According to the principle of Parkinson’s Law, the work we are assigned will inevitably fill the time allocated to complete it.
For example, if we are given a deadline of five days for a project, we will automatically use the full five days, even if it may only be two days’ work.
A team deadline means that more can be achieved over a shorter period. It also ensures the weight of the deadline is not on just one person.
How we carry out tasks and how we work toward the objectives determines the outlook of the final project.
In a team environment, everybody has the opportunity to strategize. If something isn’t going to plan, this can be discussed within the team. There is generally a broader perspective in a team environment because of the contribution of more people.
When you are working alone, it can be hard to see what can be improved. This may lead to a lot of wasted energy.
Effectively changing or sticking to a strategy relies on good communication and scrutiny. These traits are optimized in team environments.
A good team is made of various specialists who all have strong skill sets in different areas.
One person may have a solid background in HR and admin, while another may be very vocal and good at presenting. Everybody works on the areas in which they are specialized to complete a project.
How roles are delegated within a team depends upon the team leader. If you are in this position, ensure that you delegate the roles to the most suitable people.
Delegation also means that heavy workloads can be shared. If a project requires a lot of research or number crunching, then more people can be put to work on that task.
In a good team environment, when someone has finished their assigned role, they help others to complete their workload.
With everybody pulling in the same direction, it is less likely that someone will give up on the project.
When we are working alone, we are more likely to be discouraged by the workload or complexity of a task. This negativity is reduced in a team environment.
There are more opportunities to encourage each other in a clear support network. If a team member is feeling anxious or unsure of what to do, they can turn to other team members for help.
A team environment is also a great way of maintaining people’s interest in the project.
Avoiding boredom or disinterest when you are working alone is difficult, especially if the task is long. Employees tend to be more satisfied when they are working in a team environment.
When you are in a team, there are more opportunities to interact with other people. Conversations about a task can help to alleviate boredom.
There are also more opportunities to integrate team-building tasks and fun activities when you are working with other people.
Having someone design quizzes or games for a team is just as important as the completion of the project. With more variety and light-hearted fun in the workplace, individuals will remain engaged in a project. This leads to better results in the long term.
In most circumstances, more work can get done within a team because of the number of people working toward the same goal.
It is rare cases that individuals can do more work than a team. People who are more productive alone are often not sociable and can even come across as rude.
These types of people make good leaders, but they may be hard to work with in a team environment.
If a team can make good use of each personality and give them the best role for their characteristics, productivity will significantly increase.
Team environments are also great for helping others develop. The members learn from each other’s specialties, helping them to be more productive in the future.
The process is just as important as achieving the objective. Working in a team can improve everybody’s performance, leading to better productivity.
Results and Review
Once the project is complete, a team should review their work and how well they cooperated.
This is a great way to highlight which individuals performed well. Identifying the top performers can help a leader understand what roles suit specific individuals.
The review stage can also help leaders to select who needs extra training ahead of the next project.
If the results of a project are positive, giving an extrinsic reward to the whole team boosts employee satisfaction and morale.
Core Skills for Team Management
A good team can deliver better results and improved performance. However, without the right core skills in place, a team may be dysfunctional.
These core skills need to be present in most of the team members, and must be cultivated.
The stronger their presence, the better the results.
This is arguably the most important skill in any team environment.
Each team member needs to be able to freely and clearly communicate their ideas. If communication is not present from the start, it will not be clear how the objective will be achieved.
The correct delegation of roles within a team also relies upon strong communication. Each member needs to be clear about where their skills will be best used.
If communication is poor within a team, there will be a loss of productivity.
A team that can discuss issues and the areas in which the project needs to focus tends to perform better.
A good plan is essential for guiding all members of a team, so that they understand exactly what to do. Designing a strong plan at the start of a project helps teams fairly delegate roles and workloads.
It will also help a team judge how long a project will take to finish. Having a plan to hand will keep people on task.
Plans can also be updated during the team process if there are changes in personnel or project objectives.
There must be a leader in a team. If you lack experience, you may not be suited for the role, but do make sure a leader is selected.
There is a range of leadership styles, each suited to a different team or project. For example, you may be democratic or more authoritarian.
The leadership style depends on your personality. Find out your major personality traits and optimize a leadership style to suit them.
Avoid trying to implement a leadership style that does not suit you. This will come across as unnatural and you will not get the best out of your team.
A strong leader carries the morale of a team and deals with any grievances.
Any successful team, whether in the workplace, sport or elsewhere, is consistent.
Team members need to treat each other consistently well. They also need to consistently hit their primary objectives.
Consistency also builds momentum within a team. With more momentum, the work is completed quicker and to a higher standard.
To cultivate consistency in a team, processes and actions need to be repeated.
For example, if a team sets out 10 objectives and each time an objective is completed, an intrinsic or extrinsic reward is given, momentum will be created.
After the fifth or sixth objective is achieved, the team will be aware of the process, leading to consistency in the working procedures.
In all projects and tasks, drive is needed to see a project through, especially in difficult times. For example, there may be moments when a team must increase their working hours.
Drive can be cultivated through a strong leader or through individuals who are willing to put in the extra effort.
If there is a lack of drive in a team, the project is less likely to finish on time, or at all.
Team members who have drive are also inspirational. Having this quality in a team will help others carry their own workloads.
Teams in a corporate environment are often set up to offer training opportunities to employees.
A new employee or a less experienced memebr of the team can observe more experienced colleagues.
Criticism can also offer an opportunity for development. When negative feedback is passed to one individual, it can be discouraging and reduce their confidence in their ability.
When criticism is passed on to the team, the members can reflect on the process together and work to find solutions for the future.
If just one team member is unwilling to contribute or cooperate, the whole team will suffer.
All team members must work on their assigned objective. They must also be willing to support each other.
If mistakes are made during a project, team members should take accountability. Otherwise, the blame will be passed around the team and it will be difficult to find a solution.
If you are a leader, find team members whom you can trust and be honest with. Acknowledgment and accountability are key for completing a project.
Team projects can be difficult, and they often require a heavier workload than individual projects. They require everybody to work to their potential, but this is not always possible.
There must be a degree of compassion within a team. If mistakes are made or workloads are not met, the best way to deal with them is through constructive suggestions.
If you berate or belittle team members, they will not want to apply themselves to the work. Less work leads to a reduction in productivity and less improvement of the individual.
Having positive team meetings and team-building projects can increase a team’s cohesion. People will feel more comfortable expressing themselves.
If you are a team leader, try and be compassionate to everybody. Ensure that you treat everybody fairly and avoid any form of discrimination.
Team management is an essential element of success in the corporate environment.
If you are working on a project or are on the board of a company, you will need the core skills outlined in this article to get the results you desire.
Without implementing these core skills, your team will be less productive. Try to optimize these eight core skills to achieve the best results.