Whether you are setting up a business start-up or reorganising an established company, it’s vital to arrive at an appropriate structure for your team. When you achieve this, the business operation becomes streamlined and productivity improves. Here are a few tips for team leaders and operational managers seeking the best ways to structure a team:
Back your people first
Business experts often say that a brilliant team of people with an average plan of action will perform better than an average team of people with a brilliant plan of action. As an employer you need to engage with your workforce, to help them share your common goals and to feel trusted and supported. Your team members also need to feel they are in a positive working environment – this helps them identify with common aims and objectives.
Create your workplace culture
As a leader or manager, it is your role to determine the ‘personality’ or culture of your business. Core values must be both clearly defined and clearly communicated. Employees need to know that their work is meaningful, and to understand how it fits with the company’s prime aims.
Nurture your talent
Strong positive cultures attract talented people. Choose skilled employees carefully and think hard about how their roles fit together. For example, do you need a team comprising full-time employees for every project, or are there some instances when using specialists, such as IT consultants, makes more sense? Remember that you can always use a reputable Employment Management Company to recruit contractors for short-term work. This may make more sense depending on your circumstances, and may provide economic as well as teamwork benefits.
Dealing with problems
Difficulties arise in many team situations, and learning how best to handle these is an important lesson. For example, a culture of blame is not helpful in a case where a tricky issue has arisen. This serves to alienate team members and may have a negative impact on the performance of the whole team. Instead of endlessly discussing problems in team meetings, aim to shift the focus to what is working well and what solutions can be identified.
With regular, positive feedback, most employees will feel inspired, valued and motivated – failure to do this can result in workers feeling uncomfortable about their standing and a little ‘at sea’ about their achievements, resulting in lack of confidence.
As a manager or leader, never give half-hearted or faint praise. Once again, this can affect a team member’s self-esteem and even the morale of the team as a whole. Instead, acknowledge contributions and achievements and reward success. Recognising positive attainments will encourage other team members to try harder, as well as having a beneficial effect on the recipient.
Finally, take some time out so that everyone can enjoy focusing on shared activities that are not work-related. Whether this is paintballing, rock climbing or simply organising a party will depend on the organisational culture and what you think will work with the team dynamics.