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Business + Management: Marty Mcghie

4 Requirements for Building an Effective Team

As a shop manager, it’s on you to embolden your employees.

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BUILDING EFFECTIVE TEAMS in the workplace is a constant challenge for managers. Too often they face unnecessary stress and burn out because they haven’t developed a strong team to help them deal with day-to-day problems. Lacking the strength and support of a solid team will probably require you to solve all of those issues yourself. But as you build effective teams to support you, both your performance as a manager and your level of happiness will undoubtedly raise to a much higher level. Here are four key elements to assist you in building effective teams.

Strong Personnel — Begin by analyzing your existing staff members to determine if you have the right personnel to develop the team you need. Please note I use the word “develop” meaning this is a process. You probably don’t have all team members functioning in a highly productive manner quite yet. But don’t let that stop you. Identify employees who are motivated to become better at their jobs.. Then, you can work and improve together as a team to accomplish your goals.

Open Communication — An important step in developing effective teams is to establish an environment where open communication is embraced. Building a group with open communication means that both you and your staff are completely comfortable sharing 100-percent honest feedback with each other, whether that be good or bad. Of course, giving negative feedback to a fellow team member or to your manager is difficult. However, when you’re willing to accept healthy criticism in a positive way and they see you making meaningful changes, communication channels will open for your entire team.

Clear Expectations —All too often managers fail to set and communicate clear expectations. In fact, employee polls often indicate they have a much foggier idea of what’s expected of them than managers may think. At times, we don’t do a good job of helping our team members understand individual expectations nor do we share our team or company expectations. One idea here might be to create a mini-mission statement of what you and your department would like to accomplish within a given time-period. That may be for the year, or the quarter, or maybe just the current month. It could be something very simple like cutting reworks by 10 percent. The point is, when you share, then frequently revisit your mini-mission statement, everyone will understand the expectation and will align their behavior to accomplish the goals.

Pathways to Growth — One of the most important measures of an employee’s job satisfaction is whether they can see a path of growth within the company. When I promote people in our organization to any kind of management position, one of my first instructions is to have them identify and begin training their replacement. As you might imagine, that comment is often met with confusion and apprehension. However, I then explain the only way for them to progress to the next level is to help ensure they can be replaced. Providing opportunities for growth and assisting your employees in that process is critical when developing effective teams. You want your employees to be “all-in.” The only way to help them commit is to provide them with a viable pathway to growth.

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Marty Mcghie is CEO/partner of Signs.com, an online provider of custom signage based in Sale Lake City. You can email him at . marty@signs.com.

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