What good managers should always keep in mind that although people are set in their ways, there’s always room for improvement. You just need to motivate them enough to do a little more and break out of old habits into better practices. Easier said than done, that’s true, but little things always help.
So before you tackle the major roadblocks in your team’s performance, look at the small things you can do to help the process along:
1. Talk to higher-ups more and show your team that you can act as a good go-between
It’s vital that your team can see that you can relay their sentiments well with superiors and decision-makers in the company. When they see that they can trust you to speak with executives on their behalf readily, then they get the feeling that you’ve got their back during tough times at the office. Sometimes, staff may think that they are misrepresented by their managers to the higher-ups which may end up in lots of distrust. The last thing you want is your team to think what you tell VPs and executives isn’t true or is a gross overestimation of their capabilities.
2. Be an expert
Just because you’re managing people, that doesn’t mean you should leave all the thinking about projects to them and whoever you chose to be project lead. Involvement doesn’t mean you have to make decisions, but it means that you’re showing them they can count on you to give expert advice on the task at hand. Being able to have authority and clear knowledge of what’s going on makes your team trust you more, and when they know that they’re moving in the right direction with your help, expect them to be braver and more enthusiastic in their work.
3. Give clear rewards
You don’t have to give rewards for any work done all the time, but it’s best to do so every now and then on a consistent basis. Employees tend to see patterns on how rewards are given, or when something extra is handed out for great performance. Make sure you watch yourself and suggest to executives what rewards could be reasonable but fulfilling.
4. Use tech to make things easier
Always look for ways to make turnover faster and workflow more efficient. Technology, in the form of hardware and software can often help you save money, make things more accessible and make work move faster. Try using a virtual office or cloud-based file sharing system. VoIP phone services may make your phone costs cheaper and staff more accessible. Always look at new tech that can benefit your team. They’ll appreciate new systems if it will improve the work environment.
5. Introduce change as slowly as you can
When something new comes up with your team, try to enact the change as slow as you can. Introduce it in the gentlest way possible and in the most positive light so that your team doesn’t feel overwhelmed or confused. Keep in mind that they will resist and grumble no matter what, but it’s up to you to make things easier.