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Work Harder At Managing A Team

Managing a team of people toward a set of goals can be a challenge at the best of times. Many people end up in a managerial role because they were good at their job, and were simply promoted. It can be hard to detach from the day-to-day work and view the bigger picture, but it is your job as a manager to constantly look ahead.

You must foresee and plan for the tasks and problems your team will encounter. Once you have identified the individual steps you intend to take to reach your goal, you must then consider cost, deadlines, availability and experience of staff, and of course, allow for contingencies!

One of the most helpful tools available to a manager is a “Gantt chart”, which can be useful in both a project development setting, and in streamlining management of a day-to-day routine. The chart allows you to assemble all the tasks and order them as necessary; if “task A” must be completed before “task B” can be started, this can be reflected in the chart. After you have entered the task dependencies, the Gantt chart will quickly identify the “critical path” to your goal, beyond which your project cannot be shortened. You may then be able to shorten the critical path itself by identifying where more manpower could be applied, and on which vital tasks you should use your most experienced staff. Some items may not have any dependencies, and so might be more suitable for inexperienced staff.

When delegating individual tasks, you must be very specific about goals and deadlines. To ensure a team member has understood you, you should get them to relay back to you at the end of the discussion exactly what it is they think they will do. Less experienced staff may need to have work reviewed before full completion of the delegated task, to ensure work is going in the right direction.

Aside from planning projects and routines, it is important to motivate your staff and to reward them when necessary. You must also provide feedback to them so that they know what they did well, and also what they failed at. Good feedback is a powerful motivator, but the opposite is true too! A useful rule of thumb when reviewing the work of team membersFeature Articles, is to try to emphasise two positive things to counterbalance each single negative aspect of the person’s work.

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Manage a team in a constructive manner with help from experts, as discussed by David Enfield. This article may be used by any website publisher, though this resource box must always be included in full.

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