Whether you’ve been doing it for decades or stepping into the role for the first time, managing a team is hard work. It requires practice and the strengthening of essential skills such as communication, coaching, delegating, and emotional intelligence.
“The goal of every leader should be to help people grow their skills, while also fostering a culture that makes everyone excited to go to work every day,” says Liberty & Company founder Erica Boeke, who has held leadership positions for more than 10 years at large companies like Condé Nast and The New York Times.
Here are three things great leaders do to set their teams up for success:
1. Encourage work-life balance
While you want your team to work hard and add value to the company, it’s also important to promote a healthy work-life balance.
Too often, managers put more focus into pushing their teams to meet deadlines and business goals. But this can lead to burnout and disengagement at work.
Companies like Apple, Salesforce, and Nike have added meditation rooms, to encourage employees to take breaks. Taking even just a few minutes to calm your your mind can have restorative effects on your health and boost attention span, studies have found.
2. Plan team-building activities
The best teams embrace working with each other, which can ultimately boost productivity and performance. The first step to encouraging collaboration is getting your team members to feel comfortable with one another. You can do this by creating a shared experience, like planning social outing to a new art exhibit.
Elizabeth Rosenberg, a director at creative agency 72andSunny, went above and beyond: The company flew team members out to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Since the company has offices in Amsterdam, Los Angeles, New York, Singapore, and Sydney, it was an excellent way for employees to meet their remote team members in person.
“Nothing beats face-to-face exchanges,” Rosenberg says. “Also, being in a completely new environment outside of the office makes the experience even more special.”
3. Empower them to succeed
Every employee wants to know that they are being noticed and valued — because it empowers them to succeed. One of the most effective ways to do this is to acknowledge their skills.
According to a 2019 Gallup poll, employees who are aware of their strengths are more motivated, perform better, and less likely to leave. When managers don’t notice or point out their team members’ strengths, disengagement can increase by up to 45%, the report found.
So pay close attention to the work of each team member and help them identify their strongest skills. Then, discuss how their can use those skills to add value to the company and excel in their career.
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