. Your team must know what is expected of them, and what will make them stand out amongst others. Each member of the team must be given clear measurable goals. Discuss and agree with each member before making it formal, your team member must accept it whole heartedly otherwise it won't serve any purpose.
. Having an emotional bonding with your team member helps to understand and appreciate the practical problems in life. Each one of us goes through ups and downs, and our performance does get affected during our tough time. It's important to stand by your team member going through a rough phase of life and provide all support. Rest assured, the returns will be many fold.
. Rely more on face to face communication rather than mails and written messages, listen to your juniors and appreciate their point of view, many a times you will find great ideas which will help organization to grow in the right direction
. Rely more on the process than people, when you have a strong system and process in place, you provide equal opportunity to all. Whenever faced with problems, try fixing the process and system first, than people.
Role clarity and Fitment
. It is expected from a Manager to give clear role and responsibilities to all team members according to their strengths and abilities. The role and responsibilities should be well defined for each member and measurable goals are provided to everyone to judge their performance
. Every individual expects appreciation and acknowledgement for the work; you must do this regularly in team meetings in front of all team mates. The appreciation must be done in public rather in private; this will motivate the person to do a better job in future and also be source of inspiration for others
. Fix a day and time every week to review the progress, this will ensure continuous improvement and at the same time monitor the progress on regular basis. We have also seen that as the review date comes closer, team members tend to finish assigned tasks before the given deadline. You must document the minutes in a soft file maintained for each member.
. Each one of us likes to do something different and new, everyone has a tremendous potential, we just need to get an opportunity and some support to get there. Explore the potential in each of your team member and give a task which is not a routine activity but aim to get long term benefits.
. We perform best when we get our own space to work in, this does not mean we will violate any of the organization processes, rather this will provide newer ideas to flow in the system, and create a sense of belonging. We excel in those activities which we like most, so promote creativity and accept and implement good ideas
Respect each other
. There is a saying that ‘what you get is what you give', so if we expect to be respected by others we have to give same to our team members. Avoid giving negative feedback in public, share it in a personal meeting after creating the right environment. As a senior member, we must control our anger and negative emotions.
. Many times, we feel it's better to do all the critical tasks ourselves rather than relying on others. This is not at all true, by delegating we are in a better position to monitor and focus on the more strategic decisions. Have trust in your team and believe that they can deliver the best.
. We must not compromise on 3 basic characteristics; honesty, hard work and quality. Demonstrate and cultivate this culture in your team, set the high moral and ethical values in the system, this will create huge difference in the long run.
. Leaders set their own examples, and earn respect from others. Each one of us has leadership qualities in certain areas, we just need to explore and nurture it. Help your team to take lead in any of their strength areas; this will help you to get better results and long term association with your team.
Respect for time
. Never ever compromise on discipline, if you set a meeting at a certain time, make sure that everyone is on time, latecomers can't be allowed in the meeting even if there are valid excuses. We must promote respect for each other's time. Just imagine if you have called 10 members and you start meeting late by 5 minutes, you have wasted 50 minutes of organization's precious time, same way it's equally important to end meetings on time.
. We must own the outcome of our actions and decisions, some of the decisions will go wrong and we must own responsibility and not blame the entire world for that. Most of the innovations and improvements are result of some of the failures, so don't be afraid to take risks and own responsibility of the outcome.
. Let's accept we are in a competitive world, our performance is not judged by how good we have done but how better we are than others. Do not hesitate to rate your team on a scale of 1 to 10, in different areas. The idea here is to make everyone aware of the fact that we have to compete in this world in every area of life.
Forget and Forgive
. Sometimes you have to bury the past and look forward, remember we are here for a cause. Let's not waste our time to settle scores and waste organization's time. We have to stay focussed and spend most of our energies in right direction.
Learn from mistakes
. Learn from others mistakes and try not to repeat the same yourself. Remember we are always short of time and we can't afford to waste time on already invented best practices. This does not mean you don't experiment; the message is to avoid wastage of time on things which are already available.
Recognize your strength
. Needless to mention, we all are born with so many strengths. We have to realize our strengths and exploit them rather wasting too much time to focus on our weak areas. It's true we can overcome many of our weaknesses but to get the result we need to keep working on our strength areas.
. I know, it's easier said than done, in a competitive world where each one of us is trying to take short cuts to reach to the top. As a manager, you own the responsibility to discourage this and promote openness and getting straight information from your team member rather than trying to create indirect communication channels.
. As a manager, it's your responsibility to cultivate and promote team work, organize team outing at least once in a quarter. You must go out and organize some team games. Avoid discussions on the routine work and if possible organize such events at a place far away from your work area.
. You create strong bonding within your team, when you occasionally also include their family members. This type of an event may be planned once in six months, and have some fun games for the family. This will provide an opportunity to understand each other's family, remember ‘to be successful', there has to be a strong support of family.
. We do discuss and plan trainings, but only at the time of appraisal which is mostly once a year. This is not enough. We need to discuss and plan trainings for the team based on organizational and individual needs. The training requirement needs to be discussed on a regular basis. It is also important that we ensure future assignments are in line with the trainings provided to individuals.
Change is inevitable
. Let us accept the fact that change is the law of nature. We must, on a regular basis, try and rotate responsibilities among team members. This will not only rejuvenate the team but also bring out the best from each team member.
Set higher goals
. There is a saying “Aim for the moon, even if you miss you will be among stars”, set tough goals for the team but remember don't make it impossible. Another key point is to set goal as per the individual's potential, this is a gradual process and the bar has to be raised every time you get to your set goal.
. Positive environment plays a key role for the team to perform; a high performer can also fail if the right environment is not given. When we talk of environment, there are 3 key factors, ‘freedom to express your opinions without fear', ‘motivate and reward successes' and last but not the least ‘empower your team to take decisions'.
. Keep at least 30 minutes of your time aside to just focus on where things may go wrong. Be proactive and not always reactive to the situation, as we say prevention is better than cure. Learn from past mistakes and take all precautions to avoid re-occurrence.
Out of Box
. Promote 'out of the box' thinking, show a little bit of flexibility on the written process and guidelines, many times you may discover a much better way. This is all about improvisation. Younger minds bring great ideas and they do wonders.
. As we do brand building, we need to nurture each one of our team member to bring out their best. Try to discover the core strength in each individual and let them be aware of their core strength. This will help them in future to create their own USP (unique selling point).
. We must celebrate each and every success however small it may be. It may be just a small get together with team , arrange an appreciation card and write small paragraph about success, and do not forget to mention the name of key contributors.
Reward at right time
. We must reward our team members at the right time and not wait till person is so frustrated that he start looking for another options. This will also show that how much you care for your team.
. Before we start any project, it's a good practice to get together with the team and understand their family background and if anyone would like to share any of their personal issues. In the beginning, the leader of the team talks of himself and then asks each one of the team members to speak. The leader may note down certain key points for future reference. This will lay down a good foundation for the team to work together.
. In the beginning of any project, brainstorm with the team and explore what each one of your team members would like to do. Distribute work in such a way which takes care of individual interests and strengths. Ask everyone to talk and share their opinions.
. One of the key factors for a successful team is to work towards a common vision. Discuss and define the vision for the team right in the beginning of the project. The team vision is to ensure that each one of the team members is aligned towards meeting project objectives
. To be successful as a team, we must listen to everyone's point of view and ensure that all the key decisions are taken with due consideration of the opinions of the team. This will promote ownership and each team member will feel part of the process.
. In a team, this is the most important factor which actually decides the success or failure of the project. The leader of the team must ensure that each team member avoids talking behind each other's back, to promote openness and to be honest. This is a process and will take some time to build trust, but as a leader we have to ensure that we move in the right directions.
. Encourage participation in meetings and motivate the team to ask questions. Each member of the team must not be scared to ask any question, this will be possible if we as a manager promote the openness and encourage all to participate.
Help each other
. Each one of team members will have certain areas of expertise. Explore and let your team know where one can seek help within the team. This will not only promote teamwork, but also help to create subject matter experts in the long run.
Create Sub Teams
. Most likely the project work will be divided in smaller teams depending on the nature of the tasks. The leader of the team must ensure that goals of each team are aligned to the project goals, and leader also has checkpoints to ensure that each team is working in the right direction.
Celebrate Success 2
. Every success must be celebrated with the team, we may just have a small get together, and the leader of the team must talk about the success story and also share the name of the key contributors. This may be followed by a token of appreciation in terms of small gifts or certificates signed by the leader. Celebration is a vital part of project management.
. From time to time, the leader of the team must organize team outings. If possible, hire a professional who can organize some team games. We have seen very exciting results when each team member opens up and starts having greater trust in each other. This also helps to reduce the stress levels of individuals
Plan and Prioritize
. First and foremost, for effective time management plan your day, spend 10 minutes in the morning and list down all the tasks you would like to do. Prioritize the tasks as per the urgency and importance. Put all the tasks which are urgent and important on top priority followed by tasks which are important but not so urgent and so on.
Findout Prime Time
. Some people are more active (Prime Time) during morning and some like to work late in the night. Most research shows that tasks that requiret mental concentration are most effectively accomplished early in the day, but this is not always true. Go by what you feel. Plan your tasks in such a way that tasks which are more challenging are planned during your prime time.
. Many times when we are in the middle of something important, our mobile rings and takes away the attention from the task. It's not possible to completely ignore it, but try to minimize your interruptions. For every interruption, you lose your precious time, you have to stop the work and waste time in recalling where you were before you can restart.
. Most of us feel that by delegating, we will end up spending more time but that's not true; delegate those tasks which can be accomplished by your juniors. Remember, this is your responsibility to bring up your juniors and provide them opportunities to grow. This will make you save a lot of your own precious time where you can think of long term strategies
. Do not wait till your deadline arrives; plan your activities in such a way that you keep some buffer. If you experience stress, take a break, there is no point going on and on. This will make you tired early and you need to spend much more time to complete the same tasks. Dealing with stress is an important part of time management
. Your body and mind needs time to re-energize. You would have experienced that many times it takes much longer to complete similar tasks; this is due to the imbalance we tend to create with us. Plan your day in such a way that you give equal importance to your personal and professional life.
Utilize Idle time
. While we are travelling or waiting for something to happen, we can utilize this time for doing tasks which do not require too much of concentration. Recognize and make use of this time, this can definitely improve your time management.
Avoid multi tasking
. We are all humans and can't really do too many things at the same time.We have to realize this. If you attempt to do so, you will find that you make mistakes and waste your time in taking corrective actions.
. This is the most common mistake we all commit. We generally tend to postpone the tasks that are either boring or too difficult. Later the work piles up and generates stress. The best way to deal with this is to first acknowledge that you indeed procrastinate. Then figure out the reasons and take corrective actions.
Review your day
. Do set aside some time later in the day to review your day. Think about some of the tasks which took much longer than you planned or thought. Introspect and find out the reasons where your time got wasted. Take corrective action in future. Remember, there is always a better way of doing things. Try to do things in a different way when you do a similar task next time.