Managing people in work teams effectively
Updated: Sep 8, 2019
Hello everyone! Our current post is a bit different from the traditional photography related posts we usually post on this blog. Today, we will discuss about the most important element of any business (for e.g. a services business like photography) i.e. People and teamwork!
Yes my friends, whether it be a services business like photography or a manufacturing business, whether you are an employee or a self-employed entrepreneur, there is always one constant issue that we continually face, which is to manage our workforce effectively.
The following is a list of basic pointers to keep in mind to address the complex area of people management:
a) Knowing your team's knowledge base and key competency areas:
Make sure you are familiar with the key knowledge areas of your team and ensure your team has a right mix of members having different and complementing skill sets necessary to complete the assigned tasks. This helps ensure that the overall knowledge base of the team is optimum for the task execution and ultimately towards achievement of business goals / objectives.
b) Assigning defined tasks within defined timelines:
It is very important to assign clear tasks along with a reasonable timeframe for completion. The clearer the task is defined the easier will it be for the team members to carry them out.
c) Being approachable and monitoring the team's performance regularly:
It is very important that the team leader is approachable and gives off a "positive air" so that any difficulties in performing the tasks are resolved on a timely basis. Moreover, the team's assigned tasks should be monitored on a regular basis so that they can be completed within the stated timeframe.
The delicate balance between too much micro management and trusting the team members for the assigned tasks must be achieved and carefully handled to ensure that there is no demotivation in the team. If your organization is small and there is only a single team then the performance appraisals can be done easily, but if your organization is multi layered and has multiple businesses then a proper performance appraisal system is a must.
d) Communication of business needs' linkage with the task:
It is very important that the business needs of the organization which led to need of assigned task to be performed are communicated and understood by the team members. There may be times when such information may be required to be kept confidential, but where confidentiality is not an issue, such clear communication will motivate the team as it links their task to the "bigger picture of the organization". Thus, for e.g. explaining the importance of an editing requirement for a client will help ensure that the editor understands that exactly what and how his / her assigned task will contribute to the organization as a whole.
e) Rewards / promotions, counseling and letting go:
Once the assigned tasks have completed conduct a performance review of the team members. For those who did exceptionally well, praise them well but mere lip service is not enough. Ensure that you have made arrangements to adequately reward their extra efforts by promotions or performance bonuses.
As for those members whose performance was not up to the mark, conduct a counseling session with them highlighting their weaknesses and how they can improve upon those areas. In the next tasks, monitor their performance for close compliance and see how whether the weaknesses are being resolved or not.
If not, conduct more sessions and if the team member still doesn’t perform then one must question if the non-performance is due to any valid personal reasons (for e.g. sickness in family) or that the team member is deliberately avoiding work. If the latter is the case and it is established that the lack of performance is deliberate then the difficult task of letting him / her go must be done to ensure that the team performance is not affected.
These were some key pointers to ensure that the projects and the businesses do not go off track via improper people management. We at Pi Studio hope all of you succeed in delivering quality results to your clients every time!