How to Manage a Team Effectively in 15 Simple Steps

Joanna Zambas
Joanna Zambas

Content Manager and Career Expert

Reviewed by Chris Leitch

Illustration of a male manager wearing a suit leading a team meeting

It’s one thing to be a manager and another to be an effective manager.

To lead a team successfully, you will need to be approachable and understanding, and have the skills to motivate team members and gain results.

So, if you’re new to management or just want to check if you’re ticking all the boxes, we’ve listed the golden rules to effective team management.

By following these 15 simple tips, you’ll be on the road to success in no time!

1. Maintain Good Communication

You’ve probably heard ‘communication is key’ a thousand times already, but when it comes to great team management, this phrase has never been truer.

Employees want to feel involved at work, so by communicating clearly, you’ll keep them in the loop, which will make them feel valued.

Besides team collaboration, clear communication is at the forefront of smooth operations. Clearly expressing instructions and expectations leaves no room for error.

2. Don’t Micromanage

Micromanaging will single-handedly ruin your relationship with your employees and can even demotivate them. Your employees want to feel trusted, so if you’re known to control every single aspect of your company's operations, stop now!

Micromanaging wastes everybody’s time – not just your employees’. Indeed, you’ll end up wasting a lot of your own valuable time from continuously chasing up your team instead of focusing on tasks that only you can do.

3. Build Strong Relationships

It’s important to get to know your employees beyond their CV and skillset, and to become acquainted with who they are as people and identify common interests.

As you spend most of your waking day with your team, it’s essential that you build strong and loyal relationships with them.

Not only does a strong relationship help with team collaboration, but it also increases the likelihood of your good employees sticking around. With around 10% of millennials in the US changing jobs every year, it’s vital that you build strong relationships with employees to ensure they’re satisfied at work.

4. Acknowledge and Reward Good Work

Another great way to enhance employee satisfaction is to acknowledge and reward good work too.

As a manager, it’s easy to just critique work and point out when someone is doing something wrong rather than identify when a worker has exceeded expectations.

By providing good feedback, you will boost your employees’ confidence and encourage them to work harder and be more involved in the future. That said, it’s important to offer rewards where possible, too; it doesn’t have to be something extravagant, but a gesture of after-work drinks could be a good pick-me-up for your team.

5. Own Up to Your Mistakes

Nobody is perfect and, as a manager, you’re going to naturally make mistakes every now and again. Whether it’s something small or big, own up to your mistakes to prove that you’re human, too!

As well as sharing your wrongdoings, you should also explain what lessons you’ve learnt from them. By self-evaluating, you will also encourage your staff members to do the same. They may end up being more mindful when they make a mistake at work, too.

This ties into my next point: leading by example.

6. Lead by Example

In the workplace, you should only act the way that you’d expect your employees to behave.

So, if you have a strict working hours policy and expect that all employees arrive to work at 9am, you should arrive a little before the starting time. Being the boss doesn’t excuse you from following the rules!

Your staff will look to you for inspiration and guidance, so don’t let them down by acting in a way that is unethical. It’s important to align your efforts with the company’s goals and encourage your employees to do the same.

7. Be Decisive

There’s nothing worse than a manager being indecisive about the smallest of decisions.

As your staff members will come to you for advice, it’s important that you are assertive. Stick by your instincts and authority, and implement the decisions that you believe will work.

That said, it’s important to take your team’s input into account – if they believe strongly against one of your ideas, sit back and reflect why, and quickly make a change to your initial direction.

8. Delegate Jobs

As discussed earlier, it’s impossible for you to do all the work yourself, which is why you should trust your employees to take control of their own segments.

This is where delegation comes into play – by tapping into the strengths of your team members, you’ll be able to divide jobs between the right people.

By delegating roles, your employees will also be more engaged with the work that they’re doing, as they will be working on something that they enjoy. Your staff will also have a clear understanding of their role and the significant impact that they will make to the success of the team.

9. Manage Conflict Diplomatically

Whenever there is conflict in the workplace, it’s your duty as a manager to resolve it.

That said, don’t take sides when handling the conflict. Instead, bring the concerning employees into a private room and let them openly discuss their issues. You can mediate the discussion to ensure that it’s productive and that you come to a solution that everyone is happy with.

That said, it’s important to squash the conflict as soon as it arises. Don’t let it fester into something that causes tension in the workplace and starts to affect the entire team.

10. Encourage Open Discussions

In a collaborative work environment, your employees should be able to talk and share their opinions freely, without any judgement. It’s your duty as a manager to encourage open discussions amongst your team members.

You could do this by arranging biweekly meetings and leave time at the end of each meeting for your employees to mention any issues or make any suggestions they may have.

Additionally, be sure to let your team know that your door is always open for anything! Your staff shouldn’t be afraid of bringing the smallest issue to your attention!

11. Make the Workplace an Enjoyable One

The workplace should have an element of fun to it. You want your team to be excited to come to work every day and not dread it!

Depending on your industry, there are small changes that you can make for the workplace to be more enjoyable.

For example, if you work in an office, consider having a team-building afternoon every Friday where you can play games to boost team spirit and morale

12. Ask Questions

Involve your team with important decisions by asking questions – and actually listening to what they have to say. A lot of leaders ask questions but make the mistake of not actively listening to the suggestions that are being made, which can end up having a negative effect on team morale.

So, to ensure that your staff feel supported, have an open dialogue and resolve any issues by identifying problems and working together to create solutions.

13. Offer Support

Providing feedback is a great way of supporting your employers.

Don’t leave it until the yearly review to provide valuable feedback and realign goals, though. Instead, check in with your employers regularly and offer support where needed.

The key to a great team is a strong support system where colleagues can rely on each other for advice and assistance when needed.

14. Use Project Management Tools

Project management tools are a great way to see the workflow of a task without having to bother your employees for an update. This not only makes responsibilities clear but also ensures that staff members are working towards and sticking to a deadline.

By following this workflow, it allows you to have a less hands-on approach and it will give you the time to focus on other projects – making a more efficient workforce.

15. Set Realistic Expectations

As a manager, it’s important to set realistic expectations.

Let’s say that your team has a target to meet. This target will need to be something that they can actually reach. You will know the bigger picture and will be able to predict which improvements are realistic and which aren’t.

As a manager, you will naturally know which tips to implement into your strategy. What’s important to take away from this article is the way in which you collaborate with your employees. Good communication is the backbone of an effective team and should never be forgotten!

Do you have any other effective team management tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments section below!