However, if your business has as little as two employees, you need to learn how to manage them as soon as possible. But then, whether big or small business, it is not enough to hire the right people, but to make them do the right things at all time. Consider the following tips which have been proven to help business owners manage their teams.
1. Sell them the Dream
For many experts, an effective team is one in which every team member has bought into the dreams, philosophies, mission and vision of the manager. According to Ollie Smith, CEO of ExpertSure “When the dream is yours, and yours only, you are probably going to do most of the work alone. But when team members buys into the dream and own it like it is theirs; loyalty, effectiveness and productivity more than triples”
This assertion has proven to be effective in not just business, but in military warfare, sports and entertainment. It is a safe to say that a team that has bought the leader’s dream is like a system on autopilot – the boss can afford to take regular naps.
2. Compliment Generously and Openly
I learnt this trick from Dale Carnegie In his 1937 classic How to Win Friends and Influence People. Dale Carnegie teaches that to make people do things, we must appeal to their conscience, ego and happiness before ours. So to say, we must ask to order, request and not demand anything from an employee even though we will be paying them.
Should a team member do something wrong, a reprimand should come only after that member must have been praised for a previous job well done. This reprimand, however, must be a private one. Publicly rebuking a team member breeds rebellion and contempt.
3. Identify and Promote Talent
Every human likes to be in an environment where growth is possible. If they cannot grow, they simply cannot stay. According to Stanley Imoisili, a leading elf-help author “There is a special ability every employee brings to your company. As a good boss, you must identify each employee’s talents and help it grow, and this employee will give you his best as a reward”
This is what great soccer coaches do. They turn ordinary players to legends.
Simply put, they identify some talent which no one else sees, and nourishes it till it becomes a wonder. As a boss, think of yourself as a coach, not a military commander.
4. Give Team Member a Little Independence
Throughout the course of history, we have seen the quest for independence lead to uprisings, secession and even wars. All of this stem from the basic human instinct of wanting to be free. No matter how nice a boss you are, your employees or team members will sometimes want to do things their way. It is often for your own good as you cannot be right at all times.
Strategically allowing them some freedom especially in terms of making decisions makes them believe you trust them. Knowing that you trust their sense of judgment, they will be motivated to give you their very best.
5. Make Everyone Learn Constantly
This happens in two ways: self-education and team education. You must constantly update yourself with the latest and most effective management techniques in your chosen industry. Reading leadership books is a great start. Many CEOs admit that leadership classics from experts like John C Maxwell have proved very useful.
Team members too, must not relax. They should be encouraged to improve their performance through exposure to good books, seminars and podcasts. Sometimes, business owners have to invest in team education and motivation. Henry Ford did, and many CEOs do it today too. Coursera is a place where both manager and team can learn for free while Udemy (paid) provides even better training on desired topics.
I trust these tips can help become a better team leader, and moreso, that they help your business get the growth it deserves.