Image from “The Office”
There is no magic key to unlocking team productivity. Great team cohesiveness comes from hard work, communication, and a dedicated leader. According to the Harvard Business Review, Gallup has found good managers motivate employees with a compelling mission and vision, drive outcomes despite of adversity and resistance, “create a culture of clear accountability,” and make decisions based on “productivity, not politics.” Managers play pivotal roles in a team’s success, and below are some traits of successful leaders with productive teams.
They know their team members. Managers who know their team members’ strengths and weaknesses understand how to assign the best role for each member. Always play to a team member’s strengths, and help them improve their weaknesses. They may also have hobbies or special skills that could apply to their job.
They encourage continual growth. The best managers care about the growth of their teams, and encourage the development of strengths and management of weaknesses. Team members value managers who are concerned with their self-improvement, and teams get better as a unit as each member grows.
They keep learning. Managers are leaders, and should lead their teams to becoming better and more skilled. The continuous learning of team members is important, and a role model in the endeavor will help guide and refine the process. Managers have to be one-step ahead of their teams; if your employees are taking an intro to statistics class, you should be taking the advanced statistics class.
They think about their employees’ futures. Great managers plan for the futures of their teams as a whole, and for team members as individuals. Train your dedicated, talented employees for advancement within the company. Having a pool of skilled individuals to draw from within your company will safeguard against havoc when someone leaves unexpectedly, and creates opportunities for advancement within a company.
To summarize, in order to manage productive teams, you must understand the strengths, weaknesses, futures and potential of your team members and encourage continual learning and development.