As the leader of a team, your number one responsibility is to ensure that targets are being met and it is up to you how you go about doing that. Long-term productivity rests on your ability to develop your employees, bringing the best out of them to the benefit of the company.
The question is, though, how much time should you spend with each of your members of staff? Where is the middle ground between micromanaging and coming across as though you are disinterested? It’s a difficult balancing act that can easily take up more of your time than attending to paperwork that lands on your desk (or emails in your inbox, as is more likely in today’s digital world).
According to a study, it is claimed that team leaders should be willing to dedicate six hours of their working week to each of their members of staff. That may sound like a lot, depending on how big a team you are responsible for, but it doesn’t have to be as intensive as it may come across at first.
Interactions do not necessarily mean sitting across the desk from your member of staff analysing their every move for a solid six-hour period. That is too much and, if anything, is simply not being productive. There are better ways of utilising your time.
Making yourself available to your employees is a big step, which is why an open-door policy is always a plus for team harmony, as well as for maintaining a connection between you and your team. Having a conversation or chairing a meeting or brainstorming session (and therefore engaging multiple employees at once) all help to increase that interaction time.
It is one thing interacting with an employee, but it is another thing to make that time count.
When you consider how many members of the team there are and how you are going to go about spreading your time across them evenly, it is important to make every second count.
Every interaction you have with a member of staff should be with a view to making them a better worker in some way. Whether it is working together to solve a problem, discussing their responsibilities or simply offering a little bit of advice; it all work towards developing the person from both a personal and professional perspective.
Of course, there does also need to be a structured plan in place. Interaction with your team is good, but you cannot rely on conversations alone. Each member of the team requires their own unique staff development plan as, just like snowflakes, no two employees are the same. Everyone has their own motivations that get them out of the bed in the morning, so it is important to gauge what that is for each of the members within your team and work out how you can integrate that into your staff development strategy.
As the leader of a team, you have to be aware as to how each piece of the puzzle fits and, more importantly, know which pieces simply do not fit. Could it be that you have a member of staff that would be more effective elsewhere? Perhaps, as per your pre-outlined job roles and responsibilities, your team is missing a key skill on paper when you already possess someone that has the qualities that you are looking for.
For any team to perform to the very best of their ability, each member of staff must be able to realise their full potential. One means of unearthing a hidden gem is by enrolling on a team-building event that takes your staff outside of the usual workplace, which helps to break away any pre-existing barriers between colleagues and departments.
Staff are encouraged to step outside of their comfort zone and take on roles within a team that they might not necessarily adopt in the workplace. Not only does this help to showcase hidden skills, but also to develop key areas that can be transferred into the workplace, helping to improve both the individual’s and the team’s overall productivity.
So, how do you manage your time across all your members of staff, whilst still saving enough time to allow you to complete your own duties? While an open-door policy is always championed, there is not anything wrong with blocking out periods of an hour or two where you can focus on important tasks. Learning how to manage your time effectively is a lesson that all leaders must learn.
For more information on how Team Challenge Company can assist in your efforts to develop your members of staff, please do not hesitate to get in touch by calling us on 03300 04 09 03.