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How To Get The Best Out Of Your Team

Updated on December 1, 2010

“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean” Ryunosuke Satoro

Do you want to succeed?

Do you want to be known as a successful manager? Leader?

This is it.

No man works alone. To succeed you will have to work with others.

This is a series of articles for people who work in a team or lead a team.

The team could be 2 people or a million.

It could be an entrepreneruial set up or a multi-billion dollar corporation.

Human work everywhere.

The same north-star guides us all!

Make the physical space they work in a happy place

Quick Ideas

1. Hold a competition

2. Experiment

3. Share responsibilities

4. Provide a budget

5. Show other offices that inspire

6. Design for privacy and for social interaction

7. Ensure you use ergonomic furniture and keep the office safe

For More Ideas (including detailed write up)  +

photos for inspiration

see How To Make Your Office A Happy Place

Treat people like humans

I know they have an employee number, but really they have a name too

Use names, show concern.

One of the best general managers I ever worked with knew each and every one of her employees by name. it did not stop there. She knew their family members too.

Show concern. Do something when they come to you. they want to see action. If they wanted idle chat, they would have done in the staff room. They came to you, they need to see something happen.

Go beyond what the office rules stipulate. You ask them to stay longer don’t you? you ask them to do more, deliver more, beat budgets. It works the same way. When the crunch times comes, they need you to do step up and go that extra mile.

Show empathy. Everyone gets sick, everyone has problems, the good bosses ‘care’. One of the most irritating things a manager/boss can say is ‘I don’t care’. I know. Why? How? I used to say it. It really hurt when it was said to me.

Let people participate in the decision making

The democratic route is well documented and most people value it for then they get a say in the decision that affects them. however, you may not want to, or sometimes you may not be able to run a vote on everything.

It is a time and resource consuming process and you may want to get some decisions done faster than others.

The advice that I can give you is this:

  • If nothing is lost in competitveness, use the democratic process. For eg let the cafeteria menu be decided in the complete voting process with everyone getting a say in it. till then serve a regular menu. Let the process include everyone and don’t worry about the time taken. Stipulate some broad guidelines – cost, calorie, food groups etc, but leave the exact dish to be made to someone else

  • Use autocratic decisions to get some things done on time and maybe even faster. For e.g. your competition is going to launch a competitive product at a competitive price, do not wait for a vote from the shop floor, take some hard decisions and get them to implement it.

The more you decentralize the decision making, the better. Let the ones closest to the action or the ones directly affected by it, should be involved.

Help them make the best of their talents

This is so fulfilling.

Imagine working in an atmosphere, where not only are your appreciated for what you do, but are also invited to do all that you have a natural aptitude for. isn’t that wonderful?

Invest time and money.

Google gives every employee 20% of their office time to work on a pet project. GE lets you take your idea to anyone in the company not just to your immediate boss. Most companies have a training man-hour targets. Just make sure those targets are met with where the circles of the employee talent and company requirement overlap. That is ideal.

Training could also be internal or external.

Internal training creartes bonds, team-spirit and can be very effective in percolating company culture and ethos. It is also a wonderful way to create leaders or go-to resources .

External training on the other hand, is a wonderful way to make your employees feel valued. They know that you have payed monies and sometimes quite a lot and that is not lost on the employee. Certifications, continuing education, pet projects, resources, innovation, intrepreneurship, all of these are part of the same thing.

BE Civil

There is really no place for foul language or uncouth behavior. Why would you talk to any of your employees in way that you would not to a family member. Let me rephrase that, a family member you love.

Language is very powerful.

Your words can make someone unknown your closest ally and someone very close an enemy just like that.

Have a code of conduct or values

Values inspire action in line with those values. It makes it easier for people to take decisions, the morally difficult ones. A word of caution, these values should not just adorn the walls or the corporate website. They must be lived. People should be appreciated when they do so.

Here are some examples

Courage and responsibility 
Respect and concern 

Have a clear transparent policy of promotion

Hard work and talent should be the only criteria.

There should be not be any politics, no favoritism, no nepotism, any hidden methodology to award benefits, none of that. it should not be tolerated.

People should be allowed to question annual appraisals and even share information.

I know of companies where one employee is asked not to share his salary details with his colleagues. Assume they all do it and plan accordingly.

Let your behavior not fluctuate with your moods

Let your teammembers, not wonder if you have had a good day. 

It is important for them to know that irrespective of how your day is going, you are available and willing to be the boss.

Stand up for your team

There are many who take full credit when everything is hunky dory and zero responsibility when things go wrong. 

Let the team know they can rely on you to stand up for them, in front of clients, superiors.

Respect culture and local ethos

Learn how the land operates, what is commonly accepted and completely unacceptable.

Have A Vision

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” Henry Ford quotes

What Would You Like At Work

What Would You Like At Work

See results


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    • prabhjotbedi profile image

      Prabhjot Bedi 7 years ago from chandigarh

      @Kate Thank you!

    • Kate Karter profile image

      Kate Karter 7 years ago from Ohio

      You speak the truth!