How To Manage A Team Or Business More Efficiently ?
I dedicate this article to all managers and business owners, all those who are responsible for managing teams or organisations.
We will take a look at what management actually is, why you might want to take on that role, as well as the different tools to help you grow and improve as a manager.
What is management ?
Productivity and profit, however important, are not the only indicators of efficiency. When employees feel comfortable in the workplace, they achieve better results. Feeling good makes us more efficient and productive and thus helps us meet our objectives.
The role of a manager or a director in any organization is to oversee, guide, and inspire.
A manager’s job consists of 4 basic components:
- Setting objectives and deadlines by which they should be met. Maintaining some degree of flexibility is also necessary and will help you achieve your goals.
- Coming up with a plan and providing the necessary resources to realize said objectives.
- Motivating and guiding the work of the organisation, i.e., ensuring that the targets are met.
- Checking that objectives are reached, and if they are not, coming up with solutions.
Management is done across two levels – operational and strategic – which are interdependent. Operational management implements the decisions of strategic management. The latter, representing the top levels of an organisation, comprises all the long-term plans made by the board of directors.
Once strategic management plans are set in motion, significant resources must be deployed to sustain them.
Why do people become managers ?
I have identified 3 reasons:
- There are those who want to become managers.
- Others become managers because an opportunity presents itself.
- Some people may find themselves promoted to a managerial role, albeit they lack the necessary skills. You are not born a manager; you learn to be one.
I have also identified 4 motivations:
- Financial motivation. As a rule, a manager’s importance and responsibilities are greater, which translates to a higher salary.
- Some people want to grow within a company, so they see management as a steppingstone in their professional career.
- Power can be twofold: it can be exercised over the self, but also over others. There are two forms of power over others: dominating through authority or becoming a positive influence on the team.
- Self-realization. Moving towards a greater purpose. Some people seek meaning in their careers, in their lives. They want to help others to develop and achieve something great. They feel the need to contribute to someone’s growth.
Ask yourself what it was that first inspired you to become a manager. It is important to ask yourself this question because it will allow you to either evolve within your role, or to realise that you are not really suited to it. The quest for meaning has become central to our society.
According to some studies, 2/3 of employees say they would never want to assume the responsibilities of a manager. And 1/3 of managers state they do not like their job.
Certain circumstances and experiences that come our way are “pseudo-opportunities”. At first, we might think they offer great possibilities but find we were mistaken in the end.
Ask yourself: did you become a manager by choice, because of an opportunity, or was it an accident? The answer will give you more insight.
As Simon Sinek says, you have to find your “why”, the reason you are where you are. Ask yourself what your why is, what your values are, what is important to you in life. Identify your values so you may find a sense of purpose which will help you through the tough times.
How to manage your team better ?
I would recommend that you aim for 20% control and 80% contact with your team. This requires putting in place appropriate processes and strategies. You should also try to keep your meetings brief.
Ask yourself two questions:
First, what keeps you awake at night? After all, sleep is a natural part of life, and if you can’t fall asleep, then there must be something bothering you. Try to understand what that is so you can fix it.
Second, would you want to be managed by you? If the answer is no, then there are things you need to change, or learn, or improve to become an even better leader than you already are.
How to be a good leader ?
The controlling manager model used to be the most popular. A manager spent 80% of his time supervising and 20% motivating, mentoring, and engaging with employees.
My advice is to develop your leadership qualities. Two points are key here: having a warm personality and strong expertise. People will judge and evaluate you based on these two traits.
I have identified 4 types of leaders:
- Caring, friendly but not particularly competent. They inspire pity in their employees.
- Cold, but highly skilled. These people are not well liked and are often envied.
- Neither caring nor competent. Evoke feelings of contempt.
- Amiable and competent. The epitome of leadership. These people attract the most popular support.
I encourage you to develop your mentorship talents, to take an interest in your team, to acknowledge their achievements and to congratulate them when they perform well. It will make your employees more efficient and will help them appreciate the company they work for. But you can also get some coaching yourself, receive additional training, and read. You should never stop learning.
A personal touch will make your employees feel heard and valued, and they will want to give their all for your company. Happy employees are powerful employees.
I also suggest that you follow the principles of the Eisenhower matrix. What is important and urgent should be done immediately, that which is important but not so urgent can be scheduled, tasks that are neither important nor urgent can be dropped, and those that are urgent but are not a priority can be delegated.
I am a Brussels-based certified life coach here to advise and help clients, especially business owners and managers, in both personal and professional matters.
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