Managing a small team is no small job. At times, it’s probably more difficult than managing a large one. Even though the team at Nationwide Inbound is decent sized, we’re broken down into smaller groups, so our team leaders have to learn how to lead a small team well. Here’s what we’ve learned through the years about small team management.
Communication is key to a team’s success. If the team lead doesn’t communicate with the team and if coworkers don’t communicate with each other, people will start to feel isolated and lost. Communication has to start at the top.
Developing a culture that employees enjoy working in will help morale stay up. Each team in Nationwide Inbound takes on it’s own personality, but as a whole, we’ve worked to develop a fun, energetic culture. Most of our staff are on the younger side and tend to be more extraverted. When we allow them to be themselves, they flourish.
Teams with leaders who stay positive and don’t get caught up in negative circumstances thrive. Focusing on the positive will help the team know they can succeed, even when the chances look pretty bleak. A team lead, though, who tends to be negative will find that negativity is the pervading perspective of the team.
While still maintaining a positive attitude, a team lead has to have realistic expectations. Thinking your team can grow business by 87% in the next quarter is definitely positive thinking, but it’s not realistic. Overly positive expectations will leave the team down when they can’t meet them.
The time invested in training will pay off in big ways later on. Team leads who think they can save time by foregoing training end up wasting more time in the long run training piecemeal so employees have the skills they need to survive.
Transparency is a big deal, especially for a closely knit team. If you aren’t open with your staff, they will start to talk among themselves and draw conclusions about you, their work, their workplace, decisions you make, and other team members that may or may not be accurate.
Effectively managing your team can either make or break your and their chances for success. Spend time developing them, communicating with them, and working with them to become a team that can’t be beat.