There's no denying that starting a company is an exciting venture, but what happens when we get our business off of the ground and start hiring team members to help us achieve our vision? That's often when we need to really sit down and think about the best ways to use our position as a manager to empower our teams to be their best to one another and the business. Here are six ways to effectively lead the charge.
1. Be clear.
One of the most essential tools a manager has is their ability to use clarity to their advantage. Don't just share your expectations as a demand, but take it a bit further. Be clear as to what the short and long-term goals are, what is needed, when it is needed and why it is needed. This last one is a big deal because it allows them to see the whole picture and at the same time gives them a sense of the value that they bring to the overall project. This will ultimately allow them to perform at higher standards and, perhaps, even exceed expectations.
2. Trust, but verify.
Micromanaging is suffocating in any environment, but following up and asking if any clarification is needed can be extremely helpful for those who are on the more timid side. Let team members know that you have an open-door policy and encourage them to ask questions by letting them know that you'd rather take the time to answer and guide than have any miscommunication as a result of them not speaking up out of fear.
3. Give employees room to grow.
In any "family" there will be disagreements, eye-rolls, and days when people aren't particularly pleasant, but it's important to always see the big picture: the person as a whole and the job they do. Train yourself to give them the benefit of the doubt. As managers, we are there to guide, lead, understand, and to step in and ask, "Are you OK? How can I help?" It can make all of the difference in the world, trust me.
4. Get them involved.
There is a big difference between the energy of someone working "for" you and someone who feels they are working "with" you. Yes, you are still the boss, but when you value your staff and show that you have appreciation for their part in achieving a shared goal, they will be more loyal to their work, their team and the company. Gratitude is paramount.
5. Help them prioritize projects.
In our business, everything is a priority, but that's not going to help someone who has no idea what you need earliest in the day. Be respectful of the workload on their plate and let them know what to focus on first.
6. Lead by example.
Remember that you set the tone for your work environment. If you want to run a productive, passionate, friendly and loyal team, you must exemplify these traits yourself. Trust, respect, enthusiasm and dedication go both ways and energy is contagious. Showcase the traits you want your staff members to have while also making room for their own unique skills and personalities. Your clients will notice the synergy, and in the end, all of you will grow, and so will your company.