7 easy steps to help you manage people more effectively and get the most out of your team
Being a good manager of people is challenging, let alone being an effective one. Hayley Cole and Gabby Sigelski from Australian PR agency Stellar join me to discuss the attributes and practices that make a great manager, plus we give you 7 tips to getting the most out of your team.
“Make your team a priority. If your team is functioning well, your life will be a little less challenging. Invest time and energy upfront to ensure you're addressing any concerns they may have, providing support when required and shaping their professional growth goals”
Listen to the full episode on The PR Pod podcast for more tips on managing people. You'll also find this episode on your fave podcast players, just search "The PR Pod".
7 STEPS TO HELP YOU BE AN EFFECTIVE PEOPLE MANAGER
Understand managing people takes time. You need to manage your own tasks PLUS keep on top of what your team are doing, delegate tasks among them, provide support, be available for questions, review work, provide feedback plus help shape their professional growth. There's a lot you need to juggle so make sure your time management skills are second-to-none
You need to adjust your management style for each person. There's no 'one size fits all' approach when it comes to managing people. You need to understand what motivates, excites and stresses each team member in order to be effective in helping them achieve goals and alleviate issues. DISC profiling is a great way to understand each person's tendencies and preferences and how to work with them better - have a Google and see if it could help you
You are responsible for your team's professional growth. It's not good enough just to ensure they're doing their normal, day-to-day tasks. You also have to develop a plan for your team to diversify and broaden their skills. You need to know what their professional goals are and map out a plan to help them achieve those. And don't be complacent with team members that constantly go above and beyond and need very little guidance. They also want to grow so make sure you're giving them challenges or tasks that stretch them
Set benchmarks for your team. Think about what you want them to collectively achieve, discuss it with them, listen to feedback and be clear with how you'll measure success
Be approachable and available. If people don't feel confident they can ask you a question, you've got a problem. Being a great listener is so important. It can feel overwhelming when you have multiple people asking you questions all day and it's stopping you from doing your work but most of the time, it's because they genuinely want to make sure they're doing the right thing or have the correct understanding of a task. And it's better they start on the right path than chew up hours because they're on the wrong one. Spend a few minutes with them, as and when they need
Make sure you reward hard work and success. This could be a simple praise or acknowledgement of what that person has achieved. It may be taking the team out for a drink at the end of a challenging week. Whatever it is, you want people to feel appreciated and motivated to continue working with you and for you
Don't avoid dealing with difficult people or situations. It's may seem daunting but it's better to nip any practices or behaviour in the bud before it gets worse. And the best way to avoid having to have these conversations is to ensure your team members are clear on the policies, procedures and expectations up front. If you do need to address something, don't attack. Be honest with what the issue is, ask if they are aware that it is an issue, see if there's any support you can provide to assist them and give them some direction on what you expect moving forward
HOW TO AVOID BEING A MICRO MANAGER
We've all been on the receiving end of someone constantly checking on how a task is progressing and it's not fun. If you give someone a comprehensive brief, allow them to ask questions and get them to repeat the brief back to you, you can alleviate most of the major issues from the start. You also need to give them the confidence that it's ok to make a mistake. Just make sure you allocate more than enough time for someone to do a task, if they're tackling it for the first time.
If you want to work towards a PR promotion and are after some tips to help you do so, take a listen to this episode on Securing A Promotion.