What Is Effective Staff Management? And How to Manage a Team

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 4 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Managing a team requires specialised skills and experience, and good management can have many benefits for a company. Understanding the importance of staff management can help leaders develop relevant skills and techniques. If you're interested in advancing or applying to managerial roles, it's essential to learn how to manage your team effectively. In this article, we define what effective staff management is, explore the benefits of mastering this skill, explain how to manage your team effectively and offer tips you can utilise.

What is effective staff management?

Effective staff management encompasses a wide range of tasks and actions that a leader can use to oversee their team to ensure that they are productive. Effective management helps a team collaborate to carry out necessary daily tasks to meet team goals. It may also involve assigning specialised tasks to team members with complementary skills. Successful team management often involves delegating fairly, disciplining equitably and communicating effectively.

Related: What Are People Management Skills? Plus How to Develop Them

Benefits of effective management

Effective staff management can offer many benefits to mid or senior-level company leaders and the organisation as a whole. These benefits can include:

  • Improved performance: Employees with effective leadership often perform better at their jobs, having both the leadership and tools necessary to complete or excel in their roles.

  • Higher earnings: Companies with more effective leadership may generate higher earnings since employees are typically more productive and generate higher-quality deliverables.

  • More cohesion: Effective management can help teams be more cohesive, making collaborative efforts ultimately more efficient and effective, which can reduce project timelines and improve quality and performance.

  • Greater trust: Effective management can also help improve the trust between employees and their employer, which may inspire employees to perform better and can reduce employee turnover.

  • Fewer errors: With more effective management, employees can identify errors more quickly and better understand the processes for addressing those errors, including when to report them to management or ask for help. Fewer errors can mean higher-quality products or services and greater earnings.

  • Better talent: Companies with effective internal management may attract more qualified candidates, increasing innovation and product quality and improving company culture.

How to manage your team effectively

Here are some steps you can follow to better manage your team to increase productivity and quality:

1. Delegate tasks

Making the best use of your time begins with delegation. Delegating tasks to your team members can be advantageous for the entire team, because it helps to generate new ideas, defines expectations on what a team can accomplish during a project and establishes actionable goals for them to reach. Delegation involves matching people team members with duties based on their individual strengths and goals, and their existing workload. When delegating duties, here are some actions that are beneficial to perform:

  • Communicate desired outcomes. Ensure to establish the scope of each participant's role, identify the project's parameters and provide support throughout the duration of a project.

  • Track progress. Establish milestones and timelines for reaching them to keep your team's focus on outcomes rather than processes.

  • Give recognition. Provide positive reinforcement and praise as necessary to reinforce team morale and reward their efforts.

Related: The 3 Different Management Levels (With Pros and Cons)

2. Motivate your team

Motivation is a large part of managing a team because it helps establish reasons for what they're doing. A motivated team can be more productive, which can help increase output and quality of work. Here are some ways to increase your team's motivation:

  • Encourage a harmonious workplace. Encourage employees to work in harmony with their environment and team members to achieve maximum cohesion and help employees feel motivated as part of a group.

  • Provide opportunities for development. Provide opportunities for each team member and the team as a unit to increase their team-building skills and individual technical skills to help improve project quality and the value the team provides, motivating employees through personal development.

  • Listen to feedback from your team. Ask your team members about their thoughts and ideas on how to improve the work environment or your leadership style. Implementing their suggestions can make your team members feel their opinions matter and help them to more openly voice their ideas.

  • Use positive reinforcement. Provide positive reinforcement when the team or individual team member makes a mistake. This can help reinforce the team's self-esteem and motivate them to use the failure as a learning opportunity to do better in the future.

  • Set clear priorities for each person and the team. Employees are more likely to feel motivated when they understand the hierarchy of priorities, as it allows them to use their time to their best advantage for themselves and the project. Managing the team includes setting clear goals for them and maintaining open communication in case of any uncertainties or misunderstandings.

  • Let them do their job. Leaving your team to be more independent can help improve their confidence, which may inspire and motivate them to perform better. Practise avoiding micro-managing and leaving your team to complete tasks on their own once you set clear expectations for each project.

Related: A Guide to a Career in Management (Career Paths and Benefits)

3. Communicate expectations

Expectations are crucial to effective staff management because they help both managers and employees better understand what each expects from the other. When managers and their team understand what each expects, they know what standards they're working under and what they're responsible for. Practise setting clear and realistic expectations for your team, whether by vocalising these expectations, writing them in an email or providing individual feedback. It's equally important to ask what your team expects from you as a leader, so you can better support your team.

4. Encourage discipline and responsibility

Discipline is the act of obeying rules and meeting expectations and also holding yourself accountable for your own actions. Enforcing discipline in your team can help them reach goals and feel more valuable as part of the team. Focus on reinforcing discipline by establishing firm expectations and providing rewards for successes and consequences for failures. You can also focus on holding everyone on the team accountable for their contributions to the project, following up on project milestones and showing discipline in your leadership to set a positive example.

Related: 10 Management Styles to Lead Effectively: Overview and Examples

5. Set an example to follow

Setting an example is a crucial part of effective management because you're showing the team what you expect through your own actions. For example, if you expect your team to commit to the quality of their work, you can show this commitment in your own work. When a team has an example to follow, they may feel more motivated and have an expectation to follow. This action can enforce discipline, encourage personal accountability and inspire pride in the team's work efforts.

Related: What Is Conflict Management? (Definition, Strategy and Tips)

Staff management tips

Here are some tips for more effectively managing your staff members:

  • Embrace technology. There are several tools you can use to improve your staff management, including project management software. You can use messaging platforms to allow more effective communication within a team.

  • Focus on communication. Good leadership typically requires frequent and clear communication between a team and its managers. More open communication can allow a team to more quickly identify issues and find solutions.

  • Provide solutions. As a leader, team members may look to you for solutions to more complex problems. It's important to provide strategies or resources that can help your team solve problems.

  • Develop conflict resolution skills. Leaders often serve as mediators or directly intervene in conflicts, so learning conflict resolution skills can be crucial to ensuring effective collaboration and minimising disruptions in the workplace.

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