10 tips for managers to organise teamwork


by Diarmuid Daltún

Intro

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that not all are born oozing with organisational talent. In fact, some of us are downright terrible at it. This doesn’t mean you can’t be a good or even great manager and team leader. It simply means you have to put some additional effort into finding and fine-tuning methods that work for you and your team.

Here are ten tips for managers organising teamwork. How do you currently measure up?

Be clear with regards to the goals and vision of the team

It may seem obvious, but many teams in small and large organisations do not have a clear picture of their raison d’être, their reason for being or what is expected of them. It is vital that managers not only understand and are able to formulate the goal and vision for the team, but also that this understanding is shared within the context of the larger organisation. 

Communicate until you’re blue in the face (and ensure it is understood)

Ensure all team members understand the goal and vision for their team, not just by sending them via email, help them understand these in the context of the entire organisation. Arrange a regular meeting with a regular (weekly or bi-weekly) meaningful agenda. Although you may be tempted to drop this meeting during quiet times, such a meeting is important to promote togetherness.

Allow team members to give input on how activities should be carried out who would be best suited

Although as a manager you should have the last word, the collective wisdom and experience of your team will likely best know how to distribute and carry out activities. This should become one of your regular agenda items.

Understand your team members’ strengths and weaknesses

You are not required to know everything as a manager. Your primary function is to make it as easy as possible for your team members to carry out their work. No two people are exactly alike (even identical twins) and you’ll get the best results by playing to the respective strengths. Get to know your individual team members and note for yourself how they perform alone, as a team member and with clients and other teams. 

Make tasks and milestones transparent to the entire team

We are frequently led to believe that in order to be efficient, we should not overload individual team members with unnecessary details. I’m not disputing this fact. However, the team should have an overview of what the other members are up to and what kind of major milestones they are working toward. This will either encourage most to lend a hand when it’s needed and to empathise in times of pressure.

Be specific about the activities 

As with the goal and vision of the team, it is important that activities are well defined and specific and that any relevant background is made available. The responsible person should understand how the activity links with the bigger picture.

Ensure each activity has one person responsible for the delivery

All too often, managers make more than one person responsible for a specific activity. This does not result in numerous people feeling responsible for it; this results in no one feeling responsible. Each activity should have one person ultimately responsible for its successful completion. This does not mean that that person cannot delegate the completion of parts of the activity to other persons; it simply means that they are being held ultimately responsible for seeing it through.

Monitor progress, monitor workload of team members

Ensure that activities are progressing, keeping a close eye on those of particular importance. Regularly check the workload of your team members, paying special attention to activities that are overdue and/or not yet started.

Know who’s doing what

Know who’s doing what, so that if someone becomes ill, you can either look after it yourself, redistribute to another team member or push its delivery date back by a few days. 

Use online collaboration applications

Whether you are all based out of the same office or spread out geographically, We at OrganisedMinds have a simple solution that addresses all of the above points and helps to simplify teamwork.

Invite all of your team members to a workspace, create and delegate activities, monitor workload, keep an eye on progress and redistribute or re-delegate if necessary.

Whatever tool you use, ensure that all of your team members understand and accept why you have decided to use it. There might be one or two who resist change at the beginning, but soon all will ask themselves how they managed before.

Happy organising,

Diarmuid


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