As a manager or leader, you are tasked with many responsibilities. You must strive for success for each member of your team, for your company, and of course, for your clients. This balancing act can become overwhelming if you don’t properly prioritize your objectives and navigate the obstacles that combat effectiveness. Here are four key points to keep in mind in your quest for optimal efficiency.
1. Properly Prioritize
When faced with several responsibilities at once, identifying which objective is most important is the key to operating effectively. While the order or priority certainly changes on a case-by-case basis, determining which tasks build off another is a good starting point. If your clients are not successful, then your team is not successful.
2. Effective Communication
It’s not enough to internally decide where your priorities lie. Communicating your thoughts and plans with your team is just as important as executing upon them. This point is easier said than done, as each person on your team listens and learns differently. You must take the time to best understand how to communicate with them, both individually, and as a team.
This approach will pay dividends because it will ensure that you and your team are on the same page, and can also serve as a comradery or team-building exercise. Subordinates under your authority will take note of you dedicating yourself to learn more about each of them, and how you best position yourself as a leader.
Never underestimate the power of one-on-one leadership, especially if you have millennials under your lead. Millennials truly value being mentored and having their learning style attended to. They see specific attention as an impressive compliment.
3. Set Expectations and Consequences
Once a decision has been made about your success plan and this has been communicated across your team, setting proper expectations and consequences is the next step in optimizing efficiency.
Just as your role as a leader isn’t one dimensional, neither are the jobs of your team members. Each day they stare down complex problems and are sometimes forced to sacrifice one objective for another. As you’re leading your team to determine — with their help if possible — what you expect from them and what the result will be if they cannot deliver.
However, the buck doesn’t stop there. You too should be the subject of expectations. Sit with your team and determine what they want out of their manager and follow-through by identifying the nature of what would happen in the outcome of failure.
4. Stay Vigilant
Just because you’ve completed the first three tactics and have good intentions on following through, doesn’t mean your work is done. In a fast-paced work environment with several concurrent objectives, stress and pressure can lead to inactivity or complacency. As a leader, you must combat this feeling and maintain the integrity of your team.
This step requires you to re-examine each of the tactics identified above and ensure that you’re hitting on all of them as you progress with your team. Like most things in the business world, your team is dynamic and changes among it will be fluid. Being prepared to reassess and shift your approach is necessary for any successful leader.
Prioritizing objectives, communicating effectively, setting concrete expectations and maintaining control, are four ways to optimize the efficiency among your team. Although each item has standalone value, incorporating them all together will ensure a harmonious and prosperous relationship between you and your team.