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Fundamental guide to managing work teams
Reading time: 5 minutes
Updated 15 April 2024

Fundamental guide to managing work teams

When you start a startup, you need to consider many factors, both from a present and a future perspective. For example, you have to take into account that, as it grows, you will find yourself increasingly delegating some responsibilities to others. Managing the work team can be a very delicate matter, especially for those who are used to doing all the tasks themselves. Not only that, employing staff can require significant expense, so it is even more important that everything runs smoothly.

For these reasons (and more), knowing how to manage a work team is crucial: this guide will help you resolve any doubts you may have.


Work team management: what is it all about?

It is important to first clarify what is meant by team management.

Managing a team includes a range of skills to be acquired and practices to be adopted in order to be able to effectively supervise a team and guide it toward the achievement of common goals.

On a more practical level, managing a team means planning, organizing, directing and controlling the human resources available to the company so as to maximize their performance and achieve success.


Managing a work team

Managing a work team


The role of the manager in the team

Entrepreneur Richard Branson, on the subject of work team management, said:

“A well-managed work team is like an orchestra playing in unison: coordination and collaboration are essential to achieve extraordinary results.”

In the wake of the comparison made by the founder of the Virgin Group, we can say that the manager, within the team, plays the role of a conductor. His job is to coordinate the members of the orchestra and push them to coordinate with each other so that they succeed in playing in unison.

Out of metaphor, the manager’s role is to inspire, guide, and motivate the team, thus pushing its members to do their best to achieve the company’s goals.

In order for him to succeed in doing this, of course, the manager must be clear about the path to follow and must communicate it equally clearly to all team members, so that they are in the ideal condition to perform at their best. We will elaborate on this issue later; first, in fact, you must consider the impact that the manager’s leadership can have on the members of the work team.


Impact of leadership on the team

When you become a leader, you cannot neglect the impact your leadership has on the team: first and foremost, remember to be consistent in your words and behaviors, set a good example (for example, always arriving on time), and show a positive attitude even in situations where you are under the most pressure.

Take care to allocate tasks and responsibilities fairly and thoughtfully among your staff, and plan regular meetings with staff so that you can also consider their views and better manage any conflicts.


How to improve and manage a working group

Up to this point we have only mentioned some tips on how to coordinate a working group; now it is time to address this in more detail.


Transparent communication

Transparent communication is the first essential requirement for managing teamwork. Do you know why? Unclear messages risk creating confusion and stress within the team, lowering employee morale and compromising the quality of their work.

Remember, then, to always communicate tasks, goals, and deadlines transparently. If each member of the work team knows what he or she is supposed to do, when to do it, and why, he or she is able to work completely autonomously and more efficiently.

Internal chat is a great tool for speeding up communications and avoiding misunderstandings, but only if used in the right way: communications should be bi-directional, and employees should feel free to talk to the manager to resolve any of their doubts or problems.


Definition of goals and responsibilities

We have already mentioned that clearly defining and communicating goals is very important. Are you familiar with the SMART approach?

This is a particular method of setting and achieving clear goals for the work team and ensuring efficient task management by the team. According to this approach, each goal must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.


SMART goals

SMART goals


Just as clearly as defining and communicating goals, it is also crucial to assign responsibilities according to the experience and skills of team members, without overloading anyone with tasks. You will learn more about why in the next few lines.


Time management

Time planning is a crucial aspect of proper team management: don’t forget that in order to best manage time, you need to consider the priorities of your startup but also (and especially) those of your team.
Workflow tools enable you to better manage tasks and time, so you can improve the productivity of the entire team.


Manage and distribute workloads

We have already emphasized it: it is important to assign tasks and responsibilities in the right way, including distributing workloads evenly. Remember that burn-out risk is always around the corner: nowadays there are project management software that can give you a complete overview of task assignments for each team member and their deadlines.


Evaluate team performance

Assessing the performance of team members objectively and consistently allows you to uncover the team’s strengths and weaknesses and intervene early to resolve any problems, even before they occur.

Only in this way, by never letting your guard down, can you catch problems even before they have a major (and sometimes even irreversible) impact on the performance of the individual or the entire team.


The importance of feedback (and of appreciating the work done)

Keeping employee morale and trust high is what motivates them to give their best: for this reason, you should provide feedback not only when a problem emerges that needs to be solved (remember to always be constructive, even in this case), but especially when everything is running smoothly.

In addition to simple feedback of appreciation for work done, you could also introduce rewards and recognition (individual and group) for positive achievements into team management.


Conflict management

Internal conflicts are physiological, especially when the startup’s goals are ambitious and the team begins to expand. Do not be afraid: if you are aware of this, you are already well on your way. The next step is to resolve them as calmly as possible, quickly and without procrastination, so that even small problems do not become big obstacles in the company’s race to success.


Creating a positive work environment

The tips mentioned so far have a larger purpose: to create a positive work environment that fosters knowledge sharing and where everyone’s creativity is encouraged and channeled toward a common goal, which is startup success.


Conclusion: benefits of effective team management

All that remains is to address the last topic: what are the benefits of effective work management? The main ones are 3: First, as just pointed out, if the work environment is positive, employees are happier.

The second benefit is a direct consequence of what has just been said: if happy, employees are also more productive, because they will have no work-related worries and will be able to concentrate on their tasks and goals to the best of their ability, with maximum enthusiasm.

The third benefit is also related to employee happiness: proper and effective management of the work team reduces employee turnover. In this regard, never forget that, beyond the economic aspect, poor interpersonal relationships are one of the most cited causes by employees to motivate their resignation.

Nicola Zanetti

Founder B-PlanNow® | Startup mentor | Startup consulting & marketing strategist | Leading startup to scaleup | Private angel investor | Ecommerce Manager | Professional trainer | Book writer

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