In case you have the responsibility for managing teams of knowledge workers and project managers, you have to undertake a special kind of leadership quality that enables them to contribute creatively, foster problem solving, and face challenging opportunities.
If you desire to be a successful leader, you can achieve this only be equipping your team to succeed. The following are some top tips to enable you to guide your teams towards success.
- Keep focus on productivity rather than deadlines:
In the case of managing a team of knowledge workers, one must never stick to a clock in/ clock out policy. Instead, focus on clear goals which take your employees at least 40 hours per week to complete. Ensure they attend important meetings and are accessible during the general working hours of the team. Give them tools to remotely access their work, when required. Thus let them manage their time on their own. Use best online project management software where required.
- Assign work as per talent:
Ensure you have the right team members at the right positions and roles. This is a valuable tip particularly if you are taking up a team, already in place. Make an evaluation of all the talents available and do a reshuffle of roles such that the right person is responsible for the right job. Don’t assign a role to someone merely because he has been doing it for a long time. Perhaps he can contribute better to another role. You may find employees reluctant to switch roles, but as a leader, you must convince them about its benefits.
- Match job to passion:
Assign roles in the workplace such that you channel the passions of team members into the right channel. Sometimes, this may involve putting team members in roles in which they have less experience. But this switch will have great benefits as people generally perform better in roles which they are passionate about. This passion can become a great driver for growth and innovation.
- Put best performers in crucial opportunities:
When there arises a big opportunity for growth of the company, as a leader you must set back and evaluate objectively who is best suited for the role. In addition to matching work to talent and passion, you must also consider who has a successful track record. Big opportunities are rare to come around and may be lost easily. Hence you must put your best achievers on such opportunities.
- Set a balance between realistic and aggressive goals:
Encourage a productive work culture where you set aggressive goals for team members and hold them accountable for progress. But the goals must not be excessively difficult lest employees feel they lack the skills for achieving them, thus damaging morale. Hence you should re-evaluate goals regularly to make decisions on whether to scale up or scale down.
- Put your trust in the team publicly :
Knowledge workers are typically engaged in jobs that demand creativity and out of the box thinking. They are required to stay alert and keen for peak performance. Hence leaders must create an environment that fosters such qualities. The best thing to do is to invest trust in employees to do the job and let them know about this trust.
- Avoid blame-game:
While you may repose trust in employees publicly, never put blame or complain about them in a public manner. It is quite likely that results and things may not go the way you wish. You can examine what went wrong and if someone is to blame, deal with them in private. Let him or her know how to deal with the situation in future.
These are some tips on how to manage your team for peak performance. Nowadays one can rely on online project management software to do this job easily.