Managing a large team can feel like a never ending task. As soon as you think you are on track of everyone’s availability and capabilities – and start to make plans accordingly – something changes and you’re back to square one. You need to make sure you approach the different aspects of people management in the right order, at the right times, to give you the best chance of success.
Specialised management training will teach you an awareness of best management practice as well as specific tips like these. In particular, an understanding of Management Skills for New Managers is essential to ensure success for your team and your business.
Step 1: Understand your team
Managing flexible schedules can be time consuming; but recording leave, meetings, training days and other absences in one live calendar will help. This means that any changes made by the team are at your fingertips in real time. As long as the team are aware of what changes can be made with and without your authorisation, this will give you the platform to plan ahead for the team and the business.
Similarly, keep a close eye on competencies. Encourage trainers and the team themselves to keep a sheet of who knows how to do which tasks.
Step 2: Allocate Resources
When assigning projects or tasks, use your calendar and sheets as above! It’s all too easy to call on the same few team members time and time again – but if they’re that good then they are likely to be utilised by other people as well.
Instead, make sure people with newly acquired skills get the chance to use them. You may need to keep a closer eye on them than you do on your usual go-to – but how else will they get the chance to practice and improve?
Step 3: Monitor
The more people you have reporting to you, the harder it is to ensure all of them are working with maximum productivity. Put motions in place to give you that reassurance; whether that means asking people to record their own time, setting up a reporting hierarchy, or simply finding time in your own day to monitor people more closely. This will also lead to more informed performance appraisals.
Quite simply, you need confidence that the ROI from your staff is as high as it possibly can be. Allocating resource just for monitoring can improve overall ROI by catching mistakes before they escalate, and by ensuring the right people are working on the right tasks.
Step 4: Identify Gaps
By effective monitoring, you will be able to quickly identify skill gaps or staffing needs. If your staff are working as hard as they can on the right projects, and still not enough is being done, you know there is a business case for more personnel resource. Without the monitoring, you would not have this confidence.
Similarly, by knowing that each person is working on the task that is right for them, you can have more awareness of training and development needs.
Step 5: Make Confident Decisions
Now you know your team’s availability and skills, and are confident that they are being utilised in the most efficient way, you will be easily able to respond when you are asked to assign new projects or resource. If your team is approached with a new challenge or project, you’ll be ready to react with informed feasibility, timescales and outcomes.
Confident and organised personnel management depends on following the above steps – in order. This way, you’ll be fully aware of the resources at your disposal and will be in the best position to deal with changes or challenges.
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