The 6 Best Ways to Support Your Project Team
Part of running a successful project team is having a supportive manager. If you want to become one of your team members, here are 6 things you can do to support the team.
1. Have Clearly Defined Roles
Each member of your team should have clearly defined roles. They should have the knowledge and skills required to do their jobs. As a manager, your task is to write down all the actions needed to finish the project. Then, each action should be assigned to a team member who will fulfill it.
2. Get Comfortable
You and your team will be working long hours, so your work stations should be as comfortable as possible. Encourage standing and walking between long periods of sitting in front of the computer. Have an open area where your team members are able to do stretches and warm ups. This is good for stimulating blood flow in the brain and body.
You can also provide a wedge pillow to mitigate back pain. 15-minute naps are highly recommended too. If someone in your team has to miss work due to fatigue or strain, you risk submitting your project late.
3. Check In Frequently
Don’t leave your team members working on something for a month only to have them revise it later on. For a successful project, you should be checking in on them frequently. It doesn’t mean you should be micromanaging them. That’ll only lead to stress and failure. A review once every week is often enough to see if things are going in the right direction.
4. Be Available
Make it easy for your team members to reach you. Establish a line of communication where they can easily contact you whether it’s through the work chat, email, text, or phone call. This goes with the previous point. To ensure that the project is going in the right direction, you members will need to discuss and confirm things with you.
Sometimes, communication is not a problem but your team’s perception of you as their superior. If your team thinks you’re unapproachable, it may be hard to get things done efficiently because they have to tiptoe around you. As a manager, you should maintain a climate of openness around your employees. Be receptive to their thoughts and opinions. It shows care and trust which is highly crucial to running a project.
5. Encourage Collaboration
Communication lines between team members should be open too. Have an established form of communication where team members can reach each other easily; some great tools for this are Slack and Skype.
You can also use project collaboration tools to keep track of member tasks and project milestones. Your team becomes more accountable for their work when everyone can see what their responsibilities are. Some great tools for collaboration are Asana, Trello, and Flowdock.
Another way to build up team morale is to incorporate team building exercises. It’s normal for everyone to not like each other. Setting time for everyone to bond rids of any animosity in the team and encourages camaraderie between members.
6. Reward Wins
It’s easy to get caught up in a project that you fail to see what you and your team have accomplished. Make sure that you take the time to celebrate your wins and reward the people that made it possible. It can be as simple as praising a team member in the group chat after they’ve just accomplished a difficult task. You can also provide incentives in the form of cash bonuses, gift cards, or flexi-time.
For bigger milestones, you can set a time to celebrate with your team whether it’s a couple of drinks after work or company social on the weekend. Taking the time to celebrate your successes can be very motivating for your team. It shows that their hard work is being recognized.
Which of these steps are you already practicing? Share your thoughts in the comments below.