Managing a team can be tough work. If you don’t have the right structure, it can leave you drowning in messages, emails and turnover. Here are a few tips to effectively manage a design team and build trust with your employees.
1. Set expectations
It’s important to set written expectations upfront upon hiring. Whenever hiring a new member, give them a document to review and agree to so that they understand expectations. This way, you both have a mutual understanding of what is expected before they even begin work.
2. Create job responsibilities
Creating job responsibilities is important to helping everyone on your team understand what the expectations are for their particular role and how that role fits into the company structure. Sometimes a job responsibility can move outside of the scope of what was originally intended, and it’s important to communicate with each other when those responsibilities shift.
3. Communicate regularly
Whether your company is completely remote like ours, or everyone works in the same room, the path to success always involves communication. Check-in with team members regularly about project expectations, questions, and timelines. Most the time over communicating is more useful and efficient than under communicating, so encourage everyone to reach out anytime.
4. Understand your team
It’s important to look in on everyone on your team on both a professional and personal level. This can help provide you with a new perspective of what they may be going through or dealing with that can help you delegate work better or adjust to what they have going on.
5. Build teamwork
Schedule group calls and fun activities for your team! This helps build trust among all team members and makes for a stronger, happier and better aligned team. Schedule themed weekly calls as well as new activities, holiday parties, and more.
6. Provide feedback
Providing constructive feedback with specific examples on a regular basis makes a big impact on the functionality of your team. This includes both positive and negative feedback. It can sound like this: “Great job on that project today! The solution you came up with worked really well” or: “That project didn’t seem to go as smoothly as I hoped. What can we change to improve the process?” Either way, be sure to be consistent with your feedback. It’s never good to only provide feedback when things go negatively.
7. Set Goals
Setting goals can help you monitor progress and act as a driver for continued growth. Asking about goals and providing feedback can help your team members develop as well as help you understand which roles they may be best suited for based on their strengths. There’s room for improvement or education for everyone, so why not keep challenging and training your team members?
8. Create Systems
Management and scaling relies on systematic organization. Systems are the core of management — they help you and your team members know what to do with minimal questions. Using this method in your business can also help keep everyone on the same page! It can include using a project management technology, a structure for sending files to clients, or even a map for how to begin a design project.
Keeping your team motivated, aligned and communicating is a tough gig! It takes hard work to create a company culture. Don’t be afraid to let your team drive it’s own culture as well as shift responsibilities, come up with new systems and change with the growing digital climate. If you are constantly changing, that’s a good sign your team and business are growing!
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