Guest blog by Ainsley Lawrence
The Benefits of Getting To Know Your Team
If you’ve recently been promoted to management, and you already know many of the people you’ll be managing, then you have a great advantage. By having familiarity with your team, you can improve communication and understand the feelings of your employees better than other managers that have been hired from the outside.
Trust us. Knowing your team is a good thing. Let’s talk about why that is.
Communication Will Be Easier
When you know the members of your department, it becomes much easier to communicate with your team and get through to each individual member. Everyone has a different communication style. Some people like face-to-face interactions, others prefer email, and some like to talk on the phone.
When you know your team, you’ll learn each of their preferred communication styles. You can then use that knowledge to your advantage when sharing important information. You’ll also know how much instruction each person needs to complete their tasks so you can plan accordingly and never leave out any important details.
Just remember to maintain your boundaries when speaking with your team if you consider them to be friends. Be cautious about oversharing, especially information specific to the company. Also, avoid the temptation to talk badly about your superiors and treat everyone on the team equally and with professionalism, regardless of their preferred communication style.
You’ll Know When Your Team Is Stressed
As a manager, it’s not always wise to avoid conflict because it leaves potential issues unresolved. However, you can try to prevent the potential for conflict to exist in the first place if you know your team. When you know the personalities in your department, it’s easier to see when they are stressed or out of sorts, so you can approach them, understand their issue, and nip the problem in the bud right away.
There are many ways that an employee may display their feelings of stress and anxiety, from the subtle (a reduction in their productivity) to direct (acting out at the office). By recognizing the signs right away, you can swoop in and assist. It’s important to help people fight stress because, in addition to affecting project deadlines, failure to confront their feelings and manage their stress could also lead to troubling behaviors both in and out of the workplace, ranging from emotional outbursts to substance abuse.
When you see that an employee is having issues, bring them into the office and talk to them. It could be their job responsibilities that are bothering them, financial hardships, toxic relationships, or anything in between. Since the employee knows you, they may be more willing to share their feelings for a faster and better resolution.
You Can Maintain a Healthy Office Atmosphere
If you know your employees well, you will have a much easier time maintaining a healthy office atmosphere. There are many ways to improve office wellness, and when you’re close with your team, you can pick the methods that are most relevant to and effective for them. Not only can this help employees reduce workplace stress, but it can also result in improved morale and a more motivated, productive team.
Remember that there are always ways to help all of your employees be happier and more productive at work, even if you don’t know certain members of your team that well. It will take time to establish your relationship and get to know them, but eventually, you will be able to support them just as well.
Finally, make sure that you have an open-door policy for all of your employees. Remind the team that you are there for them, and anything they share with you is confidential. When a team member comes to you, try your best to find a solution to their concerns, even if you are not as close to them as you are with others. Then, make it a goal to learn more about the people you don’t know as well.
As you can see, there are many great benefits to knowing your team. Take the time to learn about every person you work with, and you will see a measurable increase in productivity.