#1: Make your team feel comfortable to speak up
No matter their level of seniority or expertise, building an inclusive and safe environment for your team to share their viewpoints, ask questions and contribute actively to the conversation is one of the biggest unlocks for them to feel truly empowered.
#2: Inform your team of the «why» behind your asks.
Don’t just tell them what you need them to do. Share the bigger picture context behind why they need to do this. It will allow them to associate a true purpose to the work they do and be more involved in the end outcome.
#3: Don’t assume what your team wants of you. Ask.
Managing effectively means understanding your individual team member’s needs and ensuring the structure and projects tied to their role line up well with that. Otherwise, you run the risk of having a demotivated team who feels disconnected with the work they’re doing because it doesn’t match their core motivations.
#4: Lead by example.
Let your team see that you are no stranger to handling obstacles and willing to get your hands dirty to do what needs to get done and make the hard calls. Never be «above» the work. Value post-mortems and learnings from setbacks & failures, just as much as you value major wins and successes. It’s in the most difficult of times that your team’s true strengths shine through and you need to help them uncover that.
#5: Celebrate your team for the small and big wins.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day work and forget to acknowledge rightful wins. Recognition goes a long way and can come in all forms, from a small shout-out in a team meeting, to 1:1 feedback, to further exposure for the projects they’re leading. Take the time to celebrate your team vs. just giving constructive feedback of what can be done better.
#6: Encourage your team to take their vacation and time off.
A good manager knows that their team will operate at their best when they prioritize self-care and their well-being. Time off is not just a nice-to-have, it’s absolutely essential.
#7: Create intentional moments for team togetherness, sharing of best practices and communal learning.
It’s really easy for your team members to feel like they’re working in silo and as a result, feel disconnected from the bigger vision. That’s why bringing your team together and helping each other understand their role in the grander scheme of things is critical. Not only that, by doing this, it encourages a more seamless flow of idea sharing, challenging of ideas and driving better, unified business outcomes.
#8: Invest energy in your team’s development.
Using performance reviews alone as an opportunity to discuss your team members’ growth is simply not sufficient. As their manager, you need to encourage and create an open space to build them up to where they want to go.
#9: Don’t over-shelter your team.
This can often happen in work meetings where, as the manager, you feel the need to «come to your team’s rescue» if they are getting challenged or receiving pushback. But doing this only handicaps them from building the needed backbone and resilience to fight their own battles. If you give them more space to do this themselves while supporting them on the sidelines, this will be much more favourable for their growth.
#10: Ensure there is a 2-way feedback loop.
Helping your team to feel at ease in sharing upwards feedback to you just as much as you share feedback to them is an absolute must. This is where you will keep a constant pulse of what’s going on for the business but even more so, what’s going on with your individual team members and how they’re feeling. Don’t wait for «shit to hit the fan» for you to check in on your team. This needs to be an always-on approach so you avoid being in situations that are harder to backpedal from.