7 Tips on How to Manage a Small Team

Not everyone wants to be Google. On a smaller stage, effective small businesses can be deeply rewarding to their owners and team members. Just like not everyone wants to Google, not everyone wants to be Michael Jordan. Well-led small to medium businesses can create teams where everyone is essential and a superstar in their own right, but no one person dominates every conversation. In this blog post, we’ll share 7 tips on the art of crafting remarkable small teams where every member is a valuable contributor, and the outcomes are nothing short of remarkable.

Tip #1 – Align Your Team with the Company’s Vision

Managing a small team begins with ensuring they understand and share the company’s vision and goals. It’s vital that every team member recognizes how their contributions impact the organization’s overall success. The more you can create a common sense of purpose, the more your team will be motivated to succeed and incorporate that purpose into every aspect of their work. Another plus is that employees who back the company’s vision are more likely to stay in their role for the long run.

Tip #2 – Encourage Open Communication

Effective communication is at the heart of how to manage small teams. Create an environment where team members feel comfortable sharing ideas, feedback, and concerns openly. There are no wrong answers. For small tech teams, consider using communication tools like Slack or project management platforms to ensure seamless collaboration. In all small businesses, regular team meetings and one-on-one discussions are essential to fostering a culture of openness and collaboration.

Tip #3 – Invest in Skill Development

Investing in the growth of your team members is a key driver of success. Provide opportunities for training, professional development, and industry-specific workshops. Small tech teams may benefit from coding boot camps, while mortgage brokerages can offer financial certification programs, and sales teams can excel through sales training initiatives.

Tip #4 – Empower Teams with Autonomy and Flexibility

Granting autonomy is vital for small team management. Give your teams the freedom to make decisions and execute projects autonomously. Where appropriate, let them choose how they work. Flexibility to choose where you work and when you take breaks or do certain projects boost morale (read how to keep a remote team motivated here). Offer options for remote work, flexible schedules, and remote-friendly tools. Autonomy and flexibility instil a sense of ownership and responsibility, boosting motivation.

Tip #5 – Prioritize Well-Being
Small team management should prioritize the well-being of your team members. Offer wellness programs, relaxation spaces, and access to counselling services to promote physical and mental health. A culture of well-being not only keeps your team motivated but also reduces burnout and increases productivity. At Uplift, we love working out together and doing fun and healthy team-building activities like breathwork.

Tip #6 – Encourage Collaboration

Collaboration is a key driver of success in managing small teams. Encourage teams to work together on projects, share knowledge, and support one another in overcoming challenges. In tech, this might involve developers collaborating to solve complex coding issues. In mortgage brokerages, teams can structure complex loans collaboratively, and sales teams can benefit from joint campaigns and sharing successful sales strategies.

Tip #7 – Seek Feedback and Adapt

Regularly seek feedback from your team members regarding their needs, challenges, and suggestions for improvements. Implement changes based on their input to demonstrate your commitment to their well-being and success. Effective small-team management hinges on listening and adapting to create a motivated and committed workforce. Read our article about giving and receiving feedback, here.

Managing small teams effectively is a fundamental aspect of achieving success in any organization. By aligning your team with the company’s vision, promoting open communication, investing in skill development, granting autonomy and flexibility, prioritizing well-being, encouraging collaboration, and seeking feedback, you create an environment where small teams thrive and consistently deliver outstanding results. After all, employee engagement is one of the most important factors in deciding whether an employee stays or goes. Leveraging technology and adaptation are integral to sustaining motivation and success. Implement these best practices in your small team management, and you’ll witness your teams excel and drive your business forward.

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