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Central Scotland | amackie@sandler.com

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The success of big and small projects depends on how well the teams can work together. Understanding behaviours and attitudes of individual employees - along with the broader team dynamics can be challenging and sometimes frustrating. Use these tips to tackle your teamwork problems prior them becoming a major obstacle.

1.    Right people for roles 

Our clients often ask us for help with improving the productivity of their teams. In many cases, the underlying problem is hiring people who are not right for the role. A desire to fill the role immediately can be costly. Remember, no hire is better than a bad one. Skill gaps within the team not only cause delays on projects but discourages other members. If at any point during the interview you notice that the interviewee would be more suited for a different role, do not hesitate to bring that up. 

2.    Play to individual strengths 

Each member brings a different set of skills and experiences to the team. The secret to managing a team effectively is discovering these skills and using this knowledge when delegating tasks.  Think of ways these individual skill sets can work together to achieve the best possible result. Think of these skills as unique 'cogs' in your team 'machine'. When cogs are misplaced they grind together and the machine comes to a halt. Manager’s aim is to develop a well-oiled 'machine' where each set of skills is in the right place.   

3.    Establish Ground Rules 

Finally, agree on what good looks like and establish a reporting process. Each team member must be aware of what to do in case of a problem. Be careful and do not start micro-managing individual team members. I have found RAG (Red, Amber and Green) rating to be really effective. All project should start off as green and the manager should be alerted on amber and red. 
Green –  Everything will be delivered exactly as agreed 

Amber – Something has come up but the team member has it under control and will deliver on time

Red – Problem identified and deadline in jeopardy -  needs a discussion. Team members have to bring a clear understanding of the problem and some possible solutions to this discussion. 

Effective managers know how to motivate their teams and meet the objectives of projects even on tight deadlines. Nurture your leadership skills and continue developing a high-performance team.  

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