Monday, May 21, 2007

Thoughts on good team management

I have always been intrigued by leaders and the qualities that define them. The ability to channelize people in a proposed direction without causing a single ounce of ego reaction is beyond other talents.

Human resource in my view is invaluable and its never surprising how much you can achieve with an intelligent and motivated team. Most managers don't become good leaders simply because they view employees as liabilities (dispensable slaves if you will). Over my seemingly short experience working with people, I have learned a few elements of leadership that help build a team where everyone lives like family. Some of these elements I have tried myself and seen them work great, the rest are things that I will put to work soon.

1. Test your leadership skills through nonprofit organizations:
In non-profits, every person working with you works for personal satisfaction and self-development. There is no contract under which you pay them for their services. This means that if you offend anyone, they would simply not come back to help you again (this doesn't happen too often with companies working for profit). Put simply, you will understand where i draw the line bet wen being a boss and being a colleague. So if you need to learn the art of managing people, while being able to inspire them and be respected, a non-profit organization is the best place to get trained.

2. Pay your employees a bit above the median salary:
I understand this is controversial and it is profitable to run a business with little cost of labor. However it is extremely harmful for the company climate in the long run. You might as well estimate cost of running your business with the median salaries BEFORE recruiting personnel. Another benefit on this is that they wont ask you for a raise next year (atleast not a huge raise without which they would choose to leave). They would also work for you longer, since elsewhere they might get paid less for the same kind of position.

3. Provide opportunities for your team members to learn:
For every project underway, keep one less-experienced smart person on the team. The smart guy wants to learn and will work hard to contribute to the team. Not to mention he/she might provide some out-of-the-box ideas (we always wonder how children can have ideas that we cannot think of)

4. Convey exactly what responsibilities a person should take up to grow professionally:
It is obvious that your team works for a good pay and good work conditions and they deserve to know exactly where their talent is more valued.

5. Recruit interns for starter jobs. Interns are always motivated and raw talent (therefore open-minded). Most jobs that require creative thought at the fundamental level can be best assigned to interning students. Apart from the fact that they will work hard and learn new skills, you get the benefit of perfectly matching them to the company's team. If the intern decides to leave though, you will atleast get unbiased feedback of your work environment and a positive impression/recommendation of the company in the market.

There are some more things of interest here, but I will defer those to an updated post.

No comments:


Please help me improve this blog. I really want to make this a valuable resource and any recommendations would be of great help. Feel free to use the comment field on any of the posts. Thanks!

Google ads