How To Manage Large Teams

How to guides

Business managers today often look after more than just one area or department within a company. The role entails a variety of responsibilities, as well as catering for a range of different types of personalities and operational styles; something which can present quite a challenge. When it comes to managing large teams, without the right structures and communication strategies in place, things can go wrong, and quickly. So what tools and strategies can help?

How To Manage A Team

Communicate & manage expectations from the start

Often, employees don’t fully understand what’s expected of them when undertaking certain tasks. Clearly, this isn’t good for the employee, the team, or you.

Consequently, you should always aim to provide clear direction, with plenty of detail on how you wish tasks to be completed and overall objectives.

For example, what are their daily goals? Should they be working towards specific deadlines? Are they able to approach senior management with questions?

If expectations are made clear to begin with, it sets a standard. This will help employees to be more productive, improve overall business efficiency, and to create a happy workforce.

Outline & keep forms of communication clear

If employees aren’t sure of the best way to reach out to their co-workers and management, then they may choose not to. This can result in issues quickly escalating.

By establishing a clear chain of command, and keeping communication channels open, many potential problems can be avoided.

In many industries specialist devices can help facilitate this communication. A good example of this is the two-way radio. Ideal for larger sized organisations, these are the best tool for when employees work on the move and need to be in a variety of different locations within their place of work.

Using such a device helps with newfound freedom and provides the ability to listen to a real voice on the go (as opposed to the silent text or email).

Challenge conflict

Conflict can be difficult to manage, and is essential to resolve quickly to maintain smooth operations.

Whilst every conflict will be different, it’s important to establish ground rules for all employees to follow. This will lay the foundations for what is acceptable within the team and how employees can be expected to act.

If your team know how to go about achieving their daily tasks and there is clear and accurate information provided, this will help to prevent conflict arising.

And when conflict does occur, by creating and maintaining clear lines of structure and protocol, you will better be able to handle the situation effectively.

Be available & maintain regular meetings or catch-up sessions

If you feel like your colleagues are constantly expressing symptoms of dissatisfaction, it could be that you’re simply not engaging with them.

Staff members within larger organisations can feel undervalued because they feel overlooked or that management are ‘out of touch’.

Having an open door policy is a great way to encourage your team to approach management and in turn, you are then able to get a clearer picture of what’s happening on the ground and to establish individual’s strengths and abilities, making the team’s performance really shine.

It’s also helpful to make use of new tools and technology to schedule things in. MS Outlook aside, there is an abundance of online scheduling software with engagement at the forefront of their focus. Huddle is a great example of online team collaborative software, for enterprise and government.

Don’t forget about performance reviews

These are crucial and it’s important to note that large teams will require more forward-planning for individual reviews than smaller scale teams or organisations. Don’t forget though that these will go a long way in helping staff feel valued.

There are plenty of online resources and appraisal systems out there, aimed more towards larger working groups. Primalogik 360 is a great example of this.

Set out a contingency process

When setting out vital or time-sensitive assignments, it’s really important to cater for eventualities such as sickness/lateness and to be able to handle emergency situations.

By providing all staff with the key information necessary to be able to provide cover when certain people or teams are unexpectedly away, this will help to maintain efficient processes.

Set an example

By setting a good example, senior management will set a tone which trickles down to the rest of the workforce.

A manager with a motivational and supportive approach, who follows the ground rules themselves, will create a more effective working environment.

In summary, managing teams and businesses is not always the easiest of tasks, but with the right tools and processes in place, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience. And in all honesty, what does the reward really mean if you haven’t overcome a few obstacles along the way?