Effective team management is a vital element of success in the future of work. As temporary teams take the place of the soon-to-be-outdated long-term team model, managers must be able to rally members around specific goals and provide the support and guidance needed to reach the desired outcome—and then rinse and repeat with new members and new goals.
Team managers may find that they need to retool their skills to meet the demands of the evolving workplace. These five skill areas are essential for maintaining productivity in a changing environment.
Mastery of the Hybrid Work Model
Managing a team in a hybrid work environment requires well-honed communication skills. Clearly articulated goals and constructive feedback are examples of communication that ensure everyone is on the same page and understands what’s expected of them. Another essential management skill is best expressed as “stepping back.” Offer team members the flexibility and autonomy to produce the best results and trust them to deliver. At the same time, ensure that workers are accountable for their work and meeting their responsibilities. Regularly applaud initiative, celebrate wins, and facilitate team-driven course corrections.
Well-Developed Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is the key to fostering solid interpersonal connections with and among team members. It allows a manager to build rapport and empathy, recognize each member’s strength and team’s diversity, resolve conflicts, handle difficult conversations, and cultivate a positive and supportive team environment.
A Keen Sense of Technology
Technology is a powerful team ally, and the inclusion of AI is changing how people fundamentally work. It can be tempting to settle on and stick with a particular tech toolset, but there’s a risk of being left behind as new tools develop. It’s important that a team manager be tech-savvy and stay up-to-date with tools that can support productivity, those already being used as well as alternatives. Reassess the team toolset periodically, at least once a year. Ensure that team members get the training they need to use technology tools most effectively.
Data is quickly becoming foundational to all parts of the enterprise. AI capabilities make the capture and analysis of data deeper and more informative than ever. A team manager needs to be well-versed in the application of data to determine actions and directions, and needs to ensure that team members are likewise adept at relying on data.
Have we gone through a lot of change over the past 10 years? We haven’t seen anything yet. Change in the business world is accelerating and quickly becoming just business as usual. A team manager who understands the psychology of change and who can effectively facilitate change will be able to make sure that members are supported through change after change without a dip in productivity or morale.