There are reportedly 32.5 million small businesses in America, constituting 99.9% of all businesses in the country. It is relatively easy to manage a team of three, four, or ten employees as a manager or business owner.
However, managing more employees comes with higher demands, and effective business leaders must be up to the task. A large team means an increase in scope, headcount, and responsibilities, but this shouldn’t be overwhelming if you keep some essential principles in mind.
To navigate the challenges of managing a growing team, you need to check this membership organizations guide from Join It.
Here are some top tips for effectively managing a large team.
Communicate more effectively
Every leader worth their salt understands the importance of effective communication in business. A reported 86% of executives and employees cite inadequate communication or collaboration as the main reasons for workplace failures, so how you communicate can make or break your company.
The need for good communication is even more pronounced when you are managing a large team, so keep this in mind. Therefore, have an open-door policy to make staff more likely to share critical information and schedule regular one-on-ones with managers working beneath you.
Effective communication is not just about speaking but also about active listening, clarity, conciseness, non-verbal communication, feedback, and empathy. Communication should be clear, simple, and easy to understand to avoid any misunderstanding.
Attention to body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions when communicating with others is essential. In addition to interpersonal communication, public speaking skills are critical for leaders as it’s a powerful tool that can inspire, motivate, and persuade others.
It allows leaders to convey their message effectively and confidently, whether to a large audience, a team meeting, or a one-on-one conversation.
Leaders can benefit from joining a public speaking group, taking a course, or participating in a TED-style speaker coaching program to become more confident and effective speakers and communicators and achieve their business goals.
Also, develop an effective employee communication plan to inform and update staff about particularly important things. For instance, your employees likely don’t track the latest changes in ACA reporting requirements online or in the news. Instead, they rely on you to disclose any relevant information, so have an effective plan in place to make them understand any updates.
Don’t shy away from delegating
Your time and resources will undoubtedly be stretched thin when managing a larger team. You will be responsible for several employees and projects, each with different priorities. It can be daunting to juggle all these concerns at once, so be willing to delegate tasks to competent team members.
Delegation gives you more time to focus on your priorities while offering valuable employees opportunities to take on higher-level tasks to improve their skill sets. This way, you can stay on top of essential tasks without burning out and allow individuals to specialize in key areas, a win-win for you and your staff.
When managing a team, you must learn how to lead your team. For example, Kurt Uhlir`s piece on what is servant leadership will help you understand the deeper meaning of leading.
Implement a mentoring program
Large teams typically have employees at different levels. It is quite laborious to get new or junior workers up to speed when handling multiple tasks. Therefore, a mentorship scheme is worth implementing to get your new or inexperienced workers ready to go. Mentorship programs place the responsibility of bringing new workers up to speed on mentors instead of you.
However, this arrangement can drain the mentor, so they need to know the benefits of mentoring a new hire. For instance, mentors will have lighter loads when they start shifting some of their work to mentees after training them well.
Also, a mentorship program will give senior employees an opportunity to assume team lead roles, which may eventually prepare them for key management positions. An estimated 67% of companies report increased productivity due to mentoring, so this program can help make your company more effective in the long term.