5 Tips to Make the Most of the Different Ways of Working in your Team
We all work in different ways. From how you like to keep track of your tasks to even how you think, our work is often a product of our intricacies and individualities. This can be a great thing. We all have our strengths, but it's knowing how to use them that's the key.
As a project manager, it can be a challenge to manage a team with lots of different working styles. Without good management, your team can clash and your projects can fail. The potential problem has even been exacerbated recently. With employees working from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it's been easy to fall into new routines out of the traditional workplace. This new freedom can allow creativity to thrive and make positive change. However, understanding these changes and knowing how to manage them is the only way forward.
If you want to get the most out of your team, use these five tips to maximise their different working styles.
Keep your Goals Front and Centre
Regardless of how your team like to work, their eventual goals should be consistent. Even if you are co-ordinating multiple teams on multiple levels, the aim of successful project delivery should be at the forefront of their minds. It's often assumed that this is the case in all projects, but as each individual takes on their role and own tasks, it's easy to lose sight of the big picture. As the project manager, drawing your colleagues back into a team mindset and reminding them what it's all about is critical. No matter how your team like to work, as long as you're heading towards a common goal, you'll be able to keep things on track.
Understand Their Strengths
It can be tempting to choose one way of working and impose it upon your team. It's the simple solution, right? Unfortunately not. Rigidity is not the answer.
Instead, make an effort to recognise and understand each team member's strengths. Diversity in your team is actually a great thing. Everyone excels at different things, making them an indispensable part of the system. The skill as a project manager is knowing how to use them. Assign the appropriate tasks to the best team member for them. Simply by understanding your team and how they work, you can maximise their potential for more successful projects.
Communication, communication, communication. If you've kept up to date with our blogs, you'll know we never stop talking about good communication. It's central to effective project management.
Not only does it ensure everyone knows the status of their project and what needs to be done, it allows for the security and the confidence needed to ask for assistance. Even if your team work differently as individuals, if their communication is solid, your team can work seamlessly together. Try out our top tips to improve your communication!
Try a Flexible System
New technology is providing exciting opportunities to draw together your team's different ways of working in one system. You might already have your project management system well established, but that doesn't mean you can't try other platforms for different needs.
At Projects that Deliver, we work best using flexible software, like Miro. Miro lets you create online, collaborative 'boards' so that you can work seamlessly with your team wherever you are. The intuitive and malleable nature of the software means different team members can use it however fits them best. However, the option of more structured templates means you don't have to sacrifice cohesion.
Ensure Consistent Outputs
Regardless of how you get there, make sure your outputs are consistent. If every team member presents the result of their work differently, you risk creating confusion for your clients. Without clarity, your project can lose sight of its progress and veer off course.
Encourage your team to keep things simple with coherent and consistent outputs. Providing structure and easy-to-use templates makes this a breeze. Unsure where to start? Try our free Project Charter template.
We specialise in helping small businesses work at their best. If you're struggling to manage the different ways your team like to work, get in touch. We can help you maximise their potential and boost your efficiency. Try one of our free sessions or give us a call on 020 3286 2866.