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Building Your Team as a First-Time Manager

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  • 0:03 Building a Productive Team
  • 0:30 Analyze the Situation
  • 1:05 Identify Existing Skills
  • 1:43 Building Relationships
  • 2:38 Praise and Feedback
  • 3:54 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Colette Rominger

Colette has taught many business and management courses and has a Masters in Adult Education and Training as well as an MBA

This lesson will discuss steps you can take as a first-time manager to ensure you are best utilizing the skills of your team. You'll also learn to build relationships that will create a productive staff and make you look like a superstar.

Building a Productive Team

Managers face a variety of struggles every day, but with the right people on your team, you will find that you will struggle much less. Building your team will be a little different depending on whether you are building a new team in a new location or if you are a new manager coming into a situation where there is an existing team in place. In this lesson, we will be talking about the latter.

Analyze the Situation

When coming into a situation where there is an existing team and you are the outsider, the best thing you can do is determine the strengths and weaknesses of the existing players on your team. With new management often comes new expectations and it is your job to explain what is expected of each individual and to match your employees with the jobs that will highlight their skills. There will inevitably be employees who will be resistant to the changes, but with a little work, you can reduce that resistance and form an effective and cohesive team.

Identify Existing Skills

Think of it as building your survival team for the Zombie Apocalypse. Do you want your best sharp shooters cooking the food for the group? Of course, not. You want them doing what best highlights his or her strengths and skill levels, such as clearing buildings or being the lookout for any herds of approaching undead. Similarly, you would not want your best salesperson to handle administrative tasks; you'd want that salesperson interacting with clients and closing deals. If you know the strengths of your team members you are more likely to survive. This holds true in the business world as well as in the fight against zombies.

Building Relationships

Another thing that you will need to do right away is to start building strong relationships with your team members. In order to be a strong leader you must build a certain level of trust and respect with your employees. As they learn to trust your leadership skills, they will begin to perform at a higher level. Encourage employees to discuss work-related issues with you and let them know you can work towards a solution together. Building rapport with your team is what will help transform a manager into a leader.

When working with and developing your team, you must practice being open and honest with them. This will make them feel included and that they are a part of the bigger picture of the company. They will look to you, as the manager, to share information regarding the goals and objectives of the company. Do not be afraid to share information regarding budgets, customer feedback, strategic plans, and any upcoming changes that may affect them.

Praise and Feedback

The next thing that you must do on a regular basis, especially as a new manager, is to recognize your team members when they do a good job. As managers, we are sometimes so focused on our daily tasks that we forget that our employees are the ones doing much of the work. Often, there is no excess money in the budget to give employees incentives, pay raises, and bonuses, but simply telling them that they did a good job often goes a long way in gaining respect and increasing morale. Remember, a manager completes tasks, but a leader motivates people.

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