The success of a remodeling firm requires teamwork, which is why there are three teamwork-related editorial pieces in this issue. The feature article on page 20 includes results of a survey we conducted with many of you about corporate culture and approaches to getting your staff to work effectively together. Two columnists also have addressed teamwork on pages 12 and 14.
Every team needs a coach, or leader, and at Qualified Remodeler I believe I’m a pretty good manager. Like everyone I have my weaknesses, too, but I’m going to share some of the well-received elements of my management style with the hopes that you might try to use one or two with your team.
Encourage opinions that differ from yours. I encourage those that work with me to challenge me when they disagree with an opinion of mine, which always results in a better decision than if I had made it on my own. This approach supports healthy discussion and debate, and welcomes perspectives other than mine. No one person knows everything, so it’s important to gather insight from others before making decisions.
Let people do their jobs. In other words, don’t micromanage. No one likes a micromanager. Instead, train your staff and let them do what you’re paying them to do. Share with them how you would accomplish a task, but also understand there is more than one way to get a job done and our way might not be the best way for someone else. Be hands off, but not withdrawn. If problems arise work with staff to solve them, but otherwise let people work the best way for them to get the job done. If it gets done on time, and done right, I really don’t care how it was done.
Maintain steady communication. Find a way to have conversations with each person on your staff on a regular basis. Whether it’s once a day or once a month, do it. Schedule conversations if that’s what it takes to follow through. Sometimes I’ve thought I won’t have anything to discuss with someone since I talked to him or her the day before, but something always comes up. If by chance nothing comes up, ask if everything is going well. Does the person have any questions? Are they having problems with others on the staff? Are you providing enough support? Are you available as needed?
Keep an open door but closed lips. In other words, develop trust with each person on your staff. Let them know they can always come to you with problems, questions or when in need of advice. If confidentiality is promised, don’t violate the trust your staff places in you, or they’ll never trust you again.
Care about the person, not just the employee. Understand that people have lives outside of work, and that sometimes personal issues creep into work hours. Of course you can’t allow employees to take advantage of the flexibility you provide, so if problems arise because of the personal issues, address them.
Support professional development. Part of my job is to help my staff develop as professionals, even though it means they’ll leave one day to advance their careers. I’ve had bosses that helped me grow, so why wouldn’t I do the same for those working with me?
Have your own management tips to share? Do so on our Facebook page or in our LinkedIn group.