This is going to be more rapid fire style to give you some quick hitters on managing teams. I previously talked about how to handle managers that keep signing you up for stuff when you can’t take on anymore without wanting to put your head through a window…
But what about when you’re the manager?
One of the biggest responsibilities of a manager is making sure the team is productive. Ideally, this productivity isn’t coming at the cost of burning out the team and you have a mass exit of top performers.
The problem is that burnout is normally identified way too late, and the damage can’t be repaired before someone is ready to jump ship.
So here are some of the things I do to try to keep a pulse on thing so I’m fully informed when I’m signing my team up for stuff, even if they’re not present at the time I make the commitment.
1. Daily stand-up where you hear what people are doing and how they’re doing it. You may free up a ton of time just by telling someone they should go left instead of right on a decision that otherwise will take them down a rabbit hole. There’s a fine balance between people having the drive to try to figure stuff out on their own and just wasting time.
2. Keep reminding them that this is the perfect time for questions (and mean it!). Sometimes your team may think it’s not an appropriate time to ask questions or like they’re being a burden to you and they’ll try to hold them until later. Or they’re try to figure it out on their own, or guess, when it’s not the kind of think you can quickly Google. You know, things like “what did you envision in your brain when you asked me to do this thing?”
3. If #3 doesn’t give you the “warm and fuzzies” that the team is ready to rock and roll, ask the person who hasn’t said anything if they’re all good. If you have a team member who is super quiet after you’re explaining the vision or objective of an assignment, try to engage them. Inviting questions in this way almost always uncovers things you need to spend more time on that you would’ve otherwise missed. This is crucial because sometimes burnout comes from people feeling lost and they convince themselves the job isn’t for them.
I’ll stop there for now but if you have some favorite techniques you like to use, share them and let’s compare notes.
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