5 tips for new team leaders

Office & Culture

Taking on the role of team leader can be daunting. Whether it’s joining a brand new team or taking the reins of your existing team, the role can be difficult to master at first.

It’s vital that you cement your position as a good team leader early on.

Here are five tips which we think will help you to excel in your new role:

1. Get to know your team

Most of us will already have an idea of the types of plans we want to put in place before we even start in a new role. It can be easy to jump straight in and start making changes and implementing your ideas but taking the time to get to know your team will benefit you in the long-term.

Within your first week, you should aim to meet with all of your team individually. Perhaps ask them what they really enjoy doing, what issues they are having and where they want to be in the next 2-3 years. This can motivate your team as they know that you care about their careers and are aware of their goals and ambitions.
Getting to know who you’re working with is a first important step to bonding with the team and establishing their respect and trust. By listening to your team and understanding their positions in the group you can then formulate a leadership approach that is more likely to lead to success.

2. Lead by example

This is something that can be directly put in place when starting a new leadership role. Becoming someone your team looks up to and someone they can hold confidence in will help establish you in your role.

Small things can have a big impact; if you want your employees to be punctual make sure you are always on time or even early. It is also a good idea to spend some time doing the work that your team actually does. This not only shows that you intend to lead by example but also makes you aware of the challenges your team faces.

Setting this positive example makes it more likely that your team will follow your lead. It also makes you visible and connected to your team and shows that you are available to support them as you know the challenges they face.

3. Communicate

Communicating effectively is one of the most important things you can do as a team leader. When you start in your new role it can be easy to get your head down and start work straight away without discussing your goals and targets. Not communicating these targets and goals to your new team can lead to them not being reached at all.

As soon as you start in your new job be as open and transparent as possible. Let your staff know what is going to change and what goals you want the team to achieve. One way to do this is to put in place a 30-day plan and outline it to your team. Encourage and embrace new ideas, remember communication is a two-way street.

Fostering effective communication with your team will help to make them more comfortable in their work environment. Knowing the clear goals and targets set out by their team leader will help to encourage your team to contribute more to the tasks and be happier in their roles.

4. Be decisive

Making tough decisions when you’re new can be difficult as you don’t want to set out on the wrong foot and make yourself unpopular with your team. Ultimately, not making those tough calls can be costly; if you fail to make tough decisions in a timely manner it can be more difficult to recover later on.

The key thing to do is avoid procrastination. If there are decisions to be made, make them. Don’t be afraid to seek help if needed. Once you are ready to make your decisions share the reasoning behind them with your team and explain the impact the changes will have.

Making decisions quickly and without hesitation will demonstrate your leadership skills to both your team and your employers. By effectively communicating the reasons for your decisions your team will feel less unrest, they will see the bigger picture and understand where things are going.

5. Share success

It can be easy to get overexcited when you get good feedback in a new role. You’ve worked so hard to make your new job and your team a success that you’re delighted to know your work hasn’t gone unnoticed. But remember, you are the leader of a team and your success is also their success.

If you get some good feedback or your team reaches a big target make sure to make your team aware of how well they are doing. Recognise good performance and reward it, even verbal praise can go a long way.

Recognising and celebrating achievements as a team can do great things for boosting morale and create a tighter bond amongst team members and their leader. Your employees will appreciate being part of the success and will work harder to reach new goals and have more success in the future.

Will you soon be starting in a new leadership role? Will you be adapting any of these leadership tips? Let us know @glandorenetwork.

If you would like to find out more about us and how we can help your team grow, get in touch here

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