The Best Work Environment for Team Leaders
Creating the best work environment for team leaders usually starts by getting sponsorship from company executives. This ensures alignment with strategic objectives. To build a positive work environment, you need to foster collaboration, cooperation and trust. By establishing an environment in which leadership decisions are made after carefully assessing the situation, considering alternatives and evaluating options, you can maintain the best, productive work environment for the both the team leader and his subordinates.
When team members trust each other, the team leader directs activities in a positive work environment. Each employee respects the opinions, experience and input of other team members. Team leaders embody this by leading by example. Team members appreciate being led by a reliable, responsible and accountable co-worker. Additionally, when employees feel their input is valued and respected, productivity usually increases.
Effective communication from company executives ensures that the team leader understands the company’s mission, values and goals. Then, he can communicate that to his team. Effective team leaders conduct regular meetings, distribute status reports and use other mechanisms, such as social media technology, to make sure all team members have the information they need to do their work. These team leaders run team-building exercises to help team members communicate more effectively with peers, stakeholders and customers. This includes developing skills in active listening, effective presentations and negotiating.
Establish the best work environment for team leaders by creating a comprehensive plan that includes a detailed work breakdown structure. When resources know what tasks they need to complete and when the work is due, work flows smoothly from one process to the next. By documenting the work involved with initiating, executing, monitoring, controlling and closing projects, you set expectations for the whole team.
Effective teams follow established policies and procedures. This prevents ambiguity that leads to confusion, misunderstanding and conflict. Depending on the skill level of the team, the leader involves the team members in decision making. Using the Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Theory created by management experts Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard, an effective team leader chooses a leadership style based on the experience of his team and type of task at hand.
Successful team leaders usually foster a productive work environment by recognizing exemplary work. By regularly taking time out to reward innovation and creativity, you can encourage employees to seek out process improvements on an ongoing basis. It typically leads to higher employee satisfaction and retention, as well as reduced absenteeism. This ultimately leads to lowered costs, reduced waste and higher customer satisfaction, too.
Tara Duggan is a Project Management Professional (PMP) specializing in knowledge management and instructional design. For over 25 years she has developed quality training materials for a variety of products and services supporting such companies as Digital Equipment Corporation, Compaq and HP. Her freelance work is published on various websites.