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Building a Winning Team

If you are a supervisor, your responsibilities include managing those who report to you. But do you want to simply "manage" your subordinates, or do you want to lead a cohesive team that works efficiently to produce maximum results? If your goal is to work your way up the corporate ladder, you need to be a team leader.

A team that gets results is a winning team, and as a manager you want to be the one who leads it to victory. Not only will others recognize you for the team's accomplishments, but they will also recognize your skill and prowess as a leader and manager.

Following are a few ways to use your role as manager to build a winning team.

  • Create a Team Environment

    The best and brightest might comprise the group, but if members focus solely on their individual tasks and responsibilities, your group might not work as efficiently or effectively as possible.

    If members work in a vacuum, without an awareness or understanding of their function within the team, valuable opportunities are wasted.

    Take some time to observe how your employees work. Remember that you are a member of this team; therefore include yourself in your observations. Do people work in groups or alone? Do they actively exchange ideas or questions?

    Encourage your staff to work together. Set up workspaces, meeting rooms and break rooms in a way that encourages collaboration and idea sharing. Provide opportunities, whether through meetings, e-mail or memos, for members to share information about events, accomplishments and goals.

  • Lead by Example

    Your members look to you to serve as a role model, so it's important for you to function as a member of the team as well as the team's leader. Make efforts to include group members in your projects. Share your ideas and ask others for their input.

    A leader's job is to make decisions and implement new ideas, but that doesn't exclude asking for your team's input or opinions. Not only will it help the group work better together, you might learn a thing or two.

  • Nurture the Team

    Without your team, who are you leading? No one. Therefore it's in your best interest, and the best interest of your company, to take care of your team members and foster an environment of camaraderie.

    Listen to them. Earn their trust. Support them. Treat them all equally. If you treat them with respect, compassion and appreciation, they will be inclined to do the same for you and your company.

  • Invest in the Team

    A return on investment requires an investment. If you want to get more out of your team, you will need to put more into it. Offer ongoing training and professional development opportunities. Seek out seminars or workshops that focus on team-building skills.

    Offering team members added benefits increases team loyalty and dedication; it also reduces employee turnover.

    Reduced employee turnover makes you look good to your boss not only because it means less new-hire training and fewer expenses, but also because it demonstrates that you are a manager employees like to work with.

  • Delegate

    Now that you've spent time, energy and money creating a team, trust your employees to work on their own. Allow them to do what you hired them to do. Entrust them with decisions.

    The fact that you have faith in them will make them feel more like part of the team and more invested in the project. Their increased emotional investment will benefit the project and the business.

    We are all part of a team. Even if you only supervise one person, you are a team leader. Whether or not you are the person who hired or selected the team members, you are the one entrusted with maximizing their assets and increasing the bottom line.

If you demonstrate that you are capable of creating and leading a team that produces results, you will be more valuable to your current, and future, employers.

To reach that goal you will need to create a team environment, lead by example, nurture and invest in the team, and delegate when appropriate. If you do that, your roster will be filled with contented teammates working toward a united victory.

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