The importance of developing your team as part of a Manager’s responsibilities

Is your team just running? Or are you proactively developing their skills and knowledge to help them run faster?

Whether you are leading your team to a rugby world cup final, or taking your business to the next level, the fundamentals of management are the same – directing individual accomplishments towards organisational objectives, generating teamwork that is the fuel that allows ordinary people to attain extraordinary results.

As a manager, developing your team is a crucial part of the role. It can sometimes be overlooked when caught up in ‘business as usual’ activities. However, if executed effectively, it can greatly improve your team’s performance. There are three key steps to ensure you are really making the most out of your team:

  • Understanding your team’s needs

It might seem like common sense, but if you don’t understand the areas for development within your team, you cannot improve them. It’s like being a firefighter, you have all the tools to put the fire out, however if you can’t find the fire, it’s no use. This requires you, as the manager, to really take the time to understand your people’s strengths as well as their weaknesses.

  • Team Cohesion

To ensure you are extracting the best performance out of your team, a common set of core values and goals needs to be in place. These goals should be ‘SMART’ and each team member must understand their role in collectively achieving these. Alongside these goals should be a shared set of values, which allows for a supporting culture of openness and honesty. Creating a more collaborative environment where your team is open to discussing problems and sharing ideas is imperative. As a result, if additional effort is required, other team members can step in and help out – solving the problem quicker and at less cost.

  • Learning methods

There are various methods that individuals learn best by and it is your role as a manager to implement the one most appropriate for your team. An example would be the 70:20:10 model – this model suggests that 70% of learning happens through experience, 20% through conversations and 10% through training courses. Whether you use this model or not, really understanding your team’s strengths and weaknesses when it comes to learning can help you develop the right method for them.

As I’m sure you are aware, successful teams do not come into existence by accident – they are built and constantly critiqued for performance improvement gains. So ask yourself again, are you doing the best you can to develop your team?