Team task management has always been an important issue with companies, but statistics show that the shift to remote is making the issue more apparent. One survey showed that as many as 88% of remote workers felt that they were dealing with inconsistent leadership and communication with other team members.
Poor team management can cost your companies in a number of different ways:
- U.S. businesses lose $1 trillion each year due to employee turnover and associated costs. Poor management is one of the most frequently cited reasons why employees leave.
- Employees that decide not to leave may simply have less motivation to go about their jobs, leading to poor quality of work.
- If reputation spreads in your industry that you are a poorly managed company, it can become harder to retain talent.
The silver lining here is that there are a lot of steps that companies can take today to improve their team task management. Here are some key options.
1. Onboarding For Managers
One surprising statistic that doesn’t get discussed a lot is that as many as 58% of managers say they didn’t get any sort of formal management training. This is a situation that you want to avoid at all costs. Think about it. The bulk of new management professionals at a company fall into one of two categories:
- People brought in from outside of an organization to lend their expertise
- People promoted internally from being part of a team to managing it
In both cases, there’s a huge amount of information that needs to be communicated so they can do their job effectively. This ranges from how your workflow may differ from other companies in your industry to simply knowing the chain of command for communication. Companies should invest heavily in an onboarding program for team task management the same as they would for any other new employee. This allows them to start contributing to your team faster. In addition, if everyone is working from the same base set of guidelines, it’s easier to determine whether someone is doing their job properly or not.
2. Take An Assessment of Team Skills And Delegate
While you may have several employees working on the same team, the chances are that individuals are going to be most effective at certain tasks. This can be due to past experience that they have or simply discovering a new skill or aptitude at their company. One good practice for team task management is doing an internal survey on who on your team is best at certain tasks. This can be done as formally or informally as you want. You just want to have a record as a manager. This way, if you have a surplus of tasks in one category, you know who you can delegate to.
The delegation, in and of itself, has a certain art to it. You need to have the following company traits for delegation to work.
- Enough internal trust that your employees can complete tasks assigned to you.
- Communication channels employees can use in case they have questions.
- Understanding that a manager is essential, but not always directly involved.
3. Implementing Positivity When Possible (And Feasible)
When the work starts to pile up, it’s easy for company morale to start sinking. Along with the basics of team task management, it’s also important for managers to make sure that their employees stay motivated, even when things get difficult. Here are a few steps that you can take in this area:
- Making sure to recognize moments of success that your team members have. This helps show that their efforts are appreciated.
- Implementing team-building efforts. A team that knows each other on a personal level can help build professional bonds that will strengthen their work quality.
- Practicing measured honesty. You don’t necessarily want to be a prophet of doom, but a little understanding when employees are in a difficult situation will show them that their concerns are not ignored.
4. Practice Transparency
It may sound like a common buzzword, but the fact of the matter is that transparency is important for team task management. As many as 50% of employees feel that their workplace is being held back by a lack of transparency.
One of the key ways to do this is by opening up a feedback channel. When it comes to team task management, this takes multiple forms. The obvious one is having a way for employees to offer input, questions or concerns about the workload that they are tasked with. It’s always better to have questions at the onset of a project than deeper into it, when serious work/manhours may have already been invested into it.
There’s also a company culture element to practicing transparency. Your employees need to feel comfortable and confident enough to express themselves and their feelings so that when issues do arise, they can get addressed right away.
5. Know Your Team Time Regimen
Part of the reason why there can be friction between management and employees when it comes to team task management plans is a disconnect with bandwidth expectations. Management may allot a certain amount of time for certain tasks, but in reality, it may take longer to complete said tasks. This leads to management assuming their teams are inefficient or lazy, while the team feels like they are being set up to fail.
Managing the issue isn’t as easy as it may seem, as management doesn’t have the bandwidth to orbit their teams for every single task they do. There is a way to fully understand your team’s work capacity with minimal investment, though, and that’s through using time tracking software platforms like actiTIME. This platform gives you concrete information on how projects are going and how much time is being spent on tasks without infringing on employee privacy.
This is a great asset for team task management. Managers have concrete data on how long given tasks are taking, which means they can either account for that in their management strategy or target inefficiencies. In either event, actiTIME gives teams the tools they need for a stronger internal workflow.