Your tiny shop has graduated to burgeoning startup, meeting head on the challenges of shipping product and dazzling customers. It’s an exciting, satisfying feeling! Everyone on your team is buzzing. Things look great, and your job as a manager is . . . Well, it’s different. Your days are filling with administrative headache. People get hired. Job duties evolve. And as much as you try to keep up, task tracking breaks down, work is duplicated, and team members step on each other’s toes. You get stuck refereeing conflicts and putting out fires. It’s a long way from where you started. Where did it go wrong? How do you gracefully handle growth? When will you have time to do the work that matters to you?
It might take a shakeup of “the way things have always been done.” But if it helps you push your team to their potential, and frees up your schedule to get back to what you love, it’s worthwhile. Read on for a few suggestions to get you started.
Delegate and trust.
You can’t see, hear, and decide everything for your team. If you try, you end up micromanaging, and that won’t help your overhead. Look for veteran team members who enjoy the challenges of change. They’re a key asset to keeping your team stable. Delegate tasks to them, then let go. Trust them to carry the projects, even if their methods are different. It’s OK to ask for summarized progress reports and to offer advice. It’s a great way to keep the company pushing forward while training the next generation of team leaders and managers.
Communication makes or breaks.
Efficient use of meetings and email avoids wasting time. That said, employees want information and honesty. Keep them in the know on company products, events, and press releases, so they feel connected to the larger mission. Encourage them to keep each other informed about milestones, difficulties, and anything else that impacts projects small and large. Productive chatter builds trust and relationships throughout the organization. It also helps you in both the first point about delegation and trust, and the next point about potential.
Educate them and give them a push.
Now that you’re delegating and communicating, make sure everyone is able to their jobs. Sink or swim isn’t always a sound strategy for someone learning a new position. If you ask employees to step up, give them opportunities to acquire the skills they need. And while those skills are acquired and successfully used, let the whole team know how much you appreciate their extra efforts. Because recognition of a job well done is just as important as continuing education and motivation. They’re all ingredients to a successful team.
Take a deep breath.
One blog post isn’t a definitive guide to managing a growing company, to be sure. However, if you follow our tips and stay open to change, you’ll avoid some common pitfalls. Trust your team, communicate, educate, and grow leadership from within. Do these and you’ll not only keep yourself from stressful burnout, but you’ll also help your company innovate and thrive. Share your thoughts and let us know what works for you…
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