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If you’re a program manager thinking about how to get the most from your team then you’ll want to know what factors are important to focus on in order to bring about the best from your team and your extended team.
One place to start might be to sit down with a blank sheet of paper and make a list of all the people factors you can think of. This might take a long time and once you’ve got your list together how do you know which factors to focus on? With this in mind I’ve provided three factors I’ve found make a big difference when managing people and will keep you from reaching for employment law advice.
Do you have an organizational or program values statement that describes how members of the program behave and what’s important to them? If not then consider putting one in place. Values give your team members a reason to do a good job that goes beyond making the company more money. As the program leader you should be making an effort to exhibit these values each and every day.
If it is within your power to do so then you might wish to link your bonus or reward scheme to team members exhibiting program values, perhaps giving 50% to the “how”, with the remaining 50% going to the traditional “what”.
If you’re going to build a strong and meaningful relationship with your team, so as you can call upon them in times of adversity, then you are going to have to act with integrity, fairness, and professionalism in your behaviour and in the decisions you make.
When team members observe you leading with integrity and reasonableness this creates a psychological contract between you and the employee – a sense of two-way obligation. If you can create this unwritten contract then it will help you in getting a high performance team in place.
Communication might seem a bit obvious and I’ve raised it in multiple articles on this website, but I believe it is that important it is worth raising again.
Keeping in mind the first two factors of program values and fair leadership you need to ensure that you’re communicating regularly and often to your immediate team and the entire team. You also need to ensure that you’re communicating regularly and often to your bosses or steering group and to any external stakeholders outside of the program hierarchy.
Equally important is to remember that communication is two-way. Take the time to listen to your team, and try to pick up on the feelings of those in the wider team.
There are three factors I’ve found it useful to focus on when leading a program to build a strong team: program values, fair leadership, and communication. By keeping in mind these three factors during the day to day execution of your program it ensures you have a strong team who can be relied upon throughout the program.
* Image by Jeremy G. (Jayme Rose)
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