How to effectively manage creative teams: tips from a PM

How to effectively manage creative teams: tips from a PM!

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by Viktoriya Voronko
PM The Instapreneurs

There is a multitude of research demonstrating that it's not about the money. People primarily quit due to lack of clarity in management, lack of support from leadership, and an unpleasant work environment. Victoria Voronko, PM of The Instapreneurs, will share approaches that help a manager build relationships with the team correctly and effectively solve business tasks.

What skills does a manager need?

Managing a team is a complex process that requires a variety of skills and abilities. Hard skills (project planning, progress monitoring, budget management, etc.) form the foundation. However, soft skills are also indispensable.

Soft competencies required for a manager:

  • Communication skills — being able to clearly express ideas, listen to the opinions of subordinates, and effectively communicate with them.
  • Leadership qualities — inspiring, motivating, and directing the team towards achieving common goals.
  • Delegation skills — distributing tasks among team members considering their skills and potential.
  • Conflict management — resolving disputes within the team constructively and fostering positive relationships among its members.
  • Analytical abilities — analyzing situations, identifying problems, and seeking effective solutions.
  • Time management — effectively allocating one's time among different tasks and making decisions quickly.
  • Emotional intelligence — understanding one's own feelings and reactions, as well as the emotions, motivations, and behaviors of subordinates.
  • Motivational skills — identifying and nurturing the inspiration of team members, stimulating them to achieve high results.

It is important for effective management to possess all of these skills. If any are lacking, they should be included in one's development plan.

What is team effectiveness?

Team effectiveness is the ability of a group of people to work together to achieve common goals and tasks. It can be measured using various indicators, divided into two groups.

Performance metrics:

    • Level of customer satisfaction.
    • Quality of work and task completion.
    • Development speed.
    • Number of creative ideas and initiatives over time.
    • Ratio of ideas to implementation.
    • Efficiency of time and resource utilization./i>

Planning metrics:

  • Task completion time.
  • Number of tasks completed on time.
  • Ratio of planned to completed tasks.
  • Efficiency of task allocation.

Planning metrics

Metrics should incentivize people to improve the quality of task completion and avoid repeating mistakes. To delve deeper into managing creative teams, watch the lecture on The Instapreneurs platform. Here, you will learn about project management components, the soft and hard skills needed to manage specialists, how to increase team effectiveness, and more.

One to One: Rules of Effective Conduct

An important practice for strengthening relationships between a manager and a team is "one to one" meetings. These are individual meetings with each employee, allowing you to:

  • Deepen understanding of the needs and ambitions of your employees.
  • Evaluate results and identify possible problems or obstacles hindering goal achievement.
  • Provide support in skill development, finding new opportunities, and creating a career path.
  • Increase mutual understanding between the manager and the employee.

Rules for effective one-to-one meetings:

  • Regularity - schedule meetings weekly or monthly depending on needs and circumstances.
  • Individuality - focus on the needs and goals of each specific employee.
  • Planning - prepare for the meeting in advance, outline with the employee the topics to be discussed./li>
  • Openness and honesty - create conditions for the employee to share thoughts, desires, and problems without fear or shame.
  • Active listening - listen carefully to the employee, consider their thoughts and feelings.
  • Tasks and goals - discuss current tasks and goals, as well as future plans.
  • Feedback - provide constructive feedback on the employee's progress and achievements.

It's important to avoid common mistakes: lack of preparation, failure to take notes, missing meetings, the manager's focus on themselves rather than the employee.

How to provide feedback to the team effectively

Providing feedback correctly contributes to improving work relationships, developing employees, and achieving desired results. It is based on the following principles:

  • Speak about facts and actions. Base communication on specific observations of work situations and employees' actions, rather than general judgments or assumptions.
  • Outline your thoughts and requests clearly and specifically. It's important to avoid passive aggression or silence.
  • Check emotional contact. Be attentive to the psychological state of the employee and strive for constructive dialogue.
  • Question your own opinion. Instead of imposing your own opinion, it's better to leave room for open discussion and idea exchange.
  • Thank the employee for listening to you and for allowing you to be honest. Emphasize their contribution to productive communication.

Special methods such as "Stop Start Continue" or "Situation Behavior Impact" provide a convenient basis for expressing both positive and negative aspects, as well as suggestions for further development.

How to motivate the team

It is important for a manager to be able to ignite the enthusiasm of their subordinates and stimulate them to achieve new accomplishments. Here are several strategies to help with this:

  • Establishing common goals.
  • Involvement in decision-making.
  • Providing professional development and training.
  • Acknowledging successes and achievements and rewarding efforts.
  • Creating a positive work environment.
  • Providing opportunities for self-realization.
  • Setting a personal example.
  • Team outings, team-building activities.

Motivate the team

In addition, significant attention should be paid to onboarding - the process of introducing a new employee to the team and organization. During the first 100 days, their first impressions are formed. Help the newcomer adapt, feel confident, and see the company's development prospects.

Tools to make a manager's life easier/h2>

To save time and gather everyone together, wherever they may be, modern technology offers project managers various opportunities:

Loom - a free service that allows you to record your computer screen and create video messages. With its help, managers can quickly convey complex instructions, provide feedback, conduct product or service demonstrations, and organize asynchronous meetings.

Miro - an interactive whiteboard for collaborative work and creativity. It allows creating different types of diagrams, process maps, brainstorming sessions, and more.

Notion - an integrated platform for collaboration and organization of information. It combines the capabilities of note-taking, databases, tasks, documentation, and much more.

With these tools, teams can focus on achieving common goals, while managers can focus on effective management and motivation of team members.

We hope these recommendations will help you create a healthy and productive environment for your team and continue to grow professionally yourself.