Challenges of managing a large team, and how to fix themMunira Rangwala
Large teams can achieve fantastic results if the team members are in sync with one another. While that may be true, big teams are hardly easy to manage. Every person in a team comes with their own share of skills and problems, and helping them communicate freely with each other to see the larger picture is no easy feat. In India, this rings even truer because different members of the team may come from diverse backgrounds. While some have contrasting religious affinities, others have glaring regional distinctions.
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It is a given that people from different backgrounds are bound to have diverse opinions on key subjects. We have compiled some simple and tested solutions for large team management. Read on!
Falling out of sync
One of the major problems faced by leaders leading a large team is that members tend to fall out of sync. Every individual works at his own pace. But you can't have one half of your team chasing a deadline and the other half still at the starting point. If so is the case, you need to pull up those members that are lagging behind and help them catch up with the other members of the team. Synchronisation is the key to a successful project.
When teams are large, ego clashes between members of the team are inevitable. There may be one individual who is constantly used to having his way, or another individual who keeps shifting his workload to the gullible members of the team. In such a scenario, the team leader must assume control and make it clear that no team member has a bigger say than another member. He should also hold weekly meetings where team members can openly discuss what's bothering them and voice what's holding them back from giving their best.
Understand strengths and weaknesses
Each person has their own set of strengths and weaknesses, and as a team leader you need to be able to identify those. If you assign an urgent task to a team member for whom time isn’t his best asset, you will not only put him under pressure but his late results might throw off the entire team's hard work. To avoid this, get to know your team better over dinner and drinks. Take time out to talk to each one individually to put you in a better position to assign tasks.
Give due rewards
Showing partiality towards one team member over the other is the recipe for failure. Just because you are friendlier with a certain team member, don't allow your equation to reflect in your work. Praise a team member if he has done good work and not because you have a great personal equation with him. Once your team members begin to notice that you treat everyone with the same respect and authority, they will hold you in higher regard.
Often, in large teams members seem to feel unimportant because there are others who can perform a task better. Not all your team members might have the same skill set in the beginning. To bring all your members on the same page, you need to start holding workshops. This way, if one team member is lagging behind due to lack of experience, you can boost his confidence by giving him an opportunity to learn.
While managing a large team can seem like a daunting task, it is imperative for teams to grow larger and projects to grow bigger so the company can scale new heights.