Tag Archives: productivity

Get the right mix to create the right team

Lizard BalanceHuman capital is one of the most critical areas of a business. In the midst of the talent war, it is now even more important than technology. What is even more important is the caliber of people in a company and the competencies they bring to the table. People are now are the main driver of a business. If companies are to thrive, they must take responsibility for realizing the potential of their staff. They must ensure that any training brings about clearly identifiable and measurable improvements in relevant skills and boosts productivity. However, a pre-condition for this is to have a balanced workforce. A quote by Management Today magazine (2006) captures the essence of this balance by indicating that, “to work well, any company needs a variety of functions – if they unite, it is a premiership side.” A strong team therefore, is made up of a balance of styles. Here are four teamwork styles and their characteristics:

TEAM STYLE 1: Routine Keeper – Tracks details, monitors deadlines, handles paperwork, keeps minutes.

TEAM STYLE 2: People Person – Communicates on multiple levels, builds relationships, brokers solutions, resolves conflicts.

TEAM STYLE 3: Analyst – Evaluates costs, risks and ROI of various options.

TEAM STYLE 4: Visionary – Sees the bigger picture, creates compelling business visions, keeps ahead of trends, thinks outside the box, takes advantage of opportunities.

A lack of styles in any company is likely lead to problems which is precisely why many people working together on teams have differences of opinion. So a company must put in place effective recruiting practices in line with its business objectives. Built on to this is a need for a proper understanding of how each individual works and more importantly what motivates them. When this happens, the company is on course to creating a good team with the right balance of skills and aptitudes.

Quick Tips for First Time Managers


Not all people are cut out to be managers. Many companies make the mistake of rushing a high potential employee into a management role, which somewhere later down the line result in problems among team members, and risks hurting the company’s brand. Here are some tips that first time managers can embrace to assist them in migrating towards their first management role.

Honestly is the best policy – Do not be afraid to ask your superior for advice or to admit you don’t know the answer. It’s a learning process that requires the careful guidance of a mentor

Work hard – Hard work is the single most important ingredient in any successful career, and if you have a strong work ethic you really can’t go wrong.

Delegate – Give your employees clear instructions but do not micromanage them. Learn to let go and trust other people to work for you. The best managers in the world are direct but don’t tread on other people’s toes. It’s a fine balancing act, and if you can do that you are on the right track.

Decision Making – Be ready to take decisions based on facts and anecdotal insight when you can’t be certain that you are right.

Understand the team –  Talk and listen to your team. Invest more time and effort in getting to know your team, and above all be approachable.

Attitude – Approach your first day in the role with a positive ‘can do’ attitude. Focus, context and communication must be the pillars on which to build managerial success, and do not be afraid of getting things wrong. Often to get 70% right, you need to get 30% wrong.

Difficulties  -Never walk away from confronting difficult issues. Spend at least an hour in a day one-to- one with your boss and with each team member of your team every week. Don’t forget to thank your team when they have earned it – give them the credit they deserve.

What managers ultimately fail to realize is that it is often very small things that can make a big difference to employees in their productivity and to their development as a manager. Incorporating all or some of the tips above will put the first time manager on a good footing.