How middle managers can keep their teams focused on results
Middle managers know that results matter. They have to monitor their team’s progress, outlining clear deliverables and sharing results with other parts of the organisation. This means knowing both the organisation’s overall goals, and how the team can contribute to achieving them.
But of course, it can’t be only middle managers who are attentive to results. To make their team successful, they need to make sure everyone stays focused on their goals. If they don’t, the team’s performance will suffer, and in turn organisation’s higher-level results.
So what concrete steps can middle managers take to foster a results-focused team culture?
Make goals clear on every level
Often, organisation-level goals aren’t actually clear to many employees. Managers need to make sure their own team doesn’t fall into this trap, whether that’s by putting a mission statement on the wall or regularly discussing how the team’s work ties into the company’s larger efforts.
Some simple questions to ask: does everyone know the company’s mission? Are they clear on its aims for the year? Do all team members know how their work contributes to that? If the answer is no, it’s down to middle managers to clarify this.
Set team-specific goals
While managers do need to keep in mind the organisation’s larger goals, it’s important that they also outline goals directly relevant to the team. And within that, they should help team members to identify their own, individual goals to motivate them specifically.
It can be useful to break the team’s collective goals down into smaller aims, and think about which aspects each individual is best suited for.This is a great opportunity for creative thinking, and sharing out-of-the-box ideas.
Identify key metrics
Naturally, it’s difficult to keep your focus on results if you don’t actually know how they’re being tracked. Managers need to identify and clearly explain key metrics which team members can track, and ensure they can regularly check on them.
To put it simply, it’s much easier to stay results-focused if you actually know what you’re supposed to achieve!
Lead by example
Ultimately, even more than the people at the very top of the organisation, its middle managers who need to act as role models to team members. They need to show a clear understanding of goals – beyond profit. They need to hold themselves accountable for achieving them. And they need to be clear about how they’re tracking and reporting results.
Following these tips, anyone in a leadership role can encourage a much tighter focus on results in their team or organisation. This should ultimately lead to growth and development in teams, better teamwork, and a sense of satisfaction when employees see how their own, individual work has contributed to larger goals.
Don’t chase results at any cost
There’s a big difference between staying focused on results, and saying that the means don’t matter as long as the ends are achieved. With proper training, middle managers should be able to motivate their team with achievable goals and practical plans of action.
This is worlds away from just telling team members they have to hit certain numbers – at any cost. That approach leads to a toxic work environment, and increases the likelihood of talented employees suffering from burnout.
Effective coaching will help middle managers identify how much to push for results, while prioritising a healthy and sustainable team culture which supports long-term growth. Get in touch with us at Springboard Future if your organisation could benefit from our best-in-class, bespoke virtual coaching for and middle managers and management teams.