What tools should you use to manage your team well?

In Europe, poor management and the weight of processes is a real issue. According to the "Workforce View in Europe 2018" survey conducted by the human resources firm ADP in 2018, poor management is the worst enemy of productivity. The survey reveals that almost a third of European employees face difficulties in being productive at work.

However, when management is done right, it not only has a direct impact on company performance, but also on the work-life balance and on the motivation and well-being of employees. And who better than the employees to make the company perform? Remember the words of the entrepreneur Richard Branson: "Take care of your employees and they will take care of your company".

Top 6 qualities of a manager - Popwork

Managing is a complex job, which requires organisation, investment, benevolence, emotional intelligence and many other skills and qualities. However, method and management tools can help managers in their day-to-day, to better manage their time and to organise the way they work with their team members.

What are the real issues in management and why is it necessary to use dedicated tools to optimize the processes and relationships between managers and team members? What are the benefits of an application or management tool?

The challenges of management in companies

We need only go back to the origin of the word "manager" to understand the richness of the manager's role. "Manager" in English means to train, to lead, to take care of. It comes from the Latin word maneggiare, which means to turn a horse in a riding school. It therefore first appeared in the world of horse riding, in the sense of "to train a horse by leading it with the hand".

Based on this etymology, the manager is above all a guide, a trainer, who must lead his team while ensuring a good working atmosphere. He is expected to motivate, give meaning and remove possible roadblocks. His investment is not insignificant: it is a source of value creation for companies because he is the first actor in the commitment of employees. For this simple reason, a manager who knows how to manage is essential to the company!

Good managers are above all facilitators. They :

  • act as an exemple and inspire
  • give meaning to the missions of each team member
  • cultivate trust and unite the team
  • encourage creativity and innovative ideas
  • support team cohesion
Post-it reminding how to be a great leader - Popwork

"Effective leadership sets priorities. An effective manager is the authority who makes them happen" wrote Stephen COVEY, American businessman and speaker, in his best seller The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. In order to carry out this leadership role and to "make things happen", a good manager must :

  • coordinate teams. Managers must actively participate in the "employee experience", They must support employees from the time of recruitment, then in the workplace, in the way they work and in their various missions, until they leave the company. They must also ensure that each employee is supervised, and must be able to propose and validate the team's objectives, to move in the same direction and ensure that the team works in the right direction. To do this, they must both control and learn to delegate.
  • share information through clear and regular communication. This communication involves feedback, whether positive or negative, to help the employee progress, challenge and encourage him or her. This feedback makes it possible to thank, congratulate, motivate and value the employee, but also to solve conflicts or manage tensions. Good communication also involves the organisation of an annual review, team meetings and regular one-to-one meetings, to have a more privileged conversation if necessary.
  • collecting recriminations and opinions. A manager must not forget to question himself and to actively listen to employees, i.e. to understand their needs, but also to be able to read between the lines. Understand their possible doubts, fears, roadblocks to avoid complex situations such as bore out, burn-out, brown-out, etc. Participative management combined with active listening enables us to adapt as accurately as possible to the person we are dealing with.

All these missions have in common to put the human being at the center. New management styles are designed to involve and empower employees. Fortunately, managers can rely on effective methods and tools to avoid any counter-productivity caused by poor communication or unclear objectives. These methods and tools are essential today: a BCG study estimates that all this counter-productivity reduce the profitability of companies by 16 to 22%.

The importance of methods and tools to help you

There are many methods for managing more effectively, each of which addresses specific needs.

  • the SMART method, explained in detail here, helps you to identify relevant objectives in order to better achieve them. SMART stands for 'specific', 'measurable', 'challenging', 'realistic' and 'time-bound'. It has the advantage of giving a framework to the employees with whom you set it up, so that they can then move on to action.
  • the OKR method is also a method of management by objectives and has been tried and tested by the largest companies, such as Google, Twitter, Linkedin, Netflix, Oracle, etc. It aims at simplifying the definition and monitoring of objectives. It has the advantage of giving meaning to missions, empowering employees and really executing the company's overall mission thanks to precise and measurable success indicators.
  • SWOT analysis, which helps to determine how to make the best strategic decision
  • Maslow's pyramid, or the pyramid of needs, helps motivate employees
  • the DISC tool helps you communicate effectively according to the personality you manage. Take advantage of this opportunity to take your DISC test to better identify your personality type.
  • the Eisenhower matrix, which provides a clearer picture of the tasks to be accomplished and allows you to prioritise them: important and urgent, important and non-urgent, urgent but not important, non-important and non-urgent.
6 managers' tools : SMART, OKR, SWOT, Maslow's pyramid, DISC, Eisenhower matrix

These methods are all the more important as the 3.0 manager is asked to be a leader, a manager and a coach, all of which are sometimes difficult to manage at the same time and which make the job increasingly complex. In 2018, a BVA-Audencia study even confirmed that 79% of those questioned did not want to become a manager... This means that companies in the 21st century need to pay particular attention to their managers, who contribute greatly to their success!  

To support managers in their multifaceted mission, a tool focused on the relationship between employees and managers like Popwork offers modern and intuitive features in line with today's management challenges...  

All these features aim at :

  • facilitating the organisation and agenda of managers and their team members, and therefore save time: you have a clearer vision of the tasks and can make an efficient follow-up of the missions of each person.
  • creating transparency, since you communicate regularly with your team.
  • developing autonomy and initiatives: employees feel supported, because they are listened to via regular updates, but also more autonomous, thanks to clearly defined and explained objectives.
  • maintaining a healthy relationship, especially when teleworking. The digitalization of the tool offers a certain flexibility: wherever you are, the tasks, missions and follow-up of each employee are easy to access.

Thousands of managers and team members use Popwork to work better together. The young association Ma Voie (a team of 8 people) chose Popwork to keep a clear written record of their exchanges. For the large sales team at Welcome to the Jungle, Popwork allows them to have better prepared and more consistent weekly 1:1 meetings. The tool also helps them stay focused on long-term goals. How exactly does this work? The day before their weekly 1:1 meetings, team members answer a few questions about their work. Mood, priorities, achievements, challenges: all important topics are covered. The check-in is particularly appreciated because the feature gives meaning to the work on a weekly basis. The floor is shared equally between the manager and his team members, which means that no point is missed and that the manager is aware of issues that are not always obvious to him.

"All companies have a culture, some companies have discipline, but few companies have a culture of discipline," says Jim Collins, an American author and consultant specialising in business growth. A digital tool such as Popwork aims to move towards this healthy discipline in a fast-paced world. This digital solution has the advantage of complementing a theoretical method and thus facilitating all the day-to-day of teams. When we know that an executive spends an average of 24 days a year in meetings, that is to say nearly 5 weeks, it is important to try to make them more efficient and meaningful. We know that inefficient processes and meeting fatigue are a major obstacle to productivity!