Managing a team in the best of times is a challenge. When bad times hit and morale problems enter the picture, the challenge to keep your team focused and productive becomes even greater. If you’ve found yourself managing a team of “babies” or thrust into a position where you’re expected to improve low morale, then check out these Builder.com articles for advice on managing through the rough spots.
When you feel like the Complaint Department
One of the toughest challenges that you may face is supervising a team that complains about everything. Two recent Builder.com articles can help you make the best of this situation. In the first, Tom Mochal suggests addressing whiners by setting a good role model for your team. For example, Mochal suggests that if your team gripes about having to work late, you should probably be working longer hours yourself.
The second management trap is dealing with how your team complains. Contributor Ken Hardin offers guidance on managing "off the record complaints" with tips on how to avoid these management landmines, as well as what do if a team member drops a bombshell on your lap and then requests anonymity. Hardin notes that while a direct report may request anonymity, he or she has probably griped to other coworkers already. So, your response will be shared with a group and needs to be tailored accordingly.
When morale plummets
When tech companies are bombarded by layoffs, morale becomes a huge obstacle to being able to manage production and focus for those who remain with the company. For help with this challenge, development management guru Tom Mochal recommends attacking the problem head on and offering your team tangible incentives.
When your report just doesn’t like you
One of the touchiest management issues is when an employee just doesn’t like you, either because of personality differences or because you squashed the employee’s pet project. Bob Artner offers some advice on how to confront this problem and urges managers not to overreact when it becomes clear a direct report doesn’t like you.
So when morale drops off or a team member and you just don’t get along, you just have to dig in and see it through. The advice offered in this collection of articles should help you get started.