The Role of Team Leaders and Managers in Managing Team Behaviour

“Team leaders should always seek to resolve performance or disciplinary issues in the workplace.”

A team leader’s ability to manage the contribution of all team members is crucial to the success of any group. This means having a code of conduct to guide behaviour.

If this is agreed and followed it will both help team members maintain the professional standards of the group and discourage team leaders from behaving inappropriately.

If people take their eye off these Guiding Principles, they will get tunnel vision focusing on the person and not the issue.

If you do become drawn into this web you are likely to break the rules and end up the victim.

We have worked with several clients to establish their guiding principles and

  • Display them so that they can be seen by both colleagues and clients
  • Then look in more detail at some of the behaviours that contribute to this code
  • Finally give feedback to team members on how they conform.

You can avoid receiving the red card and follow these ten guidelines:

Our Code:

1. Creating the Environment with Clear GUIDING PRINCIPLES  and Rules:

What motivates people is very often concerned with maintaining clear expectations.

2. Reacting to Standards and Monitoring BEHAVIOUR:

Team members need to understand working standards along with the management process.

3. Exploring Problems and Revising Opinions:

Identifying and exploring problems is a crucial skill of any team leader and maintains the quality of any service or product.

4. Reaching Out and Collaborating:

To collaborate effectively may require you to give up your own opinions even when you know it is something that has worked in the past.  This often involves understanding the roles that other people play in a team, what motivates them and what their strengths and weaknesses are.

5. Resolving Issues

Resolving issues involves reaching an agreement, clarifying expectations and re-distributing work effectively:  this provides both work satisfaction and independence. It frees you up as well and encourages delegation of responsibility.

6. Recognition:

Effective team behaviour will not continue unless it is recognised and rewarded.  This is one of the fundamentals of human life.

7. Performance Review:

Real teamwork can only happen if people can reflect on what has happened, learn from the past, agree on what is important and try to adapt their efforts in the future.  This involves us.

8. Follow Up and Drive:

People need to know that what has been said and that what has been agreed will happen.

9. Assertiveness and Discipline:

Effective teams are often characterised by tensions.  However awkward this tension might seem, it is an opportunity to improve things.  The discipline procedure is there to help this process: it is evident in most sports.

10. Record Keeping:

Keeping records is an important discipline and it backs up everything you say and do.

Sometimes these records are needed to show to a third party.

The Process:

Fairness and transparency are promoted by developing and using consistent rules and procedures for handling performance, talent, disciplinary and grievance situations.  These should be set down in writing with the team, be specific and clear.

Team members, where appropriate, or with their representatives should be involved in the development of this code. It is also important to help colleagues to understand what the rules and procedures are and how they are to be used.

Whenever a problem is being explored it is important to deal with issues fairly.

There are a number of elements to this. Team leaders should:

  • Raise and deal with issues promptly and should not unreasonably delay meetings or decisions
  • Act consistently
  • Carry out any necessary investigations, to establish the facts of the case
  • Give team members an opportunity to put their case
  • Give careful consideration before any decisions are made.

Role Of Senior Managers:

The role of senior managers is crucial and they need to take responsibility and ownership of behaviour management: senior managers must ensure that:

  • The process of performance management is described and communicated
  • Performance management arrangements are adequately resourced
  • Areas of risks and concern are monitored
  • Managers and leaders are given feedback on how they manage team behaviour