Working on a team can be challenging due to differences in how each employee chooses to approach their work. So if working with others is considered to be hard, then leading a team is that much harder. Everybody has different strengths and weaknesses, and it’s the leader’s job to utilize everyone’s work styles in a way that maximizes productivity.
How to Handle Different Work Styles Among Employees
1. Find the Right Person for the Job
A good leader is able to identify which employees will succeed at a certain task and delegate accordingly. Steady, independent workers may do well with solo projects and deadlines. Meanwhile, social butterflies will probably thrive on a small team with a common objective. This strategy should also be applied when assigning roles where people will be working close to one another. For example, two employees with an independent work style will probably have an easier time sharing space together. On the other hand, one employee with an independent work style may not appreciate being paired with a social person who enjoys back-and-forth teamwork.
2. Set the Right Expectations
Each person on a team will likely have their own opinion on what success looks like and what should be done to reach it. To keep everyone on track, the leader must set clear expectations from the start. Once roles have been assigned based on individual strengths, the next step is to focus everyone’s attention on one shared goal and empower each employee to reach it in their own way. At this point, the leader is also responsible for smoothing over disputes and reminding everyone of the end goal. This is why having a clear vision from the start is vital to managing a dynamic team.
3. Embrace Differences
As difficult as it may be to manage types of personalities, having different work styles on a team is actually ideal. A healthy mix of work styles will maximize strengths and cancel out weaknesses, ensuring that the job not only gets done but done well. Once again, accomplishing this depends on the roles assigned to each teammate by their leader. Having employees identify their own strengths is a good way to both empower them and focus their energy.