Oct 2023 Some of the Major Power Struggles That Business Owners Face With Team Members and How to Deal With Them
Today, many business owners are becoming more and more aware of the need to manage and develop their employees at all levels of their business. Sometimes, power struggles can exist between the Business Owner and Managers, Team Leaders and Team Members inside the business.
As much as these dynamics are frustrating and unsettling for us as business owners, the more we look for the core issue and communicate openly and clearly with the intent of resolving the issue, the quicker we can enjoy our working relationship with all members of our team.
General leadership conflicts on site
Conflict can occur when there is no clear definition of responsibilities. For example, when it’s unclear who is responsible for a certain project or certain tasks, employees may cross boundaries they didn’t know existed. To prevent this from happening, clearly assign one person to run a construction project or maintenance site. Give them clear information for the project, make sure they have reviewed the design plan, expected time for each task, materials list ordered, etc. Help them, if necessary, on the steps of execution.
When a Tradesman tries to overpower a Team Leader
If a Team Leader isn’t confident or doesn’t direct his team confidently, another strong member may take advantage of his weakness. To help the Team Leader in this situation, let him know it’s OK to ask questions if he’s not sure how to approach any aspect of his role, or if a situation arises that makes him feel uncomfortable – such as a junior team member challenging his authority or knowledge in a particular area.
If a Tradesman is knowledgeable in a particular task that the Team Leader is not, assure him that’s its OK to collaborate with the strong skilled Tradesman and to utilise his knowledge and skill in this area. Remember, you are still managing the site and the team takes your direction. The Team Leader should know that at any stage he can run something by you as the owner and his boss.
Let the Team Leader know that if he is organised and understands the project well, utilises all the team’s collective skills as well as the owner’s knowledge and guidance throughout the job, he will approach the project with more confidence.
If a Manager or Team Leader repeatedly doesn’t follow an Owner’s suggestions, how should he/she deal with it?
If the Manager/Team Leader did seek your advice and guidance on how to deal with a team issue, employee issue or dealing with a client complaint, yet doesn’t use your suggestion and instead employs a different approach, this is OK: providing their approach was still in alignment with company values. If their approach conflicts with your company’s policies, customer service or values and angers or disappoints you, then a meeting and a discussion would need to be arranged ASAP.
In the meeting, you would highlight the issue and point out to the Manager/Team Leader that it conflicts with company values. Ask if they were aware of it being in conflict. It’s essential that you listen to them. Perhaps they were not aware of your company values and policies. If not, these will have to be highlighted. Ensure the meeting finishes with you understanding why it happened and the Manager understanding that their approach was the wrong choice. Always take 100% responsibility if a Manager or Employee may be working against your values. Find the core problem: for example, perhaps you may have controlled meetings and not given the Manager or Employee the respect they deserved.
What effective Team Leaders do
The Team Leaders that have a more cohesive team are the ones that take an interest in each team member. Explain the task at hand and clearly show them how to start their task or work with them for some time (this approach may take a little longer initially, but the team will ultimately be more productive as a result).
Strong Team Leader set clear boundaries with team members, establish a culture of respect and teamwork, listen to team members issues and ideas, and addresses their concerns and grievances.
Managing Team members successfully takes – constant clear and open communication, structured meetings, training in systems and processes, and regular guidance and support. It seems like a lot of work, but like everything, once the structure is in place and everything is in the flow, it’s not hard, but instead becomes an enjoyable and a crucial part of your business success.