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It’s great working with a team that operates like a well-oiled machine, but as a leader, you can’t just rest on your laurels and hope talent comes to you. You have to learn how to develop that talent in your employees. Helping your team perform at their best is a vital skill for managers; so what can you do to bring out the best in your team?

Start with Communication
You set a precedent with your own communication to your team. Your team will follow suit, so if you’re approachable, they will likely be more open to communicating with you. They can help you understand the difficulties they face in their position. You can’t solve problems if you don’t know about them, so keeping the lines of communication open should be a priority. To support your employees, help them to feel comfortable providing feedback, and offering solutions to issues the company faces. 

Give Credit Where Credit Is Due
Good leaders are willing to give credit to others for a job well done. Giving credit to your team members is one of the best ways to motivate them. Willingness to give others credit changes the dynamic between a manager and lets the team know you value and recognize their contributions. 

Be Willing to Invest in Your Team
Creating a culture of empowerment for employees to reach their potential is key. Actively encourage and support their efforts to grow professionally. If your company offers tuition reimbursement, encourage your team to take advantage of it. An investment made in your employees’ education will provide value to your company in the long run. 

Balance Criticism & Praise
If your goal is to bring out the best in your team, balance honest criticism with sincere praise. It’s okay to offer feedback in the spirit of improvement, but make sure employees have opportunities to use that feedback to improve and recognize them when they do improve. Praising effort over talent ensures that all team members have a chance to shine. If team members feel their effort is acknowledged, they will continue to put effort into their work. 

Collaboration, Not Competition
Encouraging your team members to collaborate allows each person to play to their strengths. When each person does what they do best, it produces better results than pitting employees against each other in a culture of competition. This only breeds resentment and distrust among employees. If you want your employees to act as a team, then give them opportunities to collaborate. 

Bringing out the best in your employees isn’t all that difficult. With a few slight adjustments in your perspective and workplace culture, you can have your team working like a well-oiled machine in no time.