3 top tips for managing a team
15 April 2019
We asked Jonny Stubbs, head of Technical Support, Lift-Financial, to give us his three top tips for fellow paraplanners moving into a role where they are managing a team, based on his experiences. He said:
1. Lead, motivate and drive
One of the biggest changes moving from a paraplanning role to running a paraplanning team was letting go of being a ‘do-er’. This wasn’t as easy at first. In fact, it’s fair to say it took me a good six months or so until I’d readjusted. Whilst I still get stuck in when I have to writing reports, doing a calculation or carrying out some research, 95% of my time is spent making sure my team have everything they need to do their jobs. Whether that’s coaching them in a technical area that’s new to them, peer reviewing their work, providing feedback on something that went wrong, helping them decide what exams to sit next, or simply making them a coffee to get through a tough morning.
2. Recruitment & retention
Recruiting quality paraplanners is tough. Retaining them is just as hard in this competitive market. People generally don’t come to work for free so first of all make sure you’re offering a competitive package; not just salary, but think about pension, holidays, flexible working etc. Next, think about what it is that makes your particular paraplanners tick. Paraplanners are generally quite self-motivated and enjoy what they do and want to do the best job they can. Make sure you give them the tools and working environment that is going to allow them to do this. Try and take away all those little frustrations that make their day a challenge. Are all the IT systems working as they should? Do they have the right systems and tools to do their job efficiently? Are there any distractions in the office that are disturbing people? Are your internal processes clear so everyone knows who should be doing what at each stage of the advice process?
3. Don’t micro-manage
Whilst it’s an easy trap to fall into, try not to micromanage every aspect of your team’s workload otherwise you risk having a disengaged team. Trust the members of your team by giving them the freedom and autonomy to manage their own workloads and make their own decisions. The theory goes this should lead to higher engagement, productivity and morale. Also, everyone has their own ‘rhythm’ when it comes to their working day so try to adapt where you can. For instance, I know some of my team work best in the mornings, whereas it takes others most of the morning to get going then they’re on it in the afternoon! You’re not there to manage; you’re there to guide and support.