Today’s managers in iGaming and digital industries face a challenge: to build teams that have not only the technical expertise to get the job done, but are uber-motivated and great collaborators.

In an agile environment, effective collaboration between people with different skills is critical. And in the context of the digital skills shortage, it’s more essential than ever that managers make best use of the team that they have. This means supporting employee’s all-round development (not just technical skills) and creating the right culture and working environment that will help all team members perform at their best.

How to build great teams

That’s easier said than done; but with the right strategy and support from the business, it can absolutely be achieved. Here are some ideas to get you started.

1 – Communicate a shared purpose

You want to create a team, not just a group of people working in the same room. As a manager, you need to continuously emphasise and articulate a shared sense of why the team exists, what key goals you are working towards within the company, and roughly how you will achieve this together. This gives people a sense of identity and purpose, hopefully enabling greater collaboration. Having a flat management structure can help; if people are given full responsibility and accountability for their work, they are likely to be motivated to do their job better for the team.

2 – Use and develop a range of skills in your team

Managers know they need to hire the right talent for the role. If you have a UX design role come up, you’re looking for a certain set of skills. But top managers know that you can also look within your organisation for talent. Perhaps your new UX designer has a strong development background and can share new perspectives on the project to the development team. Increasingly in digital companies, a general understanding of digital skills and frameworks is an advantage as people work in agile, multidisciplinary teams.

The importance of soft skills, particularly organisational skills, collaboration and communication should not be underestimated. In fact, a lack of effective collaboration can be a huge bottle-neck for productivity, especially in larger siloed businesses. As a manager you can help your team by encouraging the development of a range of skills (not purely those in their job description) – whether that’s through formal courses or training, or by giving them additional responsibility and on the job training with other team members. Fostering an open culture of feedback, regular meetings and socials can also help your team communicate better.

3 – Learn what motivates your team

Get to know your team as individuals; learn what motivates them and what you can do to support that. If you think one of your team appreciates rewards and praise, consider delivering a gift card or a note to senior management when she’s completed outstanding work on a project. Many people are motivated by career development; commit to providing training courses or conducting regular reviews (even in addition to company procedures) to help them realise they have a bright future in the role.

4 – Get your team to see the bigger picture

People are rarely motivated by work they can’t see the point of. Communicating effectively to your team the purpose of a project or exercise – in other words, helping them see the bigger picture – will keep them motivated and on track. It might be that a project is imperative for achieving a long-term strategic objective set by management, but it’s not immediately obvious to the team. Encourage your team to think from the businesses’ point of view; asking ‘what exactly are we trying to achieve here? Why are we doing this?’ If there isn’t a clear answer, it’s probably worth going back to the drawing board.

5 – Foster a culture of flexibility

Digital technologies are constantly evolving: the landscape can change even over the course of a project. As a manager, you’ll want to encourage your team to be responsive and flexible – led by observation and feedback rather that pre-determined rules. To enable this, lead by example by focusing on priorities over deadlines and creating value rather that working to rigid requirements. Reward creativity and encourage team members to take creative risks. Implementing flexibility in all aspects of working can help change the culture; dress down policy, remote working, and agile working hours will send a clear message from management that flexibility is valued.

Help your team perform even better

Boost your team’s productivity – iGaming Academy’s range of face-to-face and eLearning courses include key soft skills, communication and team working. View all courses

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