Over the past year, I’ve had the privilege of my team growing from a team of one (me) to a team of three. Though it’s not my first time managing a team, it’s been a year of growth for a variety of reasons, but the most significant area I’ve had to adapt to is being less hands-on with implementing the work our team produces.
Handing off work to your team requires trust, mentorship, and communication. I’m very proud of how our team has grown in all three aspects — but having a less direct connection with implementing our work has resulted in missing out on a lot of nuance within the moving parts of what we do.
The solution I’ve found, and I think it’s one we practice well across all of our departments at Duckpin, is leveraging my team for ideas and innovation. Things are ever-changing in the digital world, and though it’s very cliche to say so, two heads (or three) are better than one.
Over the past couple of months, I’ve taken the time to grab lunch with my team members individually to learn more about what’s been specifically inspiring them in their day-to-day work. After getting that feedback, I then tasked my team to dive deeper into those topics and find ways we could provide more value in those areas to our clients.
The end result was beyond what I could have imagined. Both team members came back with exciting solutions on how we could improve two important products, both as an offering and also the process involved in completing the work. After collaborating to refine those ideas, I’ve found a new sense of excitement in my own work and have seen the same energy in my team.
I highly encourage anyone that manages a team or that is a part of one to create space for ideas to be shared. This type of collaborative environment can transform the way your team works together and positively affect the work you produce.