How To Manage Information On A Team

In: How to

How to manage information on a team: effective techniques

Information is among most valuable resources. However, it turns out that it is not enough just to own it. It is also very important to know rules of information handling, rules of communication building in a team. Otherwise, regularized knowledge turns into a knot of fragmentary information and conjectures. Experts of our team have figured out what effective information management conditions are and what manager’s / boss’ role in this process is. However, remember that these tips are given to people who occupy management positions mainly. With our help you will get professional resume paper, which will help to get good job, or maybe even management post at once. Think it over well, or it would be better not to think at all, but order resume building on our site right now.

Why is it so much important?

According to research of a consulting company “Hay Group”, about 70% of plans and ideas of companies are not eventually brought to life. They die at the stage of introduction due to lack of competitive information about them. Information flows management in a team is important due to several reasons.

Realization and achievement of goals. It is necessary because thus a team can coordinate understanding of the goals and ways to achieve them. Only having full and detailed information about what is going on in a team and in a company, workers can be useful in a long-term planning, can offer perspective ideas as part of a business development strategy. Also, information control helps to eliminate so-called information noise, as well as to choose priorities, i.e. data important for significant tasks fulfillment. Tips on how to fulfill tasks at work efficiently read here: http://resume-writer.net/blog/ugly-frogs-theory-or-how-to-cope-with-tasks-at-work.

Absence of disinformation and rumors. If a manager is not able to manage information, it does not mean at all that information does not circulate. Just an emphasis is shifted to an unofficial level, i.e. gossip, guesses, myths, which as everyone knows do not bring anything useful to a company. Workers start to gossip actively in companies, where effective communication lacks, its schemes are not clear and are not regulated.

If no one controls information flows in a group, they influence its activity in a chaotic manner, what adds tension to work process and demotivates workers, especially those who are organized and responsible. Usually, such workers have introverted type of character. Read more about perfect career for introvert in our blog.

Changes management. Wise informing is among key components of changes management in an organization. Reporting news in time and in a full way, one may expect that it will be accepted with minimum resistance.

Experience exchange. Information handling is an obligatory condition for experience exchange among employees. According to experts’ assessment, companies use only fifth part of knowledge of their staff. It increases costs of training, i.e. instead of experience exchange organizing, they have to invite extremely expensive outside trainers.

Employees’ loyalty. Companies’ practice shows: for an employer it is not enough to have advantages, it is required to be able to tell people that these advantages are profitable differences from others on the market. Often employees, even owing benefits, which workers of other companies can only dream about, do not appreciate them because they just are not aware of them. An employer, who competes in the labor market for good specialists, should not be ashamed of telling about benefits of his company in comparison with other “players” of this field or of emphasizing wise management value. OF course, everything should be within limits.

Control points

There are several rules, which allow manager to keep team information flows under control.

  • Specific addressee. Informational messages should be directed at a specific addressee, i.e. specific performer, otherwise, responsibility zones are vanished and it influences negatively final result.
  • Speed. It is essential that information exchange is performed quickly. It means that having received important for tasks performers data, manager should inform about them quickly, also regularly get feedback from employees. Otherwise, teams and companies will turn into clumsy dinosaurs, where decisions are taken during years, meanwhile products appear on the market when competitors already refuse to use them because they are already outdated. If such situation has already occurred, maybe it is time to look through how to search new job tips.
  • Periodicity. Periodicity is also essential because it helps to create a system. For example, informational education is held on Mondays, newsletter is on Friday twice per month and so on.
  • Unobstructed pass. It is really preferable to bring information directly without intermediaries. Otherwise, communication may turn into a “broken phone” game.
  • Truthfulness. Essential aspect of informing is data truthfulness. Unfortunately, this is philosophical matter. However, it is at least useful to realize that for managers it is very difficult to hide something from their workers. Employees can get objective information from numerous other sources.

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Changes management

It is not enough just to bring information to workers or announce them already decided facts. As experts claim, all essential for company activity ideas and innovations should be “sold” to people, especially when it goes about any changes. People need to be given some time to get used to innovations, to pass transitional phase from old work model to a new one.

Bosses need to speak about changes in a maximally simple, open and full manner, so that employees do not have feeling that someone tries to deceive them. It all helps to cope with mistrust. Besides, to be imbued with an idea, people need to see benefits from its fulfillment for them personally, for example, material, career benefits connected with recognition motive.

So-called SCORE model is useful for information analysis and changes planning. In such a way, initially features of current state (Symptoms) are described, them – their reasons (Causes), after that – results need to be achieved (Outcomes), resources required for this (Resources), also, desirable long-term results (Effects).

Connection channels

In order to manage information on a team efficiently, various channels can be used: meetings (conferences, presentations in a “manager-employee” format), corporate media (inner portals, social networks, newsletters, newspapers, magazines, information stands).

It is desirable that key information is brought via several sources simultaneously. For example, for some employees it is easier to comprehend it from manager, for others it would be better to read e-mail, etc.

Form and content

Not only what managers say, but also how they do it is important. Habits to condemn, publicly criticize, order, threaten are just a part of communication barriers, which prevent from productive exchange of information. When provide subordinates with information, managers are recommended to use a rule called KISS (Keep it Short and Simple). There is no sense to clog up people's minds with excess knowledge, present information in a sophisticated or puzzled confused form. All this leads to misunderstanding and inconsistency.

At the same time, information management is an ability not only to bring it, but also to receive feedback from workers. Traditional key stages of this process are: team informing, information analysis by employees, clarifying questions, further correction if required. By the way, not only information, but time as well can be managed. Read more about time management in the workplace.

For a manager it is extremely essential to encourage employees to make questions and clarify if something is not clear, also, to develop skills of active listening. It seems to us that we own them a-priory: we can listen to what one says and suppose that we can hear him / her. However, it turns out that things are not exactly like this: ability to listen is a craftsmanship, which lion's share of managers of our companies do not own.

Expert’s comment

Active listening skill possessing helps to understand speaker better, to build correctly tactics and strategy or conversation, helps to diagnose and resolve conflicts. Meanwhile, active listening implies several important rules.

1. Aim – to understand, not to evaluate the words and actions of a man.

2. Do not hurry to make conclusions about speaker. All people are different.

3. Verbal as well as non-verbal aspects are essential during conversation.

4. Talking less, one may get known more.

5. Do not interrupt speaker, but knowing techniques of active listening one can intercept the thread of conversation.

Every little thing is essential in a conversation: mood, eye contact, open posture and gestures, ability to be “on emotions wave” of other person. Listening does not mean keeping silence. There are useful speech techniques, which prove this.

“Playing along”. When listener says such phrases as “or course”, “exactly”, “definitely”, etc, thus, he / she demonstrates approval and encourages speaker to continue information sharing.

“Echo”. Repetition of phrase part of a speaker. For example, one dictates phone number and listener repeats: “Yes, I am writing down: 123 45 67”. It demonstrates one’s involvement in conversation, points at the fact that listener follows speaker’s words.

Paraphrase”. One of the strongest techniques. It consists of introduction with retelling. Introduction consists of phrases, such as “Have I understood you correctly…?”, “It means you believe that…”, “In other words…”. Retelling is an interpretation of speaker’s words in free form. This technique shows that listener (manager) follows attentively speaker’s (subordinate’s) course of thought. Additionally, this is a great protection against possible misunderstandings.

“Continuation”. Thought development of a speaker added with words of a listener. For example, speaker mentions that want to know how team is going to celebrate New Year. Manager says: “Of course (“playing along” technique), all the more, the holiday is not far off (“continuation” technique)”. This demonstrates that manager understands what subordinate is talking about, thus, is ready to support him.

Information flows management on a team is a set of simple principles and skills, any manager can master it, even not experienced beginner (http://resume-writer.net/blog/several-tips-for-young-manager). Without them everything becomes more complicated: communication, goals setting and achieving processes, even relationships between people. These skills are required if one wants to become a good leader and manager. Any person is able to master them on his own, meanwhile our expert resume services website can help to get managing position in the shortest time possible by means of amazing resume or CV paper.

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