How can I progress my team?

 |  By: Kate Jones In: Resource management

We work with an array of project-based businesses from Agencies to Environmental Consultants. Something we’re hearing across all these industries is that recruiting and retaining skilled employees is one of their biggest challenges.

91% of UK-based organisations struggled to find workers with the right skills in the last year - The Open University.

There is no question that cultivating your own skilled workforce and offering internal progression is vital:

  • Required skill is available in-house
  • Fewer costly consultants, freelancers and other temporary staff
  • No recruitment fees
  • No costly miss-hires
  • Retain the best employees.

In this piece we look at how our clients are using Synergist to encourage personal development and progress their teams from within. Helping remove them from the skills shortage headache and retain talent in a landscape where Millennials and iGen are notoriously transient.

Relinquish control and let your team make decisions

Nothing can quash a skilled employee’s thirst for progression or desire to stay at the company quicker than having their skills ignored by an overly-involved boss.

Managers and leaders find it hard to step away when they aren’t confident in their team’s decision-making. At the same time a micromanaging culture actively feeds poor decision making.

“After being micromanaged, your staff will begin to depend on you, rather than having the confidence to perform tasks on their own. Micromanagement makes your team feel like they can no longer handle the work without your constant guidance.“ – Pluralsight

Having a system in place that ensures a more efficient workflow and more accurate reporting can really help in this area. We have found across our network that when managers trust the numbers and updates they receive, and they are confident that their team will make the right choices, they find it much easier to step away. This means employees aren’t micromanaged and are given the freedom to use their skills and to shine.

Birmingham-based, digital and advertising agency Clevercherry said of using Synergist:

It's educating the team. They make better decisions now. It promotes self-education. Team members are much more aware now of what costs go into a job."

Synergist provides a single source of truth on which decisions at all levels can be made. Black and white facts, live data and access to previous project data gives everyone a solid foundation upon which to make their decisions.

Rebecca Frain, Managing Director, Electrical Safety commented:

Before [Synergist] the clear divide in the business made it difficult for the team to make joint decisions. A lot of discussion and often arguments occurred with no solution. You can’t blame anyone because the trust wasn’t there for the spreadsheet results then, and with good reason. That’s all solved now. We love the reliability of the data and the decisions made are now generally the same from the entire team.

Having a clear workflow mapped out as it is in Synergist with Kanban boards, shared calendars and Gantt charts also helps everyone understand the commercial implications of their decisions because there’s clarity around how long tasks should take and at what point over-servicing begins. There are even alarms that are triggered in specific instances.

Leading Environmental Consultants, ECUS said:

Synergist also helps everyone understand the commercial aspects of their decisions. You could say that Synergist is a career development accelerator. Today, a team member thinking of working for any major consultancy has to understand the big picture, be familiar with key processes, be financially astute and commercially savvy. They learn these things at ECUS now. This helps their careers, and it helps us.

Empower employees to use their skills and develop new ones

You will lose a talented employee if you recruit them for their skills, then put them in a position whereby they’re unable to use them. This frequently happens due to micromanaging, as mentioned previously. Other culprits are too much admin, too many meetings, fire-fighting and team management taking longer than it should.

Having a system in place to pull all your information together can save hours of administrative time across the board. Necessary admin such as timesheets, expenses and billing can be dealt with easily, allowing team members to spend less time on this and more time delivering their best work for clients.

Allowing people to use their true skills not only helps their career progress but it’s a huge factor in work happiness and business success. Everybody wants to use their talents and have their best work recognised. And clients want your best work.

Rebecca Frain, Managing Director, Electrical Safety, commented:

With Synergist we’ve cut out the equivalent of two administrative jobs right away. Charlotte now focuses 100% on projects and she’s raising her game to become our Project Manager. We spotted the potential in her, and she’s really risen to it. Before, she was held back by endless admin -

About Synergist

Synergist helps teams deliver their greatest work across multiple projects. It’s one collaborative work management platform that connects everyone to a single source of truth, bringing clarity and better-informed decision making to everyone.

Live visibility of all your core operations makes the links between operations and financials clear, allowing you to reduce inefficiencies and increase profitability.

With instant access to needed information, projects run smoothly and more time is released for each individual to focus on what's most important and work to their full potential.

Synergist puts you back in control, and with its renowned capacity for scalability, it handles growth seamlessly from 15 to 600 people.