There is something beautiful about having a smaller team.
Small teams are flexible and can efficiently achieve more under minimum supervision. Team members form deeper and more meaningful relationships, and leaders can learn their employees motivational factors, learning styles and preferred communication methods in greater detail.
It does also come with its own challenges just like any other team, and for first time leaders who have been given the responsibility of a small team, it can sometimes be difficult to manage this.
Smaller teams face a bigger challenge when there is an unexpected absence. Make sure the tasks are delegated fairly between the team until the absentee returns.
Depending on how your business operates (hourly pay, salaried employees, daily rate, etc.), if another member of your team has to come in on their day off to provide support, reward them with a lieu day if possible.
Smaller teams need members with diverse skills, this is because they have to wear several different hats throughout the day and oblige to get everything done with limited time. However, if your employees are forced to do diverse tasks, they become demoralised and disengaged. The best way to overcome this is to gather your team and discuss the way forward together. Do you need to hire someone new into the team, create a system for organising tasks, perhaps a buddy system should be put in place?
Yes, smaller teams can build deeper and more meaningful relationships. On the contrary there may be a clash of different personalities in a small environment which can lead to the atmosphere becoming uncomfortable and in some cases toxic. As a leader you have to have a robust action plan in place for conflict resolution and act immediately when you receive the warning signals.
All teams have their challenges and rewards. It is up to you as the leader to foster a positive and high performing culture, no matter how big or small your team is.
Written by Sahar Habib
Founder of Coach Wilson