Many CIOs are juggling several responsibilities including managing multiple teams across departments and sites. The support of a digital team can help today’s executive leaders to monitor workflows and the overall task progress to deliver new technology and services within the business. (See also: Why a CIO should rely on their digital team.)

While leading by example is key to structuring a team and motivating them to success, CIOs today are working with different levels of experience and diverse backgrounds to help deliver new technology and services within the business.

According to Harvey Nash, 44% of organisations are expecting to increase team size in 2017, we examine how CIOs can ensure managerial skills are in place to establish a strong relationship between a CIO and their multiple teams.   

How to manage multiple teams: Give feedback

In some organisations, having regular contact with your CIO is rare due to increasing responsibilities in their demanding role.

While team members should regularly engage with their CIO to ensure projects are on task, teams need to understand how they are performing and be given regular feedback to ensure they are on track for professional development.  

As employees' needs and priorities change over time, teams should have the support from the CIO through offering advice and having regular employee appraisals to help solve business problems together.

Businesses should implement a progress report on individuals which can address issues such as user workload, skill gaps and the needs of the employee to help ensure fulfilment in their role.
Taking action and giving regular feedback to employees can have an impact not only on the team and individual roles but also the business, and CIO Bob Brown regularly brings his team together at Manchester City Council.

“I have weekly team stand-ups, brown-bag lunchtime conversations and one-to-ones,” he said. “This has helped to fundamentally change the way we are perceived by others.”

CIO Brown has seen his leadership skills secure the best people for his team and be clear about the journey they are going on as a Council.

A regular engagement with the Council staff has ensured members understand their role in the development of ICT and beyond.

“We focus on the basics and doing those things well, one-to-ones, team meetings, objective setting, vision, strategy, etc. By launching a colleague feedback survey this can help to see how the changes are being made and how they are impacting frontline staff,” he said. (See also: 7 easy ways to improve your IT team's productivity.)

How to manage multiple teams: Get to know employees

As digital leaders are developing relationships outside of IT with business clients and vendors; CIOs can often work long hours to ensure a project is on track. The lack of communication and contact with members can lead to CIOs not building a rapport with teams.  

Through establishing solid relationships with employees it can create a better engagement and work process between the CIO and their team members. This can help gain an insight into the individual’s role while they also continue to meet the company’s expectations.

While teams are made up of different skill sets and experiences from entry-level talent, who will require more support, to experienced employees who will have knowledge in their roles.

Regular engagement with team members through follow-ups and collaboration tools such as Trello, Slack and Google Mail can give add credibility to a CIO’s role while also ensuring trust to help get the work done.

CIOs should lead by example and be adaptable to managing teams and multiple personality traits. Video conferencing, visiting work sites and sending internal emails to teams can help to give an overview of the team and how they are managing their workload.  

It has become the CIO’s role to be an active listener to adapt to the individual’s needs and act on any concerns early to avoid a talent shortage and unfulfilment in their roles.

How to manage multiple teams: Use technology

While there are endless file management, collaboration and work management tools available on the market; CIOs should embrace these apps to ensure teams are on track with work projects.

Having the right tools can lead to a more effective and productive work culture with 22% of organisations having insufficient digital resources, according to the 2016 Gartner survey.

The use of technology can help take pressure off the CIO’s role by being available to members at all times. CIO 100 organisations including Raymond Brown Construction, Home Office and Metapack have introduced digital tools to help monitor team workflows which has seen an impact on task delivery.

Project management tools such as Taiga, Odoo and Orange Scrum are great for those wanting to share, edit and view documents and can transfer them into images and PDF files. These tools can help streamline processes which are great for saving user’s time, reducing costs and managing team workloads. (See also: Best open-source project management tools 2017.)

How to manage multiple teams: Have respect for others and give everyone a voice

Teams comprise different strengths and weaknesses who are working together towards a shared business goal.

According to a recent Harvey Nash survey, almost 15% of employees feel unvalued in their roles today.  While CIOs should have a positive impact on their teams through allowing members to share their opinions and having their voices heard can earn respect from fellow colleagues. Addressing these issues will create a better work environment while also helping to maintain a healthier work-life balance for its employees.

A great way to incorporate team members is through inviting individuals to board and supplier meetings which can help demonstrate they are acknowledged by the business and make them feel valued in their roles. A CIO should recognise team member contributions and recent accomplishments made which can help identify their capability for future projects while also ensuring they stay loyal to the organisation. (Read next: How a CIO can avoid a digital team burnout.)