Across all industries, the route of job progression usually follows from junior roles to more organisational, managerial roles. Team leaders demonstrate the middle band of progression; leading a team but still under senior leadership. Within supermarkets, agencies, factories, restaurants and more, ‘team leader’ is a role given to those who are experienced and can expertly lead and aid other staff.

Find out more about the role of team leader and how you can become one with this guide. Whether you are an aeronautical engineer or data scientist, this role could be for you.

What is a Team Leader?

As the name suggests, a team leader leads an assigned team of workers. This usually involves overseeing and guiding the day-to-day functions and tasks of the team.

Within this role, team leaders help their team complete work through expert support, guidance, and direction, acting as the main communicator, facilitator, and productivity monitor. It is the responsibility of the team leader to ensure their team members are motivatived and aware of roles, as well as timelines and expectations. It is also the responsibility of the team leader to source necessary resources and information for their team to complete goals.

HR related activities that may be associated with managerial type roles are usually not included in a team leader’s remit. Disciplinaries or performance reviews, as examples, may be contributed to by team leaders, but performed by senior management. This reinforces the team leader role as the day-to-day manager of staff and tasks, with clear differentiation from high-up management.

Team Leader vs Manager

The main difference between team leaders and managers is the focus of the roles. Whereas managers are dealing with the bigger picture of an organisation as a whole, team leaders focus on individual projects, teams, and aspects within an organisation or business. In a sense, team leaders help managers to do their role, to progress and better manage the entire organisation by ensuring employees are on track and projects are delivered on time.

Engineers looking to progress their career are likely to first attain a team leader role and then progress to management. The skills required and experience gained from being a team leader will help them transition to a management role well.

Team Leader Job Role

Within all industries, team leaders share similar responsibilities. Take a team leader role within the engineering sector, for example; the team leader may oversee a group conducting a project and facilitate with any problem solving or resource requirements. Additionally, the engineering team leader will report on project progress and any notable issues to high ups. Especially within technical and skilled job environments like engineering, the team leader may also take on the role as trainer, helping team members to develop skills.

Key roles of a team leader:

  • Project management
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Information sharing
  • Support
  • Monitoring
  • Motivation
  • Progress tracking
  • Reporting
  • Skills development

Team Leader Skills

Due to the varied nature of the job across sectors, the exact skills of a team leader can depend on the application. Here is an example of skills required to be a team leader within an engineering operations capacity.

  • Leadership: motivate, organise, and develop team members.
  • Health & Safety awareness: ensure team is compliant and safe.
  • Logical: process information in an organised way.
  • Communication: effectively share information and give instructions.
  • IT skills: know-how to use relevant software and tools.
  • Time management: deliver projects and tasks within deadlines.
  • Interpersonal skills: good teamwork is vital to the role.
  • Resourceful: solve problems and reactively offer assistance.
  • Education: relevant certification or degree may be required.

Team Leader Experience

As the team leader is in charge of others, the leader must have experience and skills to pass down to their team. Experience working in the relevant environment is key – an employer wouldn’t want to hire someone who has never set foot in a factory to be a manufacturing team leader, for example.

This above reason is why becoming a team leader is a common ‘next step’ in career progression for junior staff. Once experience and knowledge has been gained over years in an industry, one may be ready to step into a leadership role and share their expertise. Therefore, the experience required to be a team leader oftentimes arises through natural growth and confidence within a workplace or industry over the years.

Experience for a team leader role may also be acquired via education. A minimum of a Bachelor’s degree is usually required for a team leader role in a skilled industry, such as engineering or IT, to display competence and knowledge. A Master’s degree may be specified for highly technical roles. However, depending on the sector and application, GCSEs, A Levels or HNCs may suffice.

Become a Team Leader with BMR Solutions

We are expert recruiters for the finest technical and engineering employers in the South West and surrounding areas! We work closely with applicants and reputable companies to create ideal pairings and ensure success.

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To achieve your team leader role, or any other technical application, get in touch with our team today!

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