Build Your Business Team

Building your business team is important to the success of your business.  It provides you with the right people who will maintain your costs and keep your business balanced.  This allows for quicker more fact based responses achieving higher profits.

This isn’t a case of just hiring some people and declaring them your team.  I would caution too about assuming any friend or family member is appropriate for your team, some may not be.  In order to effectively build your team you need to do a few things:

Know and understand your mission, vision, and values –    You have to not only know them but you have to be able to communicate them.  Answer some key questions to do this.  What is the purpose of your company’s existence?  What do you do and why do you do it?  What do you see your company as in the future?  How will you successfully get to that future and what is important to you (and the company) and why.

Identify your specific business needs – Who is currently on your team right now?  Thing people, processes, and functions.  Are they doing the right things (skills, goals, and performance)?  Do you have the right people to do those things?  What skills or functions are you missing?

Hire on culture first, qualifications second – Understand a simple truth, the best qualified are not always the best choice.  Sometimes they simply don’t fit in.  You have to define your culture in order to assess the best choice of team members.  Is your culture fast paced, slow paced?  Is it entrepreneurial or very process focused?  Can the team members you have, maintain and build on your culture.

How do you find them?  Have them tell you a story.  Use behavior base interview questions that ask, “Tell me about a time that you…”, and then listen to what is important to your culture.

Get your team working together – this is what a team is all about.  Certain things should be used to help develop the team as a cohesive problem-solving group.  These are:

  •     Challenge – Take your team members outside of their comfort zones or job descriptions.  This helps them grow and become better team members.  Establish both team and individual goals, which are all aligned.  Then, ensure that you have eliminated group think, by embracing diversity.
  •     Empower – Accept that your te4am most likely knows more about the issue than you do.  However, ensure that well-defined guidelines for decision-making are in place.  Reward the team’s decisions and outcomes, even when they are not how you would have done it.
  •     Reward – Rewards do not have to be monetary but at the same time they should never be exclusively symbolic.  Certainly, bonuses and variable pay is a good way to reward team success.  But recognition in the form of public praise and thanks can go equally far.  When having rewards, you must also ensure the employees understand the rules.  Nothing will damage a reward program faster than a rule misunderstanding.  Also, sometimes “on the spot” rewards are effective tools.  Give consideration to those too.
  •     Support – Coach, mentor and educate your teams.  Give them breaks away from work through paid vacations and holidays.  Be sure to consider the needs of their families and meet those when possible.  Company picnics, bring your child to work day or employee appreciation days at amusement parks or sporting events are great for motivation and morale.

Having teams is critical to your business.  It is through teams, your workforce, that you will overcome all challenges your business faces.  Every business faces issues of the economy, government regulation, and weather.  Your Team is what will get you through those and determine your competitive edge in the marketplace.  You have to ensure you have the right team whether you hired it or it was already there.  Educating, training, mentoring, rewarding and resting, are all critical steps toward your team’s development and success.

Your teams will only be as successful as you let them.  Nothing harms a team more than a boss or owner who circumvents the team, overrides or overrules the team.  You have to trust and learn to trust.  Your team does too.