7 Strategies for Building an Amazing Team
The most important asset of your business is your team. Beyond having strong mission, vision, and culture statements, there are strategies that you can implement to build, strengthen, and engage your team:
#1: Create a clear organizational chart
Make sure that you have clearly defined interrelationships between the functions of the business.
A word of caution: Be careful not to develop your organizational chart based on the people that you currently have; instead, make sure that your organizational chart is based on the functions required for the business to work.
Also, don’t just create an organizational chart for today, but create one for a year from now and three years from now so that you can understand the progression of how your business is going to change and how the team needs to change to support the business.
#2: Make sure you have good, clear, and updated job descriptions
Oftentimes when I hear clients complain that they just haven’t found the right team member, or the team member that they have isn’t working out, the first question that I ask is, “Can I see your job description?” As you can imagine, the first response I typically get is, “We don’t have one.” Well, if you don’t have a job description, how does the individual know exactly what they’re required to do and how they’re required to do it?
Make sure that the job description includes:
- Clear roles and responsibilities
- Who the employee reports to
- Any standards related to the job/function (such as answering the phone within so many rings, or processing invoices within so many hours)
- 3-5 clear KPIs (key performance indicators) that you can use to tell whether the employee in that job function is performing to the expectations of the business
#3: Create an excellent advertisement for recruiting
If you’re going to hire someone for a position, you need to create a strong recruiting advertisement. The ad needs to be enticing; it needs to have a great headline and some key points that reflect the culture of your business. A job posting should not just be a list of duties and responsibilities.
Also, make sure that the ad is targeting the right type of individual that you want. For example, if you want somebody who’s very upbeat and who’s very creative, then don’t just highlight the parts of the job that may be very routine. Try to demonstrate the unique culture of your business and describe the characteristics of someone who would be a good fit for that culture.
#4: Recruit your ideal candidate
Make sure that you think about the ideal candidate not just in terms of skill set, but most importantly, in terms of culture. Will they be a good culture fit for the team? When you think about the characteristics of that ideal team member, think about where those people are. Where do they hang out? Where can you get direct access to them to target your recruiting efforts?
It used to be as simple as putting an ad in the paper with the name of your company, the address, and the name of the job, but it doesn’t work that way anymore. In this competitive work environment, you must be creative not only with your ad but also with your recruiting strategy.
#5: Develop a strong onboarding and training process
Once you find your ideal candidate, it is critical that you onboard and train them thoroughly. Make sure that you think well ahead of time about the process of getting that person up to speed, not just with the skill sets that are required for that job function, but also with how they can best fit within the existing team.
You should have a plan that covers what they’re going to do in the first hour that they get there, along with what they’re going to do in the first day, the first week, the first month, the first quarter, and the first year. Be very clear about what they need to learn. In fact, I always encourage creating a checklist that covers the things that they are going to learn at each of those time frames.
Most importantly, I encourage you to go back once you taught them something. Go back 3 months later and go through that checklist again, because statistically, people only retain about 10% of what they’re taught in training. This is especially true when someone is “drinking from the fire hose” in the first week of a job. So, it’s very important to go back and repeat and check that they know and are following everything that you’ve taught them.
#6: Give performance reviews
A recent poll by Gallup and Deloitte Consulting shows that millennials are now the biggest portion of the labor force. The study also says that millennials prefer continuous performance reviews. So, do not hesitate to not only give positive feedback but also share the things that your employees could do better. This is particularly important when you’re bringing on a new team member.
Reviews can be as simple as casual conversations, but I would also encourage you to give a more formal review at 30, 60, and 90 days, and then you can go from there to more of the semi-annual or annual review process.
#7: Celebrate with your team
If you take the time to enjoy the highs of the business, it will be a lot easier to go through the lows. Celebrate the business’s accomplishments and recognize the team. Recognition doesn’t always have to be about money; sometimes it can simply be a pat on the back and telling them that you appreciate them.
A great company cannot exist without great employees, and a great team does not happen by accident. It takes planning, strategy, support, and consistent communication. Start putting processes in place now to find and develop your dream team.