How Would You Build Your Team
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Over the past few months, I have received several questions from readers about how to best build your team. It seems that more and more people are struggling with this very important part of running a business!
I want to take some time today to talk about one of the most fundamental ways to develop an effective work culture in your organization – how to hire well.
Hiring is one of the key factors in creating an open environment where people feel comfortable coming together every day to accomplish a common goal.
When employers make hiring decisions based on only their own experiences and preferences, it can create internalized biases which negatively affect not just individuals, but also the overall effectiveness of the workplace.
It’s impossible to run a company without making mistakes, but by being aware of these pitfalls you will be better prepared to avoid them when you find yourself in need of new employees.
In my article “The Best Ways To Boost Employee Efficiency In The Workplace,” I discussed some easy things you can do to improve employee efficiency at your current job.
This article will go into much greater detail about why efficient workers are so valuable and what you can do to attract like-minded people during the initial recruiting process.
I will also discuss some simple strategies for improving your managerial skills and psychology for employment relationships.
Pick your team members
If you are an aspiring business owner, then picking your team is one of the most important things you will do for your success. Who you choose to be around can make a big difference in how successful you become.
People who bring out the best in you are worth their weight in gold. Plus, they might just help you achieve your goals more than you’d expect!
As difficult as it may sound at times, not everyone is going to share your dreams and visions. Some people have different priorities and focus groups that don’t match yours.
That’s totally fine! But make sure you’re still firm about what you want and who you want to include in your team if you want to see results.
Make sure your team members are compatible
Sometimes, people get in an organization new leadership comes in or someone who has a position of power may not work well with others. Or, there is no clear leader of the company until recently when things changed.
When these situations occur, it can be tricky to retain key employees as you look for their replacement.
You need to have confidence that the next person will do what they say they’ll do, and that they’ll bring in the same level of performance from the rest of the staff.
This doesn’t usually happen though; most of the time, people don’t match up.
If you’re looking to keep top talent, make sure you hire like a professional – research potential candidates thoroughly.
Ask about past experiences and conversations they had while working with them. Was everyone in the room treated with respect? Were they given enough resources?
Make sure each member of the team feels valued and acknowledged by the other professionals in the department. This creates a healthy environment where trust exists.
A leader’s main responsibility is to communicate clearly. The best leaders are good listeners, and they use silence as a tool to think through how to say what needs to be said. They understand that some things can’t be said unless you’re sure it’s true, so they spend time thinking before talking.
Effective leadership requires trust. Trusting individuals and groups of people means being able to tell them “no” or “I don’t believe this will work,” but also being able to listen to their ideas and talk about why their idea might make sense.
Leaders must develop relationships with others who do not report directly under them, but whose actions show whether they are invested in the organization and its success. People watch what their superiors do, so making decisions that promote teamwork and growth sets up an impression that your own career will too.
Having these qualities isn’t just important for those around you, it’s important for yourself when you want to advance. Becoming a great leader takes practice, but investing in the process now will help you long term.
Be a good manager
Being able as a team member means more than just showing up to work every day. It includes setting clear expectations, giving honest feedback, listening to other people’s opinions, supporting each other during times of struggle, keeping each other informed, etc.
It also means being a trustworthy person who looks out for others. If you need help, ask for it! Don’t assume that things will keep getting done unless you do it yourself – use resources and tools where needed, and don’t hesitate to share them with your colleagues.
As someone who has worked in both large companies and small ones, I can tell you that there is no real difference between the two when it comes to having trust and respect among coworkers. What makes one workplace special is how those individuals gel together and what they achieve as a unit.
Give constructive feedback
As mentioned earlier, your success as a leader is determined by how well you develop others around you. This includes giving good performance reviews, encouraging them, motivating them, and teaching them so they can do their job better.
But while praising someone’s work is important, telling people what they are doing wrong is just as valuable. In both cases, it’s important to be honest but not hurtful.
If you don’t give negative feedback, people will assume that everything they do is perfect. And when they find out there were things they could have or should have done better, they may not perform as well. Or worse, they might lose confidence in themselves which would be very detrimental to their career.
On the other hand, if everyone is getting constant praise, people may start feeling overconfident and self-sufficient. That’s also bad for morale.
So, how about we combine these two? If you’re giving an interview then prepare a set of questions and practices them with yourself first. For each question, pick one element of a great leader and apply it to something the person you're talking to does really well.
For example, if your interviewer asked you whether you were able to motivate colleagues, you could say that you learned a lot from you today. They motivated me by showing appreciation and understanding.
Help them grow
As mentioned earlier, being an excellent leader is about helping others develop their skills and supporting them in achieving their goals. This includes developing their knowledge and expertise, encouraging them to try new things, giving them permission to fail, and promoting from within.
As a leader, you will need to create an environment where people feel comfortable trying out new things and failing. When they have little fear of failure, they are more likely to take risks and invest time into projects that may not always succeed.
By investing in your team, you increase the chances of success for themselves and the organization as a whole. This also creates loyal employees who contribute to the growth and development of the company.
It’s important to note that while it's great to promote from within, don’t neglect hiring external candidates if necessary. In fact, many top companies devote significant resources to recruiting outside of their own internal networks.
This way, you never run out of options when looking to expand or strengthen your leadership team.
Be a good leader
As a leader, you will spend a lot of time working with people. It is important that you are aware of your strengths and weaknesses as a person before assuming responsibility to lead others.
You can’t expect to manage someone else if you don’t know what your own personal limitations are or how to motivate yourself. In fact, being able to recognize and acknowledge your mistakes can help you hone your leadership skills in the long run.
It may also be helpful to understand why certain individuals perform better than others when given similar opportunities. This could include finding out whether they have talent that you were not aware of or whether they possessed some skill that you lacked.
Whatever the case may be, learning more about each other's strengths and weaknesses can only benefit both parties involved.
Do all the things that make your team feel appreciated
Let’s look at the opposite case for a minute. What if, instead of doing those things to motivate your teammates, you were spending your time trying to gain their appreciation?
What if, every day, they thanked you for not only being part of the team but for sacrificing so much to help them succeed? What if they asked how you managed to put in such hard work without any rewards or recognition for your efforts?
I can almost guarantee you would be way more motivated then.
That’s why it is so important to develop relationships with people around you who respect you and believe in you. It creates an environment where others are willing to do the same thing for you.
It also makes you want to contribute more to the cause and keep going even when you don’t feel like it. Because you know that someone out there will always have your back and believe in you.