Building a business takes a real team effort. As an entrepreneur, you understand that a strong team has the power to make a business great, while a demotivated team can be its downfall. So how do you create a strong and dynamic team that will take your business from strength to strength?
1. Hire up
Always spend the most you can on strong people who know better than you do. While their skills may feel expensive at first, their knowledge will be directly invested into your business and can really pull your organisation forward. Top staff will be the key to ensuring your business keeps innovating. They will continue to ask the right questions which will keep your business out of its comfort zone and ahead of the competition.
2. Put yourself in their shoes
You really need to treat your staff the way you wish to be treated; with respect, understanding and empathy. When you treat the people in your business well, they feel heard, and understood and will reinvest energy directly back into their jobs. This in turn will ensure they treat your customers well, creating an authentically collaborative environment.
3. Be a hard-working role model
There are no shortcuts to success. The only way up is by working hard and smart. As a leader in your business, you really need to be a strong role model and show your people what working hard looks and feels like. You should never ask your staff to do things that you wouldn’t and by setting a strong example in this way, you will demonstrate what rising to the challenge looks like.
4. Create a diverse environment
Did you know that teams with higher representation are more innovative and perform better than those which don’t have this dynamic? As a team leader, you need to think about age, gender, race, experience, background, skill set and personality types. Ideally, you want to have a strong mix of all these things in order to balance maturity and experience with enthusiasm. Be very aware of the wish to hire people like yourself and ensure a healthy balance that promotes diversity and different types of thinking.
5. Think about attitude first and skills second.
While CVs may impress you at first, it’s always better to first focus on attitude, personality and culture fit. Skills can always be taught, while attitudes can be hard (if not impossible) to change. When you have someone who ‘feels’ right in a team, this energy will have a really positive knock-on effect on the staff and clients around them and this is infinitely more valuable than a basic skill set.
6. Take time to hire, but fire fast
When you are working through the hiring process, it's so important to really take your time to interview potential staff, get feedback from others within your business and check on their references. Ask interesting questions about their personal and professional backgrounds, remembering that it is just as important to understand who they are at home, as well as at work. If you find that someone already employed by you isn’t the right fit, quickly find fair and legal ways to manage them out as soon as possible. Bad apples will slowly poison the work environment for others and need to be removed from the mix.
7. Create a workplace where it’s okay to make mistakes
If you never ever see mistakes happening in your business, then it might be because your team isn’t taking educated risks or innovating enough. This is a problem because the only way to really move your business forward is by trying new things. But with anything new, mistakes will happen and your staff need to know that this is a big part of success. When you encourage this kind of entrepreneurial spirit in your team, you will give them permission to think big, armed with the understanding that you will support them no matter what. Of course, it’s never okay for the same mistakes to happen time and again, but a strong leader will be able to strike a balance here and will help staff learn and recover from the odd mistake.
8. Encourage continued learning
Appeal to the child in the adults that work for you by encouraging them to continue learning and sharing what they have discovered. If you make this a strong part of your work culture, you will be fostering an environment where staff want to grow and innovate on your watch. This kind of growth mindset will have an important effect on the organisation itself as well as the people who work there.
The bottom line
A strong and successful team is not a quick fix. Rather, building this kind of environment requires careful thinking, planning and consistency. But when done well, you will really see that your team is at the heart of your business and is ultimately the engine that will drive it forward. To invest in your next team development program, contact Merchant Capital today.