We all know playing as a real team gets great results. It’s called Synergy. Who wouldn’t want a strong team, right? Yet, so many organizations are not able to achieve great team work. The thing most people struggle with is “How?” How do you build a great team.
Here are some essentials for building a strong team …
1. Get the right people
Building a team is like baking a cake. The right ingredients make all the difference. Are you using pure butter or margarine? Are you using quality Belgian baking chocolate or local tropicalized chocolate?
To get the right people to join you, you need to identify them, first of all. What qualities would the right people have? Dynamism or Diplomacy? Drive or attention to Detail? Analytical or Creative? Everyone could have the qualification and experience – but not everyone has those specific qualities you’re looking for.
So spend a bit of time to figure out and clarify what specific traits or qualities would be ideal. This alone will help you attract the right people.
2. Strong Culture
Being specific about the traits and qualities of the ideal candidate, coupled with a strong culture will help you to attract the right people.
But most importantly, a strong culture helps hold your team together. I call it the “invisible glue” of any strong team. Every organization, big or small, has a culture. Some call it “core values” but I prefer the term “culture”. It’s “the way we do things here.” A strong culture helps to bond the team together. It represents what’s important to the company and to the team.
Culture is not some pretty words framed up at your reception area. You have to live it, practice it and defend it after you refine and clarify it.
3. An Inspiring Vision
People join and stay with an organization if they can identify with its goals, its purpose, its mission. People who stay on tend to share that common purpose. For example, people who are attracted to join a company like Uber are probably very creative, determined and identify strongly with the company’s vision of reducing carbon emission.
How inspiring is your vision?
4. Roles, Responsibility and Rewards
In high-performing teams, people know exactly what their role is, what their responsibility is, i.e. exactly what is expected of them.
There is no guessing or tripping over one another. New recruits don’t need to guess or figure out what exactly they need to do or how to achieve results. At the same time, if the culture is right, there’s a lot of collaboration and cooperation.
And performance, effort and initiative are monitored, recognized and rewarded. The clearer your goals / KPI’s for each team member, the better they can perform and excel. And when they do, make sure they’re recognized and rewarded.
5. Career Growth and Development
If you have successfully attracted good talent to your company, remember that top people are career-oriented. They place importance on their career growth and development. They look at learning opportunities from their employer and their boss too.
So it’s important that you provide training and development opportunities for your team, especially the top performers. Don’t worry about them leaving after the training. In fact, the opposite is probably true – they’ll leave if you don’t provide any training! Sir Richard Branson says “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”
6. Systems and Process
Do you know that many people leave their job simply because they are so stressed and fed-up with constantly having to deal with issues that keep repeating? They lament about constant fire-fighting – having to do re-work, correct mistakes, rectify problems – all of which could have been avoided in the first place. Also, with systems and processes in place, new hires know how to go about getting things done in the organization. There’s no guesswork or having to keep asking someone for help.
So, have you got systems and processes in place in your business? And, importantly, are these systems and processes being enforced and followed – or are they just being ignored by some team members, causing stress to other departments … ?
7. Open Communication
Finally, ask yourself (and your team) on a scale of 1 -10, how would you rate the Communication in your Company? If it’s ‘7’ or lower, you have some work to do. If it’s 5 or lower, looks like major repair is needed.
Obviously poor communication can lead to all sorts of problems. It ranges from unhappy colleagues and poor cooperation to destructive gossip, unproductive conflicts, poor service delivery and even customer complaints.
From the above, it’s clear that building a strong team takes quite a bit of work. What you can do is score yourself on a scale of 1 to 5 for each of these areas and see which is your weakest area. Then start working on that area – because as you know, the team is only as strong as its weakest link.
Get good in each of these seven areas and see your team and your results soar!