What It Takes to Build an Effective Team
Growing a business is hard, especially when you’re preparing to build a team. The transition from being the sole owner/employee to a leader and superior can be really difficult. The key to any successful business is to build an effective team. That can be easier said than done, but here are some tips to guide you through the process.
Use and Invest in Your Leadership Skills
As a business owner, or someone in a leadership position, the first step in building a really great team is to know how to be a really great leader. The most common and unfortunately the most toxic misconception most people have about leaders is that they have tremendous power and authority. Even if this is true in some situations, all great leaders value honesty and transparency. Great leaders are fueled by their work, cause, and mission. Employees who see their leaders guided by these principles are more likely to work harder and think bigger. Remember, leaders and employees are on the same team and should be working for the same outcomes in different ways.
If you choose to build a team of people that have similar experiences, backgrounds, and skills, you might see a lack of innovation and creativity. A successful team requires diverse thinking. Not only will this help your business, but it will help expand your team’s ability to communicate with one another and problem solve.
Know Your Employees’ Strengths
It’s obvious that your employee will have certain skills that are required for the job at hand. However, employees also have strengths that you might not know just from interviewing them. Real strengths take time to discover. Investing in your employees, talking to them, and encouraging them to build upon their strengths will help build a team that is both confident and creative.
Spend Time as a Team
It’s important to pay attention to your team’s culture. Spending time together outside of the office, together as a team is important. You can do this in many different ways, but asking your team how they want to spend time together is most helpful. Some teams pick a day to have a lunch together or attend a happy hour.
Consider hosting an off-site team retreat once a quarter to spend time together as a team. This time can be spent setting goals for the team, business, and clarifying the responsibilities of each team member. Create the agenda for the retreat together as a team beforehand. Some teams even decide to hire an outside party to serve as a coach for the day.
Create Team Values
Fostering a truly functional and successful team takes a lot of time and energy. When things get busy, working on and investing in your team is usually the first thing to get tossed to the side. It’s important, especially during busy times, to give attention to your team’s growth. You can do this easily by setting team values, discussing them, and returning to them at different times to evaluate how well they’re being lived out both individually and as a team.
What’s been working for you as your work to build a successful team?