Your business can’t achieve great things without a team of employees. While most businesses start with just a single worker — the founder — at some point, they need to bring others on board to help them reach their operational goals.
And that’s often more difficult than most businesses anticipate. While it’s relatively easy to find employees, building a team of top-tier workers who work together well is another matter. However, it’s a worthwhile goal. If you can put the right pieces in the right places, then you’ll find that it’s much easier to hit your desired heights.
In this post, we’ll run through some tried and tested, effective methods for building a winning team of employees.
You could take every tip in this article on board, but if you don’t inherently value and respect the power of teamwork, then it’s unlikely that you’ll put together a great team. An entrepreneur who understands just how much teamwork can benefit an organization is much more likely to operate in a way that emphasizes the collective.
The bottom line is that creating a sense of teamwork helps boost productivity, makes it easier to achieve goals, and more broadly creates a pleasant working environment, which can have its own positive impact. So don’t see teamwork as a necessary evil; view it as a vital component of your operations.
Develop Company Culture
All companies operate in different ways. The key to successful teamwork for your business is to figure out your own way of working. Employees work more effectively and more readily buy into the organization’s team spirit when they have a clear understanding of what’s expected of them. Your company culture reinforces expectations, behaviors, and just generally how workers should approach their work and each other.
It can take some time to figure out your company culture, but it’s a worthwhile journey. Companies that have strong company culture tend to perform better — and have a greater sense of teamwork — than those that take a more casual approach.
Attract Top Talent
It’s possible to put together a team that doesn’t get results. You only need to see the worst-performing sports teams to realize that poor individuals will result in poor results, even if there is a sense of teamwork. To put together a winning team, you’ll need top talent. And finding and hiring that top talent can be a challenge.
To improve the quality of your candidates, you may need to step up your approach to recruitment. Using straightforward job advertisements is unlikely to yield great results in the modern age. The better approach? Think modern. Putting together recruitment videos and working with a presentation design agency like Hype Presentations will help you to stand out from the crowd and attract the kind of candidates that can take your business to the next level. Once they’re on board, you’ll have the framework for success.
Onboarding New Employees
Of course, it’s one thing to hire a great employee and another thing to make the most of their talents. All too often, businesses think that their job is done once the candidate has their employment contract. But in reality, that’s when the real work begins. The success (or failure) of the candidate will directly correlate to the strength of your company’s onboarding process.
And if you don’t have any onboarding process whatsoever? Then it won’t be too surprising if your talented employees become confused, disengaged, and begin looking for other work. It’s difficult to hire great employees — once you have, make sure you make the most of their talents.
Have Clearly Defined Roles
Great company teamwork doesn’t mean that everyone works together on all business operations. It means that everyone’s individual efforts come together in an effective and productive way. For this, it’s important that every employee has a clear understanding of their role. There’s an element of collaboration and team support, but fundamentally each employee should be in charge of their own jobs.
To achieve this, ensure that each role is clearly defined. An employee should have a strong sense of what they need to do, what’s expected of them, and what’s beyond the scope of their role.
Respect and Trust To All
Companies can often appear to be an adult version of the school playground. But they shouldn’t be. While there will likely be some hierarchy at your business, it’s essential that everyone is fundamentally treated the same. Some workers will have more importance and power than others, but all employees should feel respected and valued. Indeed, you can measure the strength of a company’s team spirit by its “weakest” employee. If they feel a sense of teamwork, then the business will be much more likely to reach its goals.
Even the most talented employee on the planet can’t work miracles. They have the skills to perform at a high level, but they also need tools to deliver their best. So it’s important that your business provides everything they need to work well. What these tools look like will depend on the type of business you’re running. It may be that they need software, specialist equipment, or anything else. It’s your job to provide them with whatever they need.
This is especially important for teams of employees. Not having access to tools can cause stress and frustration, which makes it more difficult for teams to work harmoniously.
It’s essential that teams have something toward. Let’s go back to the sports team analogy; without having a target (for example, trying to win a trophy), it’ll be inevitable that teams fall into a state of apathy. You can keep your team motivated by setting targets and goals. It’s important that any targets you set are fully achievable given the resources available to your employees; indeed, setting overly ambitious targets can be just as damaging as having none whatsoever.
Ongoing Development and Motivation
If you’ve hired correctly, then you’ll have talented individuals on board. It’s important that you continue to help them develop as professionals. This won’t just have a positive impact on your business, but it’ll also increase engagement and job satisfaction, two things that are key when it comes to having a winning team.
Assigning a personal development plan to each employee can help with this, as can having motivating leaders. Your employees will — or should — have their own internal motivation, but that won’t be enough to keep them on your side. Show that you care about their career success and development, and you’ll be much more likely to achieve success.
Putting together a great team will bring success to your business. At those moments, it’s essential that you celebrate everyone’s contributions. Indeed, hitting those first goals is a pivotal moment that can dictate the future of the team. If you don’t celebrate, then your team will be less likely to be quite as committed moving forward. If a department does brilliant work, then shout it from the rooftops. Bonuses, perks, and all-around making a big fuss will help them recognize that their efforts are being noticed.
Lead By Example
It’s easy for founders to set themselves apart from the team. To some minds, they are the ones at the top, and the employees are “the rest.” But that’s a poisonous mindset that will eventually come back to bite. Leaders lead by example — they show their employees that they’re part of the team, not above it.
Of course, you’ll have more responsibilities and power than most workers. That’s inevitable. But you should always ensure that you’re doing the things that you’re asking your team to do. If you don’t, then your employees might have a team spirit, but you’ll be on the outside of it — and that’s not where you want to be!
And Avoid Micromanaging
The best managers don’t try to control what their employees do. They trust their employees to deliver excellent work. Micromanaging undermines team spirit because it suggests that there’s little confidence in the performance of the workers. An employee who is continually micromanaged can reasonably ask, ‘Does this person trust me, or do they think they can do my work better than I can?’ It can take a little work to avoid micromanaging at the beginning, but it’s worthwhile doing so.
Offer as Much Autonomy As You Can
You can also offer trust — and boost team morale — by offering as much autonomy as possible. Your employees should know that they’re in control of their work and work schedule whenever possible. Some members of staff will like to work from home, others will prefer to work in the office. So long as you’re actively working to promote a sense of teamwork, then it should be immaterial when and how the team works. Just be sure to provide tools such as communication software so that those working from home remain part of the gang.
Great things can happen when talented people come together. But that won’t happen on its own. Take the tips above, and your business will be on its way to having a title-winning team.