Eight ways to create a dream team in your business
Your team can either make or break your business. A strong team can run your business for you, doing everything in their power to make your business succeed. A poor team can ruin your business - disappointing your customers, costing you money through mistakes and inefficiency, and draining all your time and energy.
Do you have the team you want in your business?
As a business owner or manager, if you’d like a great team in your business, you need to create a working environment in which your people can excel. As a minimum, implementing these 8 things will create a framework to support a dream team:
1. Vision Statement
A clear vision statement for your business tells your customers why your business exists, what its end goals are, and it inspires your team to work with you instead of just for you. A business with a visible vision statement appears well-planned and professional. Display your vision statement on your website, and discuss it with prospective clients. When recruiting, ask your candidates what it means to them. At each regular team meeting, discuss how the team has contributed to it in the previous week.
This is the motto or catchphrase your business and team lives by. It can be external and used in marketing, such as Nike’s “Just Do It”. At Yellow Coaching, ours is “Peak Performance”. Display your mantra in your workspace as a guide to performance and a reminder to the team of their commitment.
3. Culture Statement
Most frustrations with employees are due to behaviour rather than skills and abilities. A solid culture statement defines the expectations, boundaries and behavioural ‘rules of the game’ in your business. It might contain points such as respect, open communication, or fun. Amazon calls theirs Leadership Principles and includes the points Think Big and Customer Obsession.
When recruiting, show your culture statement to job candidates so they’ll know your expectations from the start. Add it as a section in your team’s KPIs, so they are assessed quarterly on their behaviour as well as their skills. Discuss a point of culture at each team meeting, and how those behaviours have been displayed in the previous week.
4. Organisation Chart
A strong team needs the right people in the right positions at the right time. It’s important that all team members know not only where their own role fits in the business, but who they report to and where everyone else belongs. Just like a sports team, solid performance in each position is critical for the success of the game.
5. Position Descriptions
As well as knowing where they fit in the organisation, it’s essential that each team member knows what their tasks and responsibilities are, and the roles of other people in the business.
Without this, inefficiencies can occur as multiple people do the same task, or tasks are not completed or even disowned! Make it clear that there will be times when each team member is required to do things outside their role description to meet business goals.
6. Training Plan
Think of your current team and the skills they have, and how you’d like them to develop. You may also ask them what areas they’d like to learn more about. Set up a system whereby team members train each other, either one-on-one or in a group setting. Encourage them to be accountable for their own career development, and coach them through their learning journey.
Key Performance Indicators outline what is expected of each employee, and explains how they’ll know they’ve performed well. KPIs should contain not only the tasks of each position, but also standards for WHS, following business systems, and being a great team member. Review KPIs quarterly to ensure performance standards are maintained. It’s also essential that regular informal feedback is given to each employee to keep them on track.
All team members need regular, structured communication with their managers. Meetings that may need to occur in your business include management meetings, team meetings, one-on-one meetings, toolbox talks, and daily huddles. Each meeting needs an agenda to keep it meaningful and relevant.
Ensure challenges are discussed with a solutions-focus, and follow up on agreed actions.
This framework can take a while to implement, so have patience and allow time to make improvements.
As you raise the standards for your team, you may find that not all team members will rise to your expectations. That’s okay. The gap they leave provides room for new staff who are the right fit.
Setting the above framework in your business gives your team the best chance of success. Now it’s up to each team member to contribute their skills to the best of their ability, and display their commitment to their role, their teammates, and your business.