If you want to achieve your business vision, you will need to build a strong team, but just simply hiring people won’t be enough. You need to focus on building a winning team for the future, one that will develop and adapt as your business grows.
For a business to really flourish it needs to have the right people in the right roles, with the right focus and motivation. Without a winning team in place, you are greatly limiting the success of your business, and you will waste more time ‘putting out fires’.
As the late great Steve Jobs said: ‘Great things in business are never done by one person; they’re done by a team of people.’
So, how can this be achieved? Our article covers crucial tips for achieving your goals as a business owner by building a winning team.
Are You Ready to Build a Winning Team?
A winning business team must work collectively and cohesively. In order to drive a business forward and reach its true potential, everyone must be focused on the same goals. To do this, it takes great leadership.
As the business owner you must not be afraid to make tough decisions, establish a winning culture, set goals for the team and always recognise and reward success. You play a fundamental role in developing and maintaining a winning team mindset and culture.
Knowing and understanding how you work will be an important part of building your team. Be aware of your leadership style, techniques, foibles and expectations. Building a team around you that has complimentary personalities and styles that don’t conflict with yours, will be paramount to your success.
This is also one of the key steps to building the right winning team culture. Making sure that there are no obvious conflicts and ensuring there is a cohesive bond between all members. This makes motivating, building camaraderie and celebrating successes easier as you head towards achieving your goals and business vision.
How Do I Build a Winning Team?
Once you understand what is involved in building a winning team, then follow these steps to ensure you recruit the right team member for the role, one who will be engaged, motivated and focussed:
- Define the specific job role within your team
- Establish the KPI’s
- Establish a recruitment plan
- Develop an onboarding process
- Implement performance reviews
Know Your Team and Define Their Role!
The first step is to look at both existing and new roles, responsibilities and success criteria, both for now and into the future. Make sure that all job descriptions are specific, measurable, well documented and communicated clearly to each employee.
This can have an immediate positive impact on the business and the team member. In order to perform their role successfully, they will need to know exactly what is expected of them and what is the success criteria.
When recruiting new employees, start with a strong, well defined, structured recruitment process which will ensure you don’t end up with more work in the long run. A poorly created job specification will often attract the wrong kind of applicants, resulting in a very costly mistake for your business.
It is highly recommended that you involve other key managers and co-workers, bringing them into the role planning discussions. You will often find that they have valuable insights and a different perspective about what roles are needed, what responsibilities will be assigned and how they will be measured.
Recruitment is a costly process but employing the wrong person can be even more damaging. So invest time from the start in defining the role to find the right person to be the perfect match for your team.
Once you have the right team on board, spend time getting to know them and encourage camaraderie. This team building approach will ensure they are all engaged, motivated and focussed on achieving your goals.
The Importance Of Setting Goals and KPI’s
Once you have a team, it’s time to start sharing your goals. Achieving your goals starts with a clear business vision. This may seem like a simple step, but it can take more time and consideration than you think.
Having clearly documented goals allows you to determine how to measure your successes later. Remember that your well-defined goals will form the foundation of your forward planning and direction.
This is why investing time in setting the right goals will be a major factor in your ongoing success. Ensure that your goals are realistic, and they have been regularly communicated and embraced by your team. This will keep everyone focussed, headed in the right direction to help you achieve your business vision.
So, once you have the roles and responsibilities well documented, it is vital to establish the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) so that you can measure their success.
KPIs need to be relevant, balanced, achievable and easily understood by the individual performing that role. Meeting KPIs and achieving goals is motivational for both the individual and for the success of the team.
Some important KPI’s can include metrics around:
- Growth/income sources
- Financial health
- Revenue concentration
- Profitability over time
- Customer service
- Marketing/brand outcomes
Depending on the job description, each member may have a differing set of metrics for success.
You can evaluate and measure individual performance using straight data analysis, 360-degree feedback, self-evaluation, checklists or rating scales. Each type will be dependent on the job role, importance to achieving the goals, and its ability to effectively measure the KPI.
Is Recruitment the Key to Success?
Walt Disney is remembered for his ability to achieve his business vision by creating the Disneyland empire. One of the keys to his success was having a vision and building a winning team to make it a reality. ‘You can dream, create, design, build the most wonderful place in the world, but it requires people to make it a reality’. Walt Disney
When looking for new team members, it is essential to find the right resource to assist you with the recruiting process. An experienced business coach with a proven track record can help you identify the skill shortfalls in your existing team, and help you map the skills needed in order to build a winning team.
Those employees involved in the recruitment process should have exceptional interpersonal and communication skills as they need to make sure that every applicant has a positive experience and is highly motivated to work for your business. Any negativity in the process could result in you losing potential good candidates.
Prior to commencing recruitment, make sure that everyone involved in the recruitment process is fully briefed on your business vision and mission and the strengths of your existing team.
The administrative process of recruitment needs to be efficient and seamless, ensuring from the beginning that candidates form a good impression about your company. Establishing a robust interview process is more likely to guarantee that you attract stronger candidates from the outset and do not lose them along the way.
Always prepare thoroughly for each interview. Make sure that you have researched and prepared questions that will give candidates the opportunity to show you their strengths and identify their weaknesses.
Importantly, don’t worry if you require a second or third interview with them. The most important objective is to be certain you have ultimately selected the right candidate.
Orientation Vs Onboarding
Orientation and Onboarding new team members are critical steps towards building a strong winning team. There are, however, differences between orientation and onboarding.
Orientation is far shorter and involves introducing the company platforms, processes and culture to a new employee.
Onboarding is a longer process to bring the person up to speed on systems, roles and responsibilities, so they can be successful in their role. Onboarding can also involve a probationary period and beyond. Depending upon the complexity of the role, onboarding may take up to 6 months or longer.
Be realistic in your expectations to bring new employees up to speed and set clear expectations from day one. This way you are more likely to be successful in building the right team for your business.
Remember, the more time you spend with a new employee in the early stages, making sure they are fully trained and knowing what is expected of them, the better team member they will become.
The Importance of Performance Reviews
Motivating team members can be challenging, but one of the most successful ways to do this is via regular performance reviews and proactive feedback. Regular positive feedback is important in creating a positive culture in the workplace and serves as a valuable tool for correcting or modifying performance.
Good communication is critical to this process. Making sure your feedback is positive, constructive and clearly understood will be very motivating for the individual and the team.
A positive team environment is far more likely to result in happy and motivated team members. Team building activities can also help build collaborative skills and respectful, positive communication helps build trust.
Acknowledging and celebrating success along the way is another way to maintain focus and motivation. Don’t just wait until performance review time. Acknowledging, rewarding and celebrating good outcomes and achievements along the way, is a great way to motivate a team and build camaraderie.
Use performance reviews as a way to not only identify and reward exceptional performance, but also to identify areas of underperforming. This then provides an opportunity for upskilling and gives every employee an opportunity to succeed.
Performance reviews also allow you to document staff performance thoroughly, should a person need to be warned or given notice in the future. And remember, should this need occur, go back and evaluate every step in the recruitment process to identify any areas of improvement that can be made to avoid this recurring.
Achieving Your Goals: Building A Winning Team
Achieving your business goals will be so much easier when you have the ‘right people on the bus’. Having one uncooperative team member can create a toxic environment and quickly manifest the wrong attitudes and behaviours in your team.
Remember, as Mattie Stepanek, the American poet said, ‘Unity is strength. . . when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.’
So, spend the time in the early stages, finding the right business coach to help you. Take your time to make sure you invest in the right people from the outset.
And don’t forget to recruit for the future. Your business will not always be where it is now, so planning ahead for the skills you may need in the future is also vital.
If you need guidance in how to set your business vision and build the right team, then contact us today and let us do some of the hard work for you!