With great management comes great responsibility. A functional team is essential for any business, but especially if this is your first time setting up shop. It isn’t something you put together after a quick audition and hope for the best. It needs to be the right size as well as to include members with adequate talents and skills to get the job done. Clear purpose, open communication and fairness in decision-making are just some of the requirements necessary to form a sound basis for success. A good team leader knows how to provide guidance as well as leave space for independence and creativity, how to inspire and motivate, and most importantly how to maintain the desired level of functionality no matter what the situation and its consequences are. Here are some useful tips on how to make sure you have assembled the best team possible which will make sure your business thrives.
Know what you want and what you need
The primary step here is to clearly identify the task at hand. If your task is hazy, you will have a hard time finding out which specific skills you need. This means that it is very likely that you’ll end up employing people with general skills, not exactly suitable for what you’ve had in mind. Speaking of skill set, while hard skills may be obvious at some point, soft skills i.e. personality traits mustn’t be left out of the equation. For example, if you’re developing a software system, you’ll need engineers, programmers, project managers. However, you also can’t do without someone to talk to end-users and explain the issue at hand in comprehensible laymen’s terms. Furthermore, you’ll need someone to bring and keep the whole team together – your team leader.
Finding the right people
Careful selection by a qualified HR professional with certified education in the field is crucial for a well-functioning group. There are several ways in which you can assemble your team. If your company has grown enough, you can build an internal team and engage people already working for you. The advantage of this approach is that you already know their strengths and weaknesses, but the disadvantage is that you are pulling them away from their tasks or other teams while setting yours as a priority. This can create a bit of tension in the workplace and should be done with care.
Hiring from the outside is no mean feat either. Consider your budget first since you might feel tempted to hire one excelling professional who will leave you with insufficient funds for the rest of the team. Chances are you’ll be forced to hire the rest at an entry-level, which will hardly balance out your superstar. However, if you put quantity over quality and hire many people for the lowest possible wages, you’re risking dissatisfaction with income and possible sloppy work since there is no experienced expert present to provide proper guidance and motivation.
Motivation is vital
Even if you put together the perfect team, you can’t just leave them to do their work unsupervised. Though this shows that you trust them completely, employees need encouragement and appreciation. They need to know that you notice the progress and effort they put into a given project; otherwise, they might lose interest and feel discouraged. Praise as well as criticism is welcomed in a healthy team since they show that the employees are valued and that their employer cares much about their improvement.
How important is good communication
Team communications does not take a single form. It is verbal, digital, written and very often includes all those things left unsaid. Whatever the channel may be, it is of utmost importance that the team communicates clearly and openly in order to achieve the best results. Although there are no wrongs in choosing the right communication medium, the team leader needs to decide on the most appropriate one. There is probably a mixture of introverts and extroverts within the group, with very different preferences in ways of communicating. Introverts need a bit more time to reflect while extroverts think out loud and prefer instant feedback. Fortunately, there are now personality tests, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) you can use to determine which communication style best suits your team, but you can always have an open discussion about it, which is a great start in itself.
All in all, no part of assembling a great team should be done in haste, from choosing the right people, through motivating and managing them to rewarding their effort and celebrating success. There are no perfect combinations here and you can expect to run into glitches in relationships among your staff, but resolving those issues is all part of the job on the road to success. Remember, a happy team works and cooperates better, and if you provide the care they need to flourish, you can expect the best possible results.