In business, building your team can be stressful yet so rewarding. Careful thought and consideration about who represents you and your company, as well as hard work and grit, can be parlayed into making your business successful. We can learn so much from watching coaches like Nick Saban and Kirby Smart recruiting the right people with the right talent and leveraging their competencies to the best of their ability. The people in our organization are our most valuable investment, and understanding their impact on your business or the organization you serve can help make your team sustainable and efficient. I’ve identified five ways to build a team that will last.
- Evaluate yourself.
You must be aware of your own leadership style. Be critical about where you can improve your own techniques, and consider how your style can benefit those you are leading. Just because you are in charge doesn’t mean you are appreciated by your employees. You might have good intentions, but make sure you hold yourself accountable, and modify your approach when necessary.
- Get to know your team.
It is most important to get acquainted with those you are leading. You must learn their strengths and weaknesses, embrace your differences and use encouragement to bring their real assets to the table. Understand that weaknesses are yet-to-be-developed talents, that great leaders know how to match talents and competencies to the work at hand, and that motivation is required to get your team to excel beyond what is expected of them.
- Clearly define roles and responsibilities.
This is not always as easy as it seems. Each team member’s responsibilities are interconnected and dependent upon one another. This is why you must not evaluate only his or her ability to fit a particular role; you also must ensure he or she fits your company’s culture and will be a team player. Sometimes, the best people do not conform to a role; they make it their own.
- Clear communication and feedback.
Communication plays an important role in keeping your team on track. It should be proactive and constant. Feedback can be both formal and informal and should be part of your natural dialogue. It’s important to remember each team is different, and each team member has his or her own unique personality. Being authentic and impactful with proactive feedback is the greatest enabler for continuous improvement.
- Recognition, rewards, celebrating success.
Take time to give your teammates the proper accolades they have earned and deserve. You must never take for granted their performance or believe it’s “part of their job.” People, in general, want to feel they are making a difference. Being genuine in your recognition and respect goes a long way toward building loyalty and trust. Celebrating your team is a short-lived activity, but we can’t ignore it. We must take the time to live in the moment and remember what we did to cross the finish line.
Team-building turns a group of individual-contributing employees into a cohesive unit that works together to meet customers’ needs. With great methods of collaboration and communication, you can create a successful team. Leaders are only as successful as their teams, and the great ones know that, with the right team, everyone wins.
– Dana Dorris is the first two-time female president of the Kennesaw Business Association. She is an independent agent with Risk & Insurance Consultants.