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How To Build a Team For Your Business

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Business Team

Everything you need to know about creating a cracking team driven to succeed

There are many proverbs about teamwork, but I think Steve Jobs sums it up nicely:

“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.”

Whether you’re an Apple fan or not, this man undoubtedly changed the world (and made a squillion in the process). But as he intimates, he didn’t do it single-handedly. If that were the case, he would have indeed failed (and you’d probably be reading this on your clunky Blackberry).

Throughout my experience in business coaching and mentoring, I’ve witnessed many workplace bottlenecks occur when a team feels friction or the culture is compromised. Equally, I’ve seen small businesses transform and flourish when they blend all the right ingredients of that special sauce and bottle it.

Much of my work at Business Coach Mark involves helping owners identify where and how to enhance their team culture and get ahead. I’d like to share some of those insights with you in this blog. We will explore:

  • The characteristics of a high-performance team
  • Why building the right team is crucial for your business success
  • How to build the team
  • How to manage this collective of rockstars you’ve so carefully gathered and nurtured
Does building a high-performance team feel beyond you? Call Business Coach Mark and see how I can help you reach your team goals – 0403 881 104

What Is a High-Performing Team?

Team Analysing Business Growth

An A-team has many guises, which is part of what makes them so strong. You don’t need to crack the code and achieve all of these high-performing team characteristics. However, if you’ve already got people in place or you need to build a team from scratch, here’s the list of attributes you need to look for and foster:

  • Shared vision: This is the Northern Star. Everyone needs to be genuinely on board with your business vision/mission statement and truly want to achieve it. They then have clearly defined team goals to help them make it happen.
  • Alignment: Everyone is aligned on the purpose, priorities and processes for you all to achieve said vision & mission.
  • Adaptability: This group of people are the kind that look change directly in the eye and see an opportunity, instead of a threat.
  • Accountability: There are no bodies under the bus when it comes to this crew.
  • Individual value: Each member understands their individual contribution to a stronger collective. They are a link without which the chain is broken.
  • Communication: Even if some members are not natural communicators, they respect and understand the crucial role effective communication plays, and find ways to adapt.
  • Respect: Team members don’t have to be best mates, but they must respect each other. This creates trust, which is game-changing.
  • Professional development: Even the alphas don’t stagnate – they’re always motivated to evolve and improve.
  • Celebration: Strong teams know to stop the hard work and celebrate the wins.

How a High-Performance Team Can Transform Your Business

Team Watching At The Laptop

Where do I even begin on the benefits of a high-performing team?

The list is long and coveted, and I’ve seen it happen to clients before my eyes, albeit with a good dose of patience and time. High-performance team development contributes to the following:

  • Increased productivity
  • Articulated decision making
  • Enhanced problem-solving and creativity
  • Effective collaboration
  • Reduced stress or sick leave
  • Increased customer satisfaction

Or in other words, results that grow business and lead to success.

How to Build a Team and a Winning Culture

Team

None of us needs convincing that teamwork makes the dream work. But what’s the secret sauce?
As it turns out, the ingredients are not exotic and hard-to-find; they’re staple items that might already be in the pantry. You just need to pull them out from the back shelf and give them the opportunity to work their magic.

  • Ensure the team purpose is top of mind: This links to shared vision, mission and alignment. People need to check-in regularly and remember why they’re doing this and what they’re doing. They need to have their eye on the Northern Star.
  • How do you encourage this? Link tasks back to the vision & mission, conduct seasonal all-hands meetings that capture goals and your progress in reaching them. Ensure one-on-ones discuss the ‘whys’ as much as the ‘hows’. These steps build a collective engine that’s moving in exactly the direction you want.
  • Empower individuals: This talks to individual value and ensures every team member recognises their importance in the chain. For this to work, they must feel like they have skin in the game. Encourage them to contribute ideas that might be above their pay grade. Acknowledge and share their successes with the team – call them out for all the right reasons.
  • Champion diversity: Start at the top by recruiting a diverse team. You’ll get nowhere if everyone’s great with numbers but lacklustre with customer service.
    But it’s not just attributes that enrich a team. Different genders, ages, racial backgrounds, and interests make for a really dynamic group of dynamos. Difference doesn’t have to breed resentment or suspicion. On the contrary, it should stimulate, provoke sideways thinking, and fire up those brain synapses with intrigue and interest.
  • Don’t make failure a fault: People should never fear failing at work. They should be encouraged to reach the Northern Star, even if it means falling short and landing on a random meteorite along the way. This gives your team the encouragement they need to be bold and aim high. It also eliminates a toxic team culture that wants to handball blame. Such a word shouldn’t even be in the workplace vocabulary.
  • Encourage professional development: Make it easy for your team to evolve. Invest in their development, knowing their new skills or knowledge will directly feedback to your team and your business. Ask them what areas they’d like to build upon. Find relevant seminars, events or courses they can do individually, or you can all participate as a team. Their growth is your growth.
  • Make open communication easy: We’ve already acknowledged this might not be everyone’s comfort zone. Can you introduce better systems that automatically manage crucial communication? Look at Asana, Accelo and other highly effective resource management systems that can take the pressure off the individual while enhancing their effective communication.

    Don’t hold meetings for the sake of it, but initiate one-on-ones when you need to address challenging, potentially confronting or difficult tasks.

  • Create sustainability: Succession planning is key in this team-building cycle. You’re encouraging development, so you must ensure clear progress paths are in place. The last thing you want is all that newly developed talent getting bored or complacent with a job they’ve outgrown. It’s also smart business, right? No matter how tight your team is, nothing in life is guaranteed. If someone suddenly leaves, you can’t have the cylinders fall off your rocket.

7 Top Tips For Leading a High-Performing Team

Team Meeting

Okay, you now have the dream team. Congratulations—that’s a group of impressive, talented, motivated individuals… And they’re all looking at you to lead the charge. What do you do?

  1. Know your team
    How well do you know your team? I’m not suggesting you need to become best mates. However, taking time to know them professionally is
    important. What do they think their strengths are? What have they discovered online that’s really helped improve their output? How do they feel about this new tool that was introduced?
    But also, how was their weekend? How did the kids go in the soccer match? What’s the new Netflix show they’re bingeing? Are they OK?
  2. Communicate
    Yes, you need to practise what you preach. Keep the team up to speed with your thoughts, plans, and ideas. Don’t leave them in the dark and suddenly launch a surprise bomb on their desk. Conduct team meetings, consider a weekly internal email, and be transparent.
  3. Create clear objectives
    Every business level must be on a clear path to that Northern Star. Objectives must be stretched but achievable – you want to foster success, not set people up for failure. Ensure everyone understands their goals and is comfortable with a plan to achieve them.
  4. Give feedback
    The good and the bad. It’s important to acknowledge wins but also to call out anything challenging. If someone is not performing as expected, allow them to realise and do something about it. Don’t tell them after the fact when they cannot make amends. If you bear some responsibility for any challenging circumstance or something not going according to plan, own up. Nobody is flawless, including great leaders.
  5. Reward the wins and the work
    Develop a culture that celebrates each winning stage. That might be as simple as ringing a bell when the sales team lands a deal and encouraging everyone to cheer. It could be lunch out on you when something really big comes through. It might be an early knock-off to say thanks for all those months of hard work. Show your appreciation and allow people a ‘circuit-breaker’ and a chance to acknowledge what you’ve all achieved.
  6. Foster team building
    This does not have to involve a 1990s-style team race around Sydney with challenges along the way (nobody wants to eat a raw onion to get their team on the first available speedboat). It could be as simple as introducing a monthly ‘Lunch and Learn’, where you bring in a special guest to discuss a topic you know will interest everyone.
  7. Don’t shy away from conflict
    Such a cracking team is going to have some strong personalities. And with strong personalities comes the risk of disagreement. The trick is to quell alarm bells and see this as an opportunity. If managed correctly, a certain level of disagreement can foster respect and new ways of thinking.

    Exercise respect for everyone at every stage, and don’t take sides, even if your ideals and expectations are strongly aligned to one party only. Deal with things early to avoid disagreements and resentments reaching boiling point or stewing.

Do you need help to identify and grow your leadership skills? That’s what Business Coach Mark is here for – call us to discover more
I hope this has helped you identify ways to build a team for your business. The right group of people will very much make or break your success. If you’re unsure where to start, you’ve hit a snag, or it’s just not working, I can help you unlock your potential.

Book a discovery session and see what’s possible for your team and business.

CONTACT ME

Get in touch with me for a confidential, complimentary no-obligation chat today.

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