Recruiting the best people and having the ‘right people in the right seats’ is just the beginning of building a successful team for your business. However, you cannot simply expect that your team alone will transform your business and take it to its next level, they need to be inspired and feel they’re a valued part of the operation, here are 6 essentials for creating a winning team:
Your team wants to be lead from the front and strong leadership requires a working environment that encourages the cooperation of your team members. By encouraging and inspiring them, they in turn will inspire and encourage your customers.
The goal of strong leadership is to maximise the ‘discretionary effort’ that team members go to meet their goals. That’s the extra effort people go to……if they want to. Far too often employees will do the minimum they have to in order to get by.
Teams need to understand what the overall business goals are and those goals need to supersede all individual goals. Sports teams provide an excellent example of this concept:
If a football team understand that their common goal is to win the Premier League then it will be easier for all team members to focus and concentrate on that goal. If one or more team members are focused on individual goals, such as winning a match or scoring a goal the performance of the entire team can be negatively affected.
Business is similar in this respect. If a salesperson is just focused on bringing in orders regardless of the cost to produce and ship that order, the common goal of maximising profit will be at risk.
As people do what they are recognised and rewarded for, it is critical that the recognition and reward structure for individuals and for teams is consistent with the company’s common goals.
Setting common goals for the business starts with the owner’s vision. This must be regarded as the central aim and leaders must enlist the support of all team members to inspire them to do the things that they have to do.
Rules of the Game
Employees also need to understand the rules that govern the way the company conducts its business. The rules should be written down and available to them.
If the owner doesn’t provide employees with the ‘rules of the game’, they will inevitably go outside the boundaries.
The process of setting the rules will include specifying company culture and values as well as ensuring that individual roles and responsibilities are defined with positional contracts, and operations and procedures manuals.
Without providing defined rules including the company’s culture the owner or manager will need to rely on policing to run the business. This is detrimental particularly with reference to motivation and time. Also, without an established culture the employees are likely to create a de facto culture that may not be to the owner’s liking or in the best interests of the company.
Another key element for a winning team is a strong action plan that is spelt out in clear and unambiguous terms to all members of the team. While the common goals referred to above identify what the owner and the business want to do, the action plan identifies how the goals will be achieved. A good action plan will assign ownership of tasks, identify what resources are required, set timelines for when tasks should be completed, and provide measurement details of the current status of the tasks over the defined time periods.
Business is all about risk and reward. To make the business grow, a leader must be willing to support measured risk-taking by the team. If the owner doesn’t allow risk-taking the business is in danger of lagging behind market leaders. The level of risk-taking can relate to the company’s culture.
100% Inclusion and Involvement
The art of inclusion is driven by communication to all members of the team. By providing 100 percent inclusion the owner can then require 100 percent involvement as an expectation of the organisation’s culture. This in turn will lead to trust and a comfort level by the owner to delegate responsibilities.