Excellence in business requires a strong team of people to carry out a desired goal. Managers often look to productivity to achieve bottom line results but leaders understand the value of human capital as a company’s greatest resource. Remember this: people get results! The product or service is only a consequence of the relationship between the employee and his client. By focusing on ways to identify and retain talent, businesses are more likely to increase profit margins, experience low turnover, and report higher client satisfaction ratings.
Individuals alone cannot deliver outstanding results. It takes a group of people to turn a vision into a reality and it is your responsibility as a leader to make this happen. Below are my secrets to building a powerful team!
1.ESTABLISH A MODEL FOR SUCCESS! The first step to building an excellent team is to identify a model for success. This blueprint should outline those specific behaviors, values, and attitudes that will lead to the outcomes you desire for your business. It should be clear, well defined, and organized. In order to be effective, the model must support the company’s brand. It should let the world know who you are, what your represent, and what your clients can expect from your services. Your model for success will serve as a “how to” for employees as they join your team and become familiar with their role in the group. My “Wheel of Excellence” model, for instance, has served as a useful tool for both start up companies and organizations in the midst of restructuring. Mastery of its four target areas-presentation, attitude, behavior, and affiliation-lead to excellence in both individual and group performance. As a leader, you will be expected to select or design a model that works for your team. Take your time and make it great!
2.IDENTIFY TALENT! Your next step to building an excellent team is to identify those individuals who can effectively implement your model for success. Don’t rush this process! Take your time and make use of as many evaluation tools as possible. These may include second and third interviews, pre-hire volunteer work, letters of evaluation, and feedback from other team members. Reach out to other professionals in your network for assistance in identifying talent and never underestimate the power of social media as a recruitment tool As the saying goes, you should always “hire slow and fire fast.”
3.TRAIN AND DEVELOP YOUR TEAM! Congratulations! You have now selected a team to executive your mission and help you build your fabulous brand. The next step is to provide your staff with the best training possible. This should include an orientation to the company, overview of your model for success, and specialized training for the role they will play in the organization. Pay special attention to such areas as: professionalism, documentation, and systems. DO NOT ignore or rush through this process! In order to be effective, team members must fully understand what is expected of them at all times. They should be provided with all the tools they need to succeed in your business and respected enough to invest in their ongoing professional development.
4.SUPERVISE PEOPLE DIFFERENTLY! Managers often make the mistake of using the same style or approach to supervise each team member. That is no Bueno! Yes- everyone should be treated with same level of respect and everyone should be held to the same standards. However, each team member should be supervised according to his particular strengths, motivational style, and career goals. Some employees may require a softer approach and be well suited for research based projects while others may respond better to a direct approach and projects that call for strong presentation skills. As a leader, it is your responsibility to know each of your staff well enough to determine which approach will inspire excellence.
5.REMOVE DEAD WEIGHT! Every team will eventually invite mediocrity into the group. When this happens, a new dynamic develops amongst team members-one which serves to undermine your leadership and compromise the quality of your services. Toxic employees should be eliminated quickly but carefully to ensure minimal disruption and compliance with federal and state laws. Document poor performance from day one and keep a log of all efforts made to address problematic behaviors. (You can thank me later). By sending mediocre folks packing you will send the message that excellence is the only option on your team!
Effective teams know how to work together to achieve a common goal. They are relentless, passionate, and motivated by a desire to be the best! If you or your organization requires assistance in this area contact me so we can build your perfect team today.