Before you can truly start to grow, you’ll need to build your team.
You should build your team as soon as you can afford to. If you never hire anybody, you’ll end up doing all the work yourself. However, if you’re doing all the work yourself, you are in effect just building a job for yourself rather than building a business that can operate independently of you, and without you, if need be. Never forget that a business is only a job until your company is making money while you’re sleeping.
It doesn’t matter how strong your idea is, the fate of your business ultimately rests on your team being able to work well to execute it. But how can you be certain that you’ve assembled the right team to drive success?
Here are 10 steps to use when building your dream team that I found both interesting and inciteful for anyone not accustomed to hiring that were posted by Mircea Vlaicu
If you find yourself in a position to influence how a team comes together, or how it changes once it’s built, keep the following tips in mind. Remember that building the perfect team does not mean building one that always gets along or that simply sails through to success without a glitch.
Get the Best Next Person When Team-Building
If you’re leading a team and starting from scratch, the “next” person is the second person on the team after you. Because he or she will influence any yet-to-be recruited members of your team, this decision is the most important one at the moment and should not be rushed into.
It’s About Attitude
If you get people who put themselves above the team, major problems will eventually arise. Therefore, it’s imperative to find out if the people you are selecting are team players. You can do so through checking references, gleaning social media profiles and even performing background checks.
Enhance the Team With Complementary Skills
Having a variety of skills across your team is important. It’s also important to remember to not limit your search to “hard” skills (i.e. those that are teachable) but to also seek out soft skills (i.e. intangible qualities like patience or flexibility) as well. Be honest with yourself, and know your weaknesses. If you’re not a natural manager, get a good manager you can learn from. Also look at some of the top team building books to get more ideas for teamwork games for staff meetings. Your team will be better for it.
Find the Right Number of Team Members
For startups and similar projects, modern wisdom dictates that a team’s effectiveness is weakened when it has too many members. Five or six members is usually considered ideal, and an odd number of people will make decision-making easier. Keep in mind that communication becomes harder as the team grows.
Set Goals and Expectations Off the Bat
For you, this happens even before you talk to anyone else. But remember that others will see things differently from you. Instead of telling them how you see it, first find out how they see things. What are their personal goals, and what do they expect the team’s goals to be? A team member’s vision does not have to match yours, but it needs to be aligned at the very least.
It’s All About Communication
The team-building process does not end with recruitment. There is a natural progression to how people first get to know each other and how they settle into their roles and relationships within the team. This is a dynamic process that requires constant communication. Unfortunately, there is nothing easy about setting up effective communication within a team. People feel respected when they are clearly understood by their co-workers, so make an effort to bolster your team’s effectiveness and morale by listening to them with patience and respect.
Set up the team to win right off the bat, even if it’s as simple as making them feel like being part of the team is a win in itself. As your work progresses, going from hurdles to wins will keep people focused and motivated.
Focus on the Future
Similar to gaining wins, focusing on the future can help your team cope with and work through periods where motivation and morale are low. It’s therefore important to have a large goal with a clear end date. A future end date can help your team rally and keep going toward the finish line.
Have Fun | Fun team-building exercises for a staff meeting
Unless you’re Elon Musk, your business is probably not rocket science. People that have fun together get along much better. Sometimes a simple YouTube video will give everyone enough of a mental break to be able to refocus. Allow for these collective sighs as much as possible, especially when tensions run high and instead focus on finding some fun office team building games.
Find out how Docstoc Co-founder Jason Nazar went about building his team in the early days of Docstoc:
I found another great post on hiring your team written by Ryan Allis. Ryan is a technology entrepreneur and investor from San Francisco, CA. Today Ryan is the CEO of Connect and the Chairman of Hive. Ryan was the co-founder and CEO of iContact from its start in 2003 through its acquisition in February 2012 by Vocus. iContact grew to 300 employees, 70,000 customers, and 1 million users, reaching the INC 500 list three times.
So at 14, I learned the key lesson that as soon as you can afford to, hire your first employee, even if you have to use every single dollar of net profit you have to do it. Hiring this person will enable you to focus on growing the business well beyond its current level. Ryan Allis
Here are a few paragraphs from that post:
My Favorite Interview Questions
As you consider bringing on some of your first employees, it’s critical to choose the right people. Let me share some of my favourite interview questions that I might ask a potential employee:
- What are you passionate about?
- Tell me about some experiences you’ve had in your life that have been difficult or challenging.
- What change do you want to make in the world in your lifetime?
- If you met an alien, how would you describe yourself to that being?
- Tell me about your failures.
- Tell me about the goals you have.
What I find is if someone is not passionate about the change they want to make in the world, they’re often not going to be a great team member. I want to find people who are passionate about using their life to make a difference in the world—a change that is in alignment with the change that we want to make as a company through our mission.
If you can create a team full of passionate individuals who want to achieve something together that makes a difference in the world, you’re going to have a much higher chance of success.
The Importance of Quickly Letting People Go Who Don’t Work Out
At the end of the day, if someone isn’t working out—if their skills aren’t sufficient for the job or they’re just not doing the job as well as you need—let them go. Free them up to do something they are good at. Do it with compassion and try to help them to find their next position. But don’t surprise them. Give them feedback along the way through frequent job performance appraisals and immediate response anytime you notice something that isn’t quite up to the standard you’re looking for.
At the end of the day, you need to have a team of A players who are passionate about making a difference in the world, and you need to focus immediately—as soon as you can afford to do so—on building that team.
To read more of Ryan’s thoughts click here
I can’t stress the importance of making work fun and how top team building companies use simple team building exercises to maintain this important aspect in their daily work environment. When team building I personally like to hire new people and usually offer them a trial period in which we can get to know each other and assess if we are going to work well together. In this way, both parties can be happy if at the end of that trail period they are both keen to move forward and build the best team possible.