4 Tips for Building a Team in a New Company
Truthfully, team building can be one of the toughest, ongoing challenges a manager or business owner will face in running a company. While a company’s culture isn’t what makes a company profitable, it does help motivate employees and provide a cohesiveness that will get your company through both the good and not so good times.
Setting the Goal
When I think about building a team, the first task is creating a reason for having a team in the first place – the goal. A group of people united by a common goal- that is how I define a team. When it comes to setting up the common goal of a company, your business drivers are important as a measurable component. But it is also critical to enroll team members in the development of a mission. By enrolling them in the process, you allow them to “own their experience and expectations.”
Measurable objectives are important because they allow you to measure. And the easiest measurement is (of course) the numbers or quantity. How much did someone sell? How many calls were made? How many phone calls were received? Average time per phone call? Average time per task? Average time per customer? Number of sales? Yes, those are easy to measure. But there is also another measurement. First there is quantity or the “what.” Then there is quality or “the how.”
Hitting the right numbers is only a good thing when your company’s reputation isn’t being dragged through the mud. In the company I work for, we focus on putting the relationship with the customer first by identifying their needs and solving problems. Whenever we have ignored the quality quotient and have focused on the quantity quotient our sales might have held up, but our repeat business went down the drain.
So, in your goals, they should certainly be measurable but make sure to set both quantity and quality goals.
Fostering Goal Achievement and a Team Environment
After setting the stage for the team, becoming a team and executing against common goals is the next step. Allowing your team to operate and communicate is important, but leadership is important as well. In your goal setting, you should also have established how each person was to be measured and how reporting would be done. Will it be posted in the lunch room? Will each person receive a personal weekly report? Will there be weekly meetings? This should have been set.
As a leader, your role is to foster creativity, innovation, and a common purpose. How you create that environment will depend on the type of team and type of environment you’re working in. It all comes down to what your team values and how they want to be encouraged.
Setting the Consequences
Then there is the processing setting consequences. This is the part that can make or break a team because of the application. Typically, laying out consequences ahead of time can mitigate the risk of perceived favoritism; it will also mitigate the risk of perceived unfairness. There is of course the required documentation that goes along with it, but actual disciplining requires…well…discipline. You’ve got to establish the line and hold it. It will keep everyone accountable and it will (eventually) build a stronger team.
Bringing it All Together
In sum, a team is about working toward a common purpose. In any fledgling business environment, setting the stage correctly will indeed set your business up in the long run for success. Running the team is the other part and probably the most important. Set it up, guide it, nurture it, reap the rewards. It’s a simple philosophy, but it works.