We’ve already gone through the concepts of how groups and teams are essentially different and how a bunch of people working in the same space is not all it takes to make it a team – it’s not even the beginning of it!
Every company – even large conglomerates – started somewhere when it comes to managing teams. Reaching the point of hiring employees (aside from the warriors that were there since the beginning) is an important milestone to every company, one that many entrepreneurs don’t get a chance to have.
So, you have to hire people to complement your staff. How can you deal with the challenge that is to build and manage a team? How can you look for the right people and explore their talents to keep your company growing?
How to build and manage a team?
We’ve already gave you a few ideas to help you build a winning team and how to improve your hiring processes (candidate interviews included). At this point, you already know it takes more than people to build a team and, even if you hire the right person for the job, you may not be hiring the right person for your team – don’t panic, there are ways to help you work around this! Want to know how?
Build and enforce company culture:
When on the process of building and managing a team, you must define first what would you want the inside of your company to look like. Defining your internal brand is a key influencer on your public brand.
You can’t possibly focus on developing and improving your customer experience if you don’t give your employee experience its rightful value. Focus on making your employees satisfied and they’ll be able to focus on making your customer happy. It is, in fact, as simple as it seems, try it!
Hire people that aren’t afraid of hard work:
When you put yourself out there and on the market of hiring people to build your team, you must set your mind straight and focus on finding dynamic, hard working people – any company, specially startups and small ones, won’t have the luxury of hiring procrastinators.
You have to hire those precious gems, the ones that can push projects forward when using limited resources, find clever solutions for problems and, most importantly, those who have the ability to put themselves in charge of the problems and actually drive it towards successful solutions.
Have a “welcome kit”:
On yesterday’s article we’ve talked about the importance of tracing your team charter and determining acceptable – and unacceptable – behaviours within the company and the team. This is just a part of the introduction you need to develop in order to bring new employees into the game.
Have all the necessary information at hand to teach the newbies about how the company, and the team, work, how your reporting and rewarding structures work, etc. By having all these important informations at hand you’ll be enforcing your company’s culture and making it possible to figure out how the new team members will fit within it.
Teach and capacitate:
A common mistake entrepreneurs make is to expect new employees to arrive alive and kicking, ready to do their job without any training whatsoever. That’s delusional and couldn’t possibly be farther from reality.
It doesn’t matter how well educated and competent your new employees are, when arriving at a new company, every one of them will require time to be trained into their new function and integrate with the existing team.
This, along with the welcome kit above, is a must have to correctly build and manage a team. Make new people feel welcome and take your time teaching them what is expected they do and how it’s normally done. You may even find yourself improving your own processes by learning from a new hire with a fresh perspective of things.
Empower your employees:
Still on the matter of welcoming new members to the team – not that it doesn’t apply to “old” employees, it does if you’re just now realising how important this is – you must empower your employees to do their job without constantly needing to consult a manager.
Employees must have the autonomy their job requires and, as you delegate a job and a responsibility, you may also delegate the power to do it. You can’t possibly expect your employees to get back to you every time they need something done – or an authorisation to get things done. If you give them the necessary clearance to make their own decisions when “doing their thing”, they’ll certainly become more independent and satisfied.
As a manager/employer, you’re bound to have more information about some aspects of your business than many of your employees. It’s very important to be honest to them, regarding all aspects of your business – including financial and customer related ones.
If you’re managing a startup or small company, it’s very important to keep everyone on the loop and make your employees feel they’re actually part of your planning and decision making processes. Being truthful, especially on hard times, and listening to your employees’ thoughts will not only give them a sense of belonging, but can also help them better understand how the company is run.
Keep your door – and your ears – open:
Asking questions and getting feedback are a couple of things all new employees need to be able to do – unless you’re enforcing a “learn from your mistakes” policy. Even so, not being available to hear and clarify their doubts is bound to leave you with way more mistakes than necessary.
As a manager, make yourself available as much as you possibly can to ensure everyone knows they can come to you any time they feel like asking you a question. Stating an open door policy and literally leaving your doors open so anyone feel like they can drop with a doubt or an idea by is key for good team management.
Encourage people to express their thoughts:
Go back to the topic right before this one and remember: your employees can’t be afraid to speak up and express themselves honestly. Encouraging openness is something that should come naturally to you if you want to properly manage a team.
Don’t be harsh upon receiving bad news about a task that couldn’t be completed or didn’t go as expected – responding calmly and not explicitly blaming people for something that went wrong. Receiving bad news and working with them on how to keep moving will give your employees the idea they can rely on you, even when things don’t go well.
It’s not a matter of being feared vs. being loved – your job is to manage a team and if your employees are afraid to talk to you, or if they don’t feel you’ll respond well, they’re bound to end hiding things from you – and I’m pretty sure that’s not something you want.
Manage your team’s processes with Pipefy!
We help companies keep organised and more productive by running their processes and day-by-day routines on an easy and intuitive tool, making them leave in the past inefficient manual forms, spreadsheets and e-mail threads.
Pipefy gives you a simplified, easy to visualize structure of your processes and is bound to make it a lot easier to present them when welcoming new members to your team.