The keys to building a great team
Sarah is the manager of a busy department store. In her time as manager, she’s worked hard to develop strategies to properly train employees on the store policies and standards, but lately she’s found that she is unhappy with her team members. Despite proper training and a complete understanding of their job descriptions, her employees aren’t working well together and she is finding it difficult to manage them properly, resulting in low morale and ultimately affecting performance.
Where did Sarah go wrong? How can she ensure that she not only hires good employees, but also employees who work well together? The important thing to keep in mind about building a team is that you don’t hire a team as a whole, you hire the individual.
The next time you are looking to hire new staff members, consider these techniques to ensure you not only build a team, but also that you build a great team:
- Assess your strengths and weaknesses. Build and increase teamwork by hiring others whose strengths shore up your weaknesses. For example, if your strength is that you are direct, decisive and goal-oriented, but your weakness is that you don’t always pay attention to detail, surround yourself with detail-oriented people.
- Recognize the needs of your team. What team members need to feel good about their work place is typically four things. These four areas of concern are critical to staff retention. In a survey of more than a thousand businesses, these four areas are ranked by level of importance with number one being the most important to your team member.
1. Praise and Appreciation: This should be timely, specific, and sincere praise, not artificial flattery or insincerity. Praise publically; correct privately. The U.S. Gallop poll cited 71 percent of American workers were clock punchers. The most common reason noted as to why the employee felt that way: Lack of praise or appreciation for a job done well! Do be careful, however, of the perception of favoritism. Favoritism, whether real or imagined, will drive the morale of the business down. When morale goes down, production drops! Look for the good in everyone rather than singling out one person.
2. Belonging to a close-knit team: Facilitate great communication and involvement of the team through regular meetings. Make certain all employees hear about important information through various methods: Email, meetings, posted information and through the chain of command.
3. Responsibility and feeling like their voice matters: Ask for their help! Give them increasing levels of responsibility and training. Involve them in the decision-making process.