Building your team takes time and attention. Working together needn’t be something that is a worrisome problem. Rather it can be joyous and feel like you are supported and valued. This is what makes a great team. A common goal and set of values is one thing, but when you are all in the same mindset and striving to achieve greatness together it becomes an amazing place to work rather than just a job.
Sometimes you inherit people from other teams and that requires its own set of skills to work out dynamics fast and figure out how to get the best out of them. Some of the skills below are applicable to this scenario.
By hand picking your team members and getting to know their strengths and weaknesses firsthand you prepare yourself, and the people who make up the team, for success. Being a leader means you have the luxury of building a team that will get the job done and complements each other. A team that is built on trust and a cohesive and collaborative relationship are stronger than a patched-together group that checks boxes on paper.
When you are building your team you need to use vision and have a clarity of purpose or you will get sidetracked and could hire the wrong person for the job or miss out on a great opportunity.
Simply put, purpose is the reason something is done.
Definition: the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.
It is the “why.” Why are we doing this? What is the reason our company does what it does? It has to be clearly stated - with simple words everyone can understand. If a 10 year old can understand it then it is simple enough. Critically important in understanding what purpose is - is also understanding that purpose must be something you can measure or “prove” you are accomplishing.
For example, if your purpose is to improve lives - then do you have customers telling you that you improved their lives somehow? Maybe a positive interaction with accounting on an invoice, maybe your product itself, maybe the way they feel treated as a customer. Your purpose must be something you can prove to your employees by showing them the “proof.”
Interviewing is a skill. It needs to be worked on vigorously and there are techniques you can learn that will assist you in your hiring process. Stepping outside the parameters of what is considered the standard office interview process can really boost your chances of hiring the best possible choices for the position and give you key takeaways that give you insights into your team members.
Do they know what’s expected?
You need to be clear when outlining the job description as clear and concisely as possible. Telling them they will probably be doing some vague stuff with some people over there won’t help you build a solid team. Let them know what you need and be sure to examine whether they understand it and fit the requirements as well as having a personality match with your other team members.
Sense of purpose.
Your job as a team leader is to help the people on your team feel valued as well as excited and motivated. Feeling like they matter makes all the difference.
Take Them On a Tour
If you have premises or a campus or even a warehouse then walking them through the location and showing them the real working parts of the organization will reveal much about your possible candidate for your team. Staying onsite and showing them around your company and introducing them to some of the people they may be working with in the future will help you learn more about them faster than if you were sitting across them from a desk in an office.
Every candidate you see will have prepared for ordinary interview questions, so rolling out the usual “where do you see yourself in five years?” Isn’t going to give you an idea of the human sitting in front of you or to understand how that person thinks and reacts.
Ask other people's opinions.
If you are building a team you are going to work together with a nimbler of people. By asking the advice of other people on your team that you have already hired shows trust and builds confidence and investment in the team. You become a more tight-knit group when you show that other people on the team have opinions that matter. Building confidence and trust are important when you are growing your team. You will not be the only person who is going to have to work with the person you are interviewing so make sure that personalities gel. A candidate is not just another number or piece of paper.
Put the candidate in situations where they are more likely to show their true selves. Pushing their comfort zone will reveal the way they react to things in pressure situations.
Once you have shortlisted your candidates you may want to share a meal or meet in a public environment. Taking a candidate out to a place where people have to serve you will give you an idea of how they treat others. Watching to see if they are considerate of others is important. A restaurant will reveal all sorts of clues about someone, but the same could be said for a coffee shop or informal meal like a street-side taco joint. Putting them in a situation outside of the office environment gives you clues to their personality. If you are growing a team you will be working closely with the members of your team and you want to feel comfortable together and be able to get along together in all sorts of situations.
For a team leader, this can be the most important part of the interview process. Watching how your candidate behaves towards others will teach you a lot about them. If they are rude to serving staff and impatient you immediately will get a gauge of how they will behave when they don’t get their way. You also get a window into how they treat others.
Communication: Can they keep a conversation going. Do they ask questions?
Manners: Are they polite to everyone who is serving them? How do they conduct themselves in company?
Stress: Do they get irritated or flustered by problems quickly and how do they try and solve them. Can they improvise around the problem and find a solution or are they like a deer in headlights when they are confronted with any negativity?
Building a team takes a lot of energy and it is a time-consuming process but once you have built your team and it is working like clockwork you will know the benefit of taking the time to do so. A team is an investment in both time and human emotion and connection. Building a team in an amazing workplace is a reward in itself but you will also reap the benefits of success together.