Do you dream of someday having your own team?
It’s all good and well having a team of outsourced staff or employees, but simply bringing people on board isn’t going to guarantee that your business moves forward.
Indeed, hiring someone is often more complicated than most business owners realize; it’s very easy to get things wrong, and even if you can find a formula for bringing the best talent on board, you’ll still need to work hard to get the most out of them.
So how can you ensure that you’re wringing every inch of potential out of your team? We take a look at a few tried-and-tested methods below.
The process of getting the most out of your team begins before you even hire your first team member. One mistake that some first-time bosses make is assuming that they’ll have the skills to lead their employees or contracts so that they’ll effortlessly deliver their finest work.
If you’ve been working by yourself, then it’s best to take some time to figure out your leadership style. This could involve conducting a bit of self-analysis to figure out your strengths and weaknesses, and then, of course, actively working on your flaws, so they don’t compromise your leadership potential.
You’ll find it much easier to get the most out of your team if you bring the right people on board in the first place. If you’ve never hired an assistant or staff before, then it’s important that you take time to read about how you can ensure you end up with the right team members. Believe it or not, the process involves much more than simply taking a look at their resume and skills. You should also get an idea of their temperament, and how they’ll fit in with your broader business culture and branding, not to mention your management style and personality. These simple considerations can prevent a lot of headaches further down the line.
Of course, even if you do hire people that you’re sure are lovely and suitable for your business, it’s always possible that they’ll be some tension every now and again. It’s just inevitable; you can’t put people together in occasionally stressful situations forever without there being some conflict. This isn’t even a bad thing—it’s just going to happen. As such, part of the process of getting the most from your staff will be to learn how to handle conflicts.
Our environment has a huge influence on how well we’re able to work. If the work place has been well-designed, plays to the team’s strengths, and feels professional but not stale, then your staff will find it easier to sink into many hours of work.
So take a look at your work environment, and see if it’s as suitable for work as it could be. This is true for remote team members as well.
It’s best if the space is clean, bright, and has an all-around good atmosphere. Things like plants and the right lighting can have a bigger impact on how well your employees can work than you might think. It’s worthwhile taking some time to get it right.
You might be able to handle one assistant or contractor just fine, but when you’re trying to manage multiple team members, then it becomes more of a challenge.
Since you’ll have your own work responsibilities to handle, it’s easy for the organizational aspect of leadership to become overly complicated. As such, it’s important that you’re dedicating some time to ensure that your team members know what they’re supposed to be doing and when. This will involve doing things like taking some time to create a work schedule, holding regular meetings, and ensuring that the “behind the scenes” aspect of the workflow—such as regular cleaning if you have a physical office—and having all the essentials, have been handled. You’ll find that these things all help to make your business run much more smoothly.
If you want to bring outstanding talent on board, then it’s important to give them all they need to deliver their best work.
That means having the right tools and infrastructure; for example, high-end computers, fast internet, the leading software for your industry, and so on. For remote teams, this means finding the best project management and collaboration tools.Having the right setup can make a tremendous difference to the overall productivity (and happiness) of your team. If this is an area where you feel a little inexperienced, then look at consulting with an outside expert—they’ll know the right tools and software your staff need to excel.
Unless you’re hiring for the senior positions, it’s best to see your employees as a work in progress rather than the finished article. They’ll have the potential to have a positive impact on your business, but that potential must be crafted and coaxed out of them if they’re going to hit their stride. You can do this by investing in their training and ongoing education. This will involve teaching them how to use new software, sending them to conferences and trade shows, and so on. The idea is that your employees should grow, and that, in turn, will help your company to grow too.
Communication is at the heart of every healthy relationship. It doesn’t matter whether it’s between student and teacher, father and son, or employer and employee. Having a culture with communication at the heart of everything you do will make it much easier to iron out any issues before they become problems.
It’s not just about preventing problems, either—it’s about actively helping your team to feel valued and respected. This can have a tremendous impact on your company since the open communication culture might just bring worthwhile ideas from your employees to the fore.
Your team will have a level of self-motivation, but it’s unlikely that they’re going to have an endless supply of motivation to call upon. As such, it’s up to you to inspire and motivate them yourself. This will involve challenging them to be the best that they can be and setting tasks that push their skill sets to the next level. It’s best not to have blanket, business-wide targets, but rather to think of the individual strengths of each employee, and come up with a challenge that is specific to them.
If you’re going to get the most from your team, then by far the best method is to make sure that they’re happy in their work. If they like their jobs and the company they work for, then they’ll naturally work harder and better. One area where many employers fail is that they ask for too much from their teams. Remember that they’re just human beings, and have their own lives. It’s all about finding a balance between pushing them hard, but being sure not to overdo it.
Studies have shown that colleagues who know and like each other work better than those who are strangers. So take a look at getting people together outside of a work environment, and creating some friendships. You can do this by hosting afterwork drinks, or having a fun day out as a team. Remote teams can have in-person retreats, virtual parties, and other ways to bond. Aside from anything else, this will just create a more pleasant environment in the workplace.
Finally, you can help get the most out of your team by always looking for ways to improve your leadership skills. If you’re always improving as a supervisor and manager, then over time you’ll develop the skills that make you a first-rate leader. Plus, self-improvement is a highly admirable quality that your team will notice and appreciate!