One of the most challenging but rewarding tasks a manager faces is creating an effective, cohesive team. We all know that teamwork can make all the difference in almost every industry. Still, it’s not always easy to build a team that pulls together to achieve objectives.
It can be incredibly challenging to turn a group of individuals into a unit, so how do you go about finding the right employees for your business and putting a strong, united team together?
Finding the right people to join your business
Every business is different when it comes to hiring and recruitment strategies. Some companies have a much more strict policy than others, and some industries are more fluid and flexible than others. Whatever plans you have in place to hire new employees, it’s crucial to choose the right people for the job.
Hiring the wrong candidates can damage your brand’s reputation, affect your performance, and unsettle existing members of staff. When you’re recruiting, think about what is most important to you, and use adverts and posts to get your message across. Include important details and information about the job, and make sure you outline essential requirements.
If you’re hiring for a post that requires specific training, qualifications, or a criminal background check, start by eliminating candidates that don’t tick the essential boxes. You can then pay more attention to character traits, additional training, and personality. Use the interview process to get to know potential candidates, and focus on their mentality, as well as their educational or professional prowess and expertise.
You want to choose people who are the right fit for your company, so don’t make judgments based solely on what impresses you on paper. Think about how people will get on with other employees, and whether they embody your brand ethos and culture. If you have a short-list, and you’re not sure which people to hire, stage the second round of interviews and then make a decision.
Promoting collaborative working
Collaborative working is more popular than ever before. It’s not difficult to see why the concept is attracting more attention, but in practice, it’s not always a stroll in the park trying to get a group of people to work together in harmony. Some people are used to group work and spending their time in collaborative spaces, but this is not a model everyone will be familiar with, and sometimes, it can take time to get used to a new way of working. As an employer, there are several ways you can promote and facilitate teamwork.
One of the most crucial aspects of cooperative working is communication. Communication channels should be left open at all times, every member of the team should feel that they can talk and express ideas and opinions. Time should be given to those who are naturally more introverted than others.
Encourage each member to get involved and make it easy for your team to work as a unit. Sending emails is quick and straightforward, but often, getting together to actually talk about issues or projects is much more effective. Set aside time for regular team meetings and catch-ups, and utilize modern software and programs that enable the team to share and access files and update records and progress reports on the go.
Another critical consideration is clarity. We’ve probably all been in a situation at work where we haven’t really been 100% clear about a task or project. If you don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing day in, day out, or you’re unsure about what kinds of objectives you’re actually trying to achieve, this will hamper the performance of both individuals and the team as a whole. Be clear about the end goal, set out milestones and targets along the way, and make sure every single person understands their role within the team. If there is a degree of confusion, address the issue as quickly as possible.
Not everyone will be best friends with their work colleagues. Still, it is hugely beneficial to try and foster team spirit and create a positive working environment. Socializing and bonding can help to strengthen ties, to create harmony, and to make the job more enjoyable. If you’re an employer keen to build relationships within the team, consider group activities, socialize outside of work a couple of times a month, and make it possible for employees to get to know each other better.
This is particularly important if there are new people on the team. You don’t have to throw parties or spend money on a pricey away day taking on obstacle courses or military fitness challenges, but making an effort will bring rewards. Even the most straightforward measures like seeing if anyone wants to have a drink after work on a Friday or organizing a team lunch every Monday could help.
Ironing out issues
Even the most cohesive team can encounter problems and hit hurdles. If two members have fallen out, there is discontent around sharing the workload, or some people feel that they’re working harder than others, this can halt progress and dent morale. Try and nip problems in the bud, addressing any murmurs or rumours before they have a chance to spiral out of control.
Encourage people to talk to each other openly and honestly, and give your employees time to speak. Listen to concerns, take ideas on board, and make sure you treat everybody fairly. Often, when there are issues, people keep them to themselves, and they bubble under the surface. It’s best to try and get everything out in the open, sort it out and then draw a line and move on. If you’re not an experienced manager, it’s worth looking into training courses and workshops that will help you tackle potentially awkward and challenging situations, for example, conflict resolution.
Building a strong team is a priority for the majority of employers. It’s not a simple task, but if you get it right, your business will benefit no end. Prioritize finding people who are the right fit for your company, promote collaboration, communication, and cooperation, and try and address any loose cogs as quickly as possible.