What if you could fast forward your entrepreneurial journey three decades from now and look back at your team-building successes and failures to course correct right now?
That’s the purpose of this blog.
While there are easily many more tips than I am able to share here, I selected my top 7 tips I believe will make you a better leader and save you the anguish and lost revenues when you are not able to build the team you desire.
Tip #1: Articulate a mission and vision that inspires buy-in and extra-mile effort.
Marginal people will take a job in order to pay the bills. Exceptional people will look for an opportunity that is aligned with their values and has a vision they can get behind. All too often we, as owners, forget to clarify and articulate what we are creating and why.
Tip #2: Hire the “smile” and train the rest.
This is a lesson I learned from my dad a few years into my entrepreneurial journey. I was struggling at the time to find the right people to being onto my team. He said to me,
“Janie, you can always teach a skill or help others grow, but you can’t change a person’s character. Find good people who care about what you want to build and want to be successful themselves. The rest is just logistics – helping them excel at their job and paying them well.”
Tip #3: Diversify your team makeup.
As you look to grow your team, strive to have a variety of team players, which may include full-time employees, independent contractors, short term interns, vendors, and advisory board members. Each role comes with varying levels of support, obligation and compensation and allows you to scale up or scale down, depending on the circumstances.
Tip #4: Clearly define their roles & responsibilities.
This is without question one of the most important elements of building a great team. When it is missing, chaos ensues. When it is present, everyone understands their role and how they can contribute their best to the overall mission. By clearly defining each team member’s roles and responsibilities, you provide a framework for training and managing them over time, which sets them up for success and becoming a long-term contributor to the team.
Tip #5: Keep it legal.
While many early-stage entrepreneurs tend to hire on gut instinct and the “likability factor” even the most ideal new hire needs to be clarified in a contractual arrangement that spells out the parameters of the relationship, compensation and resolution, should there ever be a dispute between parties. Whether it’s a simple Memo of Understanding, or a full-blown compensation plan with revenue share and equity, paying for guidance from a qualified legal professional is essential in order to avoid mishaps and misunderstandings down the road.
Tip #6: Start them off strong.
As the saying goes… how they start will determine how they show up on a day-to-day basis. Create a step-by-step Team Member Onboarding Checklist that ensures you take the proper steps (legally and otherwise) to acclimate new team members to their role in your business. Your onboarding process should include items such as: legal form completion, sharing your mission and vision, specific skills training, team shadowing and time learning about who you are as a company, team and individual.
Tip #7: Create a system for 360-degree communication.
Every team member within our companies, begins with a 60-day or 90-day period, during which we both discover if they are a good fit for the company and the position for which they have been hired. Conducting an initial (and then annual) 360 review allows you and the team member to receive feedback on their contribution in their role and to the team as a whole.
There you have it – my top seven Team building tips. We have very high standards for those who join our team, and so should you. I would love for you to share with me your biggest team management challenge. Just email me at email@example.com.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Looking for inspiration for creating a plan to take your business to the next level? Find out where you are on track in business and what missing pieces may be holding you back. Click here to take the Business Acceleration Quiz. I’ll respond with some thoughts and inspiration. ;0)