Building an All Star Team – one that works together in a positive, productive manner – is one of the most defining factors that determine a company’s ultimate success. Developing a team is never an easy undertaking, nor a short one. Rather, it is a process that requires an understanding of the critical stepping stones that need to be laid in order to build a strong foundation and provide the fundamentals needed for the success of every team member. Sounds like a lot of work, until you realize that the people in your organization (or department) truly define the ultimate success of the company. When you look at it that way, you’ll understand how critical it is to develop the members of your team.
There are many factors that can put a monkey wrench in the staff development process. Fast growth, bad hiring practices, lack of processes and procedures or an overall lack of leadership are just a few of the common reasons. Businesses need a long-term strategy in place to make sure that they can monitor all aspects of employee development, in addition to monitoring all of the deterrents that can set their team members up for failure.
Sold on team development? Let’s explore some key components to developing your All Star Team:
- Define Your Culture
It is nearly impossible to determine if someone is a “perfect fit” if you have no idea what type of culture you want them to fit into. At Synapse, we have ten core commandments that each team member must practice in order to be considered a Synapsian. Attributes like Accountability, Respect, Commitment, Positive Attitude and Collaboration are required characteristics for fitting into our culture. Defining your company culture should be your first step in developing an All Star Team.
- Hire for More than Just Skills
Know the people you are hiring. Just because they can do all the “stuff’ that you need them to do in order to perform a specific job doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be a successful part of the team. You need to know if they will mesh with your current employees, as well as your clients. Not to mention they need to believe in and understand what you expect in the way of team interaction and company culture.
- Define Clear Expectations
To set someone up for success, you need to establish clear expectations for both the individual and the team as a whole. Without clear expectations, individuals and teams will not have the direction that they need to be successful. Have a clear set of employee policies. While policies and rules can be relatively brief in scope, they play an essential role as a means of helping communicate the expectations of the business concerning employee and team behavior. When paired with your company’s core values, fair policies set the framework for the success of the team.
- Continued Training
Too many businesses mistakenly assume that once the expectations have been defined, employees will proceed to meet them in a robot-like fashion. In reality, the process is not automatic. No matter what level an employee is at within your company, there are always opportunities for them to learn and grow. Collaboration with other team members, training, workshops and online learning opportunities are great ways to set your team up for personal and professional growth. Try asking your staff what they would like to learn. You may just find out that you have talent you never knew you had.
- Mentor and Encourage
It is typical for employees to want to move very quickly from the bottom rung to the top. Encouragement goes a long way, but sometimes it needs to be tempered with some mentoring moments. Moving employees too quickly into positions they are not ready for will set them – and the business – up for failure. Encourage them to continually learn and grow at a pace that is comfortable for everyone.
There is no better way to show your appreciation than to reward great performance. This has been very effective at Synapse and our team really enjoys reaping the benefits of their hard work. We buy them breakfast daily, take them on team building activities (like Hershey Park!), hand out cash, have their cars detailed – we have even had a day spa come in to give relaxing chair massages. Thoughtful, inexpensive gestures like these go so far when it comes to building a loyal and happy team.
Nothing in business is perfect. But being intentional about helping your staff be the best they can be every day will show a huge return on investment for any business. The alternative is to have a toxic environment teeming with unhappy employees. High employee turnover is very expensive and can be a painful process for your company. Get to work today: build your All Star Team. I guarantee your clients, staff and your business will all reap the rewards from it!
P.S. Check out Our Team page to learn more about our illustrious Synapsians!