Over the years I have worked in and with businesses of all sizes. From 1 employee to over 15,000 and everything in between. Along the way I have learnt a lot about what to do and what not to do when managing employees. There are volumes and volumes of literature on the subject, but here are my five must dos for building a winning team:
Set the direction
The best leaders I have had the pleasure to work with over the years have always been great at two things:
- communicating a clear vision or direction for the business; and
- helping employees understand the role they play in achieving that vision.
This gives employees a sense of belonging and purpose and motivates them to give more each day.
Take time to train
A common trap for time-poor managers is to not devote time to developing their people. There is always some pressing deadline or demand that must be met, it is hard to find time to train. The reality is, unless you invest time in training your employees, you will always be time poor. The best managers dedicate time to nurturing their team so they could build a strong team around them.
Allow space to grow
All employees like to know that they are improving and growing and it is important they are given the opportunity to. Granting employees ownership and autonomy over their work is a great way to build confidence. Managers who focus on the result rather than the process build accountability and create space for innovation.
Be willing to say goodbye
Too many times I have seen businesses hang onto employees that either lack the skills or are simply a bad cultural fit for the business. No one wins when you delay the inevitable, not the business and certainly not the employee. It is best to be open with an employee about their future, and then help the employee move onto something new.
Have some FUN
Work places can be tough places: endless emails, pressing demands and never ending deadlines! It is important that fun and laughter is injected into the workplace. Team building events are great but it could be as simple as friendly banter about your weekend. The important thing is that you see your co-workers as people, not just employees.
The above may seem a bit cliché and obvious, but too often they are overlooked. In my experience if you get these 5 things right you will go a long way to building a winning team.