Even the best entrepreneurs can’t (and shouldn’t) run an entire business alone. Even if you have the skills, doing everything yourself leads to burnout, stunts business growth because of capacity and keeps you from having a diverse team that helps you innovate. Having a staff you can depend on is vital, but that’s about more than having people with the right skills… they also have to be able to work together as an effective, productive team.
The problem is that sometimes, if you’re the company president or the founder, you might not have your finger on the pulse of every issue a team is facing, especially when it’s something like a personality difference. So how do you know if your team is working well together or if you need to make a change?
A Good Team
Successful teams can work together on any kind of project that falls into their wheelhouse. They are diverse, they communicate well and they understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Each member of a highly-effective team has to understand what they bring to the table and appreciate the insights and skills of the rest of the team members. Great teams support each other, split work evening and are focused on goals and results. Teams also need a great leader, whether that’s a manager or someone on the team who has been assigned to a leadership role for that specific project. Great teams are also well organized so they can meet deadlines and fulfill goals in a way that works for your company.
A Bad Team
The challenge with knowing that a team isn’t working out is that, sometimes, you don’t realize it until deadlines are being missed, or there are serious complaints among the team members, or particular team members are taking on their own initiatives (and taking the credit) without working with the group. One of the first tell-tale signs of a bad team is typically that everyone (or at least the people who aren’t feeling like part of the team) are pretty unhappy. No one wants to be the odd man out or feel like they aren’t being included in the right way. The bigger implication is that those kinds of issues tend to fester and will eventually start to impact the culture of your business. It can also quickly result in you losing some great people.
Team building takes time and, as a leader, manager or business owner, it’s up to you to build those teams from the top down. You have to pay attention to more than someone’s resume when you’re thinking about adding them to a team. You have set clear priorities and goals for those teams. You have to work with those teams (or their direct managers) frequently to make sure things are running smoothly.
Once a team is established and you can trust them to operate on their own, you can take a step back, but building, training and support a great team isn’t a one-day project. The Growth Coach’s GC Insights program can help you understand the personalities, strengths and weaknesses of your employees, which can help you get those teams on the right track. Contact your local coach today to learn more: http://thegrowthcoach.com/find-coach/.