When building your organization from the ground up, it’s all about the big picture. Just like an artist begins a masterpiece with a vision of what they want to accomplish as the end product, you already have that general idea of your desired outcome. You have large-scale, long-term goals, and you probably have benchmarks set for the road to reaching those goals. You probably have a lot of the steps between those benchmarks filled in mentally or laid out in your business plan, and you have probably developed a target timeline for how it will ideally play out. Or, you may already be well on your way to completing your masterpiece, but you need a few more paint colors or a couple of additional brushes to really set the whole thing off. Your team is phenomenal as-is, but you have some more projects you’d like to incorporate, which will really enhance the overall picture once they are underway.
In either situation, the wild card in building your organization and realizing these goals is the individuals who will pave the way and hit those benchmarks along the way. A lot depends on finding the right individuals, but a lot also depends on you, as the artist in charge of the masterpiece. Each organization has its own specific needs and niche roles to fill, but we find that keeping the following things in mind will set you on the right track, whether you are building your team from scratch or adding fresh talent to an already existing superstar roster.
1. Define each role in your organization with the key responsibilities and success metrics for each
We’ve talked before about the importance of cultural fit and how cultural fit factors in to building and being part of a great team. Part of building that team involves getting clarity on each individual’s role within the organization or project and what success looks like for each, both individually and as a team. This will enable team members to work together smoothly and build off of one another, and it will provide a road map for everyone. It’s also important to spend time in the onboarding process so that expectations and goals are clear for new hires, and to ensure that everyone understands and supports the organization’s culture and vision. We always recommend developing a 90-Day Success PlanTM to serve as the blueprint for the process.
2. Live your organization’s cultural values every day
As mentioned above, cultural fit is incredibly important in today’s fast-developing business landscape. Your organization’s culture must be clearly defined and understandable and able to be carried out by all team members. It’s a good idea to not only emphasize the importance of these points when making a new hire, but also to revisit them periodically with your group, and even changing them up or refreshing them as your team grows and evolves on the road to success. Your organization’s core values should be agreed upon by everyone and carried out every day, in every interaction, both among the team and with individuals outside the organization. This strengthens the cohesiveness of the group and maintains a supportive and encouraging working environment.
3. Foster mentor relationships and engage in regular check-ins
Matching up newer employees with seasoned veterans can provide a significant boost to both job satisfaction and performance. It gives the new employee a chance to explore the possibilities of their new role and learn its ins and outs in a guided, hands-on way. For the veteran, it is a chance for them to demonstrate their expertise and revisit processes and concepts that they may not have looked at in a while. It also gives them a chance to view their role, responsibilities, and the organization as a whole with fresh eyes. At the same time, it allows for team-building relationships that will enhance the organizational culture and the community of the workplace. It is also important to stay connected with all team members and check in once in a while. Giving your team members a chance to check in and address potential issues and share small victories is a great way to strengthen your working relationships and build that sense of community even more. Plus, you have some great people working with you, so why not get to know them better?
4. Give team members autonomy
At the same time, you want to give your team autonomy over their work. It has been proven time and time again that giving employees autonomy over the timing, technique, collaborators, and individual tasks yields a higher degree of job satisfaction and better productivity. This is what we all want! No one enjoys being micro-managed, and once your team is on the right track, handing them the reins will also free up time for members of management to spend on other projects. It’s a win-win situation.
5. Give team members the freedom to fail
Failure is inevitable on the way to success, and the more comfortable you and your team are with this fact, the better you can roll with the punches and improve. Giving your team the latitude to fail provides them with a valuable opportunity to learn from mistakes and engage in a kinesthetic learning experience, which will stick with them much better than a list of do’s and don’ts. This will also build their confidence because they will know they can take a risk to go after the big prizes. As team members watch each other take those risks and reap the rewards, motivation and productivity will increase, and you’ll have a team that thrives on working together in pursuit of the big goals.
Putting together your high-performance team is an art form in itself, and we’re not saying it’s going to be an easy process. However, it can be a fun process as you get to know each team member and discover their potentials and watch them develop with the organization. When you have a vision in mind and the right paint colors and brushes at the ready, the rest will fall into place and you’ll be well on your way to your masterpiece.
What have you discovered as being important in developing your masterpiece? Share with us in the comments below!
Ready to discuss developing a 90-Day Success PlanTM or want to talk about building your own high-performing team? Contact us here.
Mark Whitman is the founder and CEO of TeamBuilder Search, a dynamic recruiting firm that specializes in digital marketing, digital transformation, and emerging technology. He is an energetic and fearless adventurer who loves working with other innovative, entrepreneurial-minded professionals. He also happens to be a Sport Jujitsu national champion who literally broke his face in competing for the gold medal in the world championship. To discuss your toughest hiring challenges with Mark, contact him here.