What type of people make up a perfect team? Is it the most qualified or most experienced in their field? Possibly, but not necessarily.
The best teams are made up of those who possess the core values of the company, believe a win/win only exists when the team benefits regardless of who is individually rewarded, and understand the ultimate mission before them. The ideal team will not only execute the tasks necessary to achieve success, but willingly and naturally support team over self, maintain a positive attitude and step it up when challenges arise. Leaders must proactively foster an environment that promotes this ideal as they seek to develop the perfect team.
Consider the idea that a leader’s prime objective should shift from the accomplishment of goals to the building of the perfect team. No matter how fantastic a business concept or long-term vision may be, nothing can detract more from the attainment of goals than operating with dysfunction. Building the perfect team could be the key to this year’s success.
How does a leader create the perfect team? Hire the right people, train them well and proactively foster an environment they can excel within. Easier said than done? Read on.
Hire the right people by finding those with a passion for the core ideals of the company or department. Look for those who desire to share their individual strengths to benefit others. Perfect teams are made up of those who naturally embrace, support and encourage the unique strengths of others in the pursuit of a higher good. They understand that goals will be met with the exceptional effort of each individual on their team, no matter who is rewarded.
Once the right people are in place, train them well. Proper training cannot be rushed. Provide training that supports team dynamics while giving the individual the information and tools necessary to be successful in their role. In order to get the most out of each individual team member, training must be geared to their individual strengths and weaknesses. Everyone learns differently, responds differently and executes differently. Gear training to the specific and individual needs of the employee. Improper or incomplete training will not only stall progress, but ultimately reflect negatively on the leader when the team member does not excel at their job. Train, retrain and then ask if the team member feels adequately equipped to succeed; then set them loose.
Lastly, create an environment that employees want to be a part of. Invite laughter and humor in your communication behind the scenes. Encourage off-site bonding and internal opportunities to discuss and celebrate the personal goals and passions of each teammate. Foster an environment of fun. Take time to get to know each person individually. Whenever possible, allow for flexibility in policies that will create a work environment that shows respect for the employee and their individual interests. When allowed to pursue the things most important to them, employees will feel respected, be more focused while at work and will return the appreciation. It is proven that when people feel valued and appreciated, they will go above and beyond, demonstrate loyalty and work their tails off in the pursuit of company goals.
The benefits of taking the time to put the right people in place will pay dividends in the end. You’ll see dramatic improvements in job satisfaction, company pride, goal achievement and financial success. Isn’t that the point? Build your team this year and be amazed at the outcome. Hire right, train right and create an environment of teamwork and excellence. Set high expectations, make them clear, value the individual talents of your team, then trust them to use those talents to achieve the objective. And then, get out of the way.
Sheri Warren is the director of sales and retention at Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club.