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Team Management

5 Essential Steps to Building an Amazing Team

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5 Essential Steps to Building an Amazing Team

Introduction

Let’s start at the end: There’s a team that loves your company.

They’ve already achieved outstanding results in the area your organization operates. They are full of energy and tell anyone who will listen how awesome it is at work in your company. If you ask for working overtime, they do it – and happily. If you don’t, they unquestionably would if you did. They are the least likely to quit, and the most likely to pull others in your company. 

How did you do that? How did you create this team?

To answer those questions, let’s turn the clock way, way back — the time when the people were hired in your company. In this article, we talk about 5 crucial steps that help you to build a fantastic team.

1. Hire the best

You know, I don’t want to be captain obvious, but it’s easier to recruit the right candidates and give them all opportunities for achievements then hiring people whom you will be trying to motivate. The road from hundreds of resumes to your best employee is started with understanding the ‘right’ resume. 

Think about what’s really necessary for an individual to achieve the job’s goals. Define the job before hiring an employee. For example, persistence, listening skill, and learning ability often are more important for a sales manager than a degree from a cool university or work experience in your industry.

2. Company goals

To manage your team effectively, let’s try to do a little test. How many employees know your company goals? Just ask them about it. It’s crucial for team management that people know the main organization’s goals and understand how they participate in it.

Start asking employees about 1-3 main goals of your company. It gives a lot of insights into what people are thinking about the organization. Once you’ve understood all the opinions, keep going through the employee’s value. Show the individual how he or she impacts the company’s goals. It’s super important for people for getting value out of their job.  

Also, notice how different opinions you have now from your team members. Don’t forget to implement the workflow that helps you to make company goals transparent and show employees’ influence on it.

3. Personal goals

Alright! Now, that you’ve already built a transparent company’s goals in your workflow, let’s take the next step and create an outcome-driven culture. When approaching this, it’s really, really important to remember that employees do not want to devote their life to complete the company’s goals. They want to be passionate about what’re they working on and see their self-development. 

For that reason, your experience shouldn’t be defined by the milestones you create, but instead by the improvement of their life your company provides. Create individual development plans with employees that give your employees roadmap with measurable goals and timeframe for achieving these goals. You can read this article to get more information about individual development plans.

Take the time to get very clear on what kind of ‘better people’ your company makes. It will inform everything that follows from here, so it’s super important to get right. 

4. Communication

Communication often challenges for many teams. We receive a lot of new information in our email boxes and messengers. Everyone wants to get our attention in different ways. While you’re trying to avoid a lot of noise from various channels, it’s hard to build alignment across the teams.

You want your entire organization to be not only aligned around company goals but also has a workflow where everyone clearly understands each other. It’s hard, especially in that volume of communication. Many teams spend their time in the meetings to do their work better and build alignment. But you know that often meetings are not really productive. Regarding a Microsoft survey, an employee spends 27 hours per week for meetings. Wherein only 10% of employees called these meetings useful. People like to solve issues and make deals, but not discuss it.

When you design workflow for goals achievements, not discussing – it relieves a huge amount of employees’ energy and time. But how to set this kind of workflow, which reduces the time in meetings and synchronize the team? 

For each touchpoint, think about outcome-driven culture – what’s important to the company at that particular time? What the real goal of a meeting? In most cases, it’s planing, problem-solving, making decision, or synchronization with the team. And it ends with improving employees – the kind of people who can deal with all staff better than before that.

For most of these reasons, you can use a simple framework, which helps people understand what’s going and simplify communication between members. For example, you can use three questions to synchronize the team every day:

  • What did you do yesterday?
  • What are you going to do today?
  • What was the biggest obstacle?

You can use it in different cases either on short meetings aka standups or on online meetings via text. Also, you can set asynchronous conversation when everyone answers to the questions when it’s convenient for the person. It takes several minutes per day and helps to focus on the main goals. No long meetings – more time for work. You might even automate this process by using special bots or software like Focus that helps to run standups each day.

Standups at Focus

It’s only one piece of communication that you can implement in your workflow. Just start thinking about focusing on outcomes and simplifying current procedures. It gives you a lot of insights that the company’s processes, which were invented long ago, are not optimized for the current structure. 

5. Recognition

68% of companies who implemented an employee recognition system report a positive effect on employee engagement. At the same time, employees don’t feel recognized in most companies. There is a huge potential for managers on how you can increase employee engagement. Just implement a recognition system. To understand better how to do it correctly, we need to talk about common issues there.

The main problems with recognition are:

i. Wrong recognition

It’s kind of like a bad-suited jacket – you’re giving appreciation to the employee, but he or she doesn’t like it. For instance, a person can avoid public recognition because of a person’s modesty. Sometimes you can give appreciation either in the not right moment or situation. It’s a manager’s job to know the characteristics of each member of the team and understand how and when sharing appreciation. 

ii. Non-specific recognition

General “thank you” or “great job!” are good, but you know, it’s not the best way for appreciation. To get them, a significant recognition begins to be specific like “Thank you for your help with launching a new product, especially, with creating the awesome design in a short time.” Also, show them which value you recognize in their work.

How to implement a recognition system?

That’s why it’s crucial to implement a recognition system in the team that helps everyone to be specific and recognize co-workers at the right moment. You should understand the character of each employee in the team and the ways how they react to appreciation. The common practices for building recognition system correct are:

  • Do recognition regularly
  • Do public or private appreciation, depends on an employee character
  • Do it online to write down this moment. It’s like a ’success diary’ with their achievements. It helps you to see the traction and motivates employees to reach the new accomplishments.

Sketchdeck says feedback is the key to navigation remote-waters and we agree 100%.

Conclusion

Building an amazing team is challenging for any founder or manager. There is no secret mechanic that you can use for creating a really powerful organization. It’s always about a combination of things where you should be the pro. To summarise crucial parts for team management: 

  • Hire the best candidates
  • Set clear company goals and ask your employees about its
  • Create an employee development plan with personal goals
  • Build a simple and outcome-oriented workflow in communication
  • Implement employee recognition correctly

In Focus, we eat our own food while creating software that helps teams increase performance and build high-engaged culture. Our goal is to simplify workflow with transparent goals, clear communication, and employee recognition. In Focus, it’s easy to create a company and personal goals when everyone will be able to see how he or she impacts the company goals. In fact, managing a company is hard, and we want to make it better when everyone in a team gets benefits from that. 

Share in the comments below your experience on how to create an exceptional team. 

Anton Cherkasov

Anton Cherkasov

https://usefocus.co/

Anton is a founder of Focus, which is a team management platform. He is also a writer in HackerNoon, The Startup, Good Audience, and other media. Previously Anton has worked in Wildberries (#1 eCommerce store in Russia). He is falling in love with growth hacking, product management, and football.

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