HUMAN CAPITAL is the greatest asset of any business, and compiling the right team of quality people is an important part of making a business successful.
A team of qualified and committed staff makes it possible to accomplish business objectives, be more productive and, ultimately, more profitable. For business owners, having a great team working with them frees them up to concentrate their own efforts on growing their business further.
One of the biggest complaints business owners have is that finding qualified, competent help can be very difficult. Entrepreneurs frequently point out how much more they could achieve if they had additional capable and enthusiastic employees who were also invested in the growth of the business.
The first step in putting together a great team is realising that employees are a reflection of their employers. Skilled business owners and a great leader attract great people to work for them, and the opposite is also true.
Some business owners complain that their sales team is not professional enough, but often they refuse to provide adequate sales training or attractive incentives. Others think that if their employees were more productive and made fewer mistakes, revenues and profits would increase.
However, these same owners have inadequate or no systems in place to help eliminate human error or maximze efficiency.
Then there are business owners who want to control everything and battle to delegate to their teams. They are often left wondering why their staff don’t assume a greater leadership role or take more initiative. Until business owners acknowledge their accountability for the teams they create, this is unlikely to change and employees will be left stifled.
I believe there are four key factors that can contribute to the success and synergy of a well-rounded team:
Before you begin recruiting, clearly define a vision statement for your business so people joining your team know what their goal is and what ideal they’re committing to build towards. A compelling vision statement is a framework and guide for everyone working in the business. It defines acceptable behaviour and forms the central theme or philosophy for customer service.
It becomes a road map for executing every detail of the business. Shared vision becomes the backbone of the business and the unifying tool that keeps teams working co-operatively and successfully through any challenge and in any environment. Teamwork fuelled by a strong vision can make a company a wonderful place to work and learn.
In addition to a compelling vision, teams need clearly defined and realistic goals to be able to function well. Goals give teams direction to keep them focused. Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, results-oriented and set within a reasonable time frame (Smart).
Boundaries and areas of quantifiable responsibility should be well designed so that teams know their unique and specialised roles to prevent unnecessary overlap. Employees need to be given an action plan and each new employee should get an appropriate title, a written contract, a detailed job description and line of reporting.
Business teams are like trees – they are either growing or dying. Without being open to some degree of healthy risk, it’s impossible for a team to flourish and optimise their creativity and performance.
Putting all this altogether, along with supporting teams with tools, training, technology and systems, frees business owners up to operate their business from a distance and to concentrate on their next profitable venture.
* Harry Welby-Cooke is a leading business and executive coach and South Africa’s master licensee for global franchise company ActionCoach.
* Visit ActionCoach for more information.