Quote of the week:
“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments towards organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows the common people to attain uncommon results.” -Andrew Carnegie
As the business owner, you are creating a vision. It is your team that allows that vision to become a reality. Here are my steps to creating a winning team.
- Perform a staff analysis or evaluate your current level of talent.
You need to look at who you currently have on staff. An easy way to find out who is an asset on your team is to ask yourself this question: If you had to start over tomorrow and you had to start over with one half of your staff, who would you keep?
You can take this one step further by finding out who is a tremendous asset or someone you would not want to work for your competitor. If they went to work for your competition would it bother you? If the answer is yes, then you want to keep them on your staff. Next, ask yourself if they make you profit. There are some people who you may not like very much but they are heavy hitters. They generate income for the company. You need to keep people like that.
- Establish what your needs are for your company.
What is it you really need? What would you like to have? Is your sales staff as good as it needs to be? Would you buy from them? Have you heard their sales pitch? Have you sent them out to give a sales pitch to one of your friends without them knowing it and gotten feedback on their performance? That is something I do. Your sales staff should be a great asset to your company because everything starts with sales.
Next, look at your office staff. Are they great or does it take a long time to get anything done? Do you ask for key numbers and never get them? After office staff, I look into how we are delivering our product and the systems we have in place. Who are the key people I need in order to constantly deliver what our business promises? Again, I ask myself, if I had the perfect company in front of me, who would I have working for me? What type of person would I have?
- Determine who is available.
You may need a high-level operations person, but do you know how are you going to get that person? Be creative in how you run ads or how you gain employees. Be specific. I run an ad for exactly what it is I want. If I could have the perfect person these are the qualities I would like them to have. For example, I might say that I want someone who is organized, has energy and is goal-driven.
If I have to fire someone, I remind them of the ad they responded to: I asked you to have energy and you told me that you did. I asked if you could complete this project by yourself and you said you could. We are 90 days into your employment and none of this is reality. When you are specific you can be very direct in the interview process because you have laid out what you want.
When beginning the hiring process, establish whether there is availability within the marketplace and run sample ads. Determine what the talent level available in your area is and then begin the interview process. You are trying to find the talent for the need that you have. If that talent is not available, you may have to keep who you already have temporarily. Don’t kill the morale of your company by hinting that you are looking to hire new people when these people are not even available. Sometimes you have to keep the staff that you have while you look for and make sure that you can, in fact, hire these people.
- Always look to bring on an impact player.
Sometimes you are interviewing for a certain position and the interviewee is not what you need but is truly a superstar or impact player. You may have someone currently in the position that this new person would be great in and had not considered getting rid of them. Great players will join your team and they will create a position even though it may not be for what you initially thought of hiring them for. Certain great people will earn a spot on your team. Sometimes it is worth it to pay the extra money to have someone who is a reserve player. You know they can do someone else’s position but you bring them on to do another position temporarily.
When you are interviewing an impact player (hopefully you know what they look like), you have to pull the trigger on them. You don’t always get an opportunity to hire these people. For instance, you may be looking for someone to run your warehouse and you interview this person who would be capable. However, while talking to him you discover that his experience is in another field and he is organized, driven and you naturally click with him. You think, I want to bring this person on for this other position. Figure out a way to bring them on. They will earn a spot on your roster.
- Have a big vision and communicate it when you are forming this team.
When I am interviewing I always share my vision for the company. I want them to understand it so that they will tell me that they want to come work for me.