Six steps to developing the best team for your business

If you are at the stage where your business is expanding, you might find yourself wanting to grow your team. You might be a sole trader at the moment and are looking to take on one or two people to keep up with demand, or you might have a core existing team and now need to double its size. Whatever your position, we have put together 6 steps to developing the best team for your business, whatever the business. All of these tips can be adapted to suit your situation and all of them are as valid as one another, so you will need to deliver on each step to develop the very best team.

Hire wisely

This is an incredibly important area to get right, as you want to be able to find that perfect employee in amongst all of the candidates for the job. It is worth following these tips for hiring the best team for your business and you will need to have a clear job description to select and interview around.

With a clear description, you can tailor your interview and assessment processes to bring out the skills and characteristics that you are going to require. Question and pose possible scenarios to get a rounded picture of how this individual might perform in their role and within your team.

Deliver clear training

Training should be ongoing within your business. Every employee will require some initial training and you need to ensure that this is well-structured, correctly paced and covers all of the key skills that they will require in order to do their job effectively from day one. Confidence will be built from knowing the basics and feeling properly supported.

Training should continue as and when new procedures and practices are put into place. Do not underestimate this area for existing long term members of staff, as some people like to thoroughly understand something new before being thrown into the deep end and having to work with it in a ‘live’ situation. Everyone’s learning style is different, so do not assume that just because you would be happy jumping in and having a go on the job, that others will feel the same. It can be unsettling for some members of staff to have to make changes, so do ensure that they feel fully equipped to handle new situations.

With any training, encourage questions and always ask for feedback.

Provide positive coaching

Training teaches new processes and skills, coaching refines and develops them. Follow tips to run your coaching sessions and always ensure that you follow up on them. 

Every member of your team should receive coaching from time to time. This is particularly important to follow up on any training and to address any performance gaps that you have identified together. 

Coaching should be positive and constructive so that your employees see the benefit of the sessions and are open to being supported in this way. 

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Protect their rights

Your staff need to trust in you and believe that you have their best interests at heart. Arrange fair salary packages for them, put in place equitable holiday entitlements and offer any healthcare benefits that you deem to be appropriate within your industry.

You need to ensure that all contracts are legally sound and that you are always updating policies so that you do not miss anything, such as these California employment law changes. This ensures that your staff are protected by these laws and that you cannot unwittingly break them.

Employee rights are often changing and evolving, so it might be worth investing in a human resources expert or relevant law firm to handle these nuances for your business, allowing you to delegate these important and special responsibilities to them.

Reward fairly and consistently

You have delivered strong training, coached effectively and protected your employee’s rights, so you can now expect your team to perform well for you. Along with regularly reviewing and ensuring that salaries are competitive, it can also be worth investing in reward schemes for exceeding targets and exemplary performance.

There are various ways to reward financially, you need to think about what it is you want to encourage your team to do and achieve. You might put in place a team bonus for a group target or you may wish to incentivise individually. Think it through from all angles before launching and ensure that is it viable and makes monetary sense.

Recognition and appreciation, without any financial incentive, is enormously powerful. A ‘thank you’ for a job well done or a positive performance review can be hugely motivating for staff.

If your team work hard, be as flexible as you can to acknowledge this. For example, if they are never late and always stay until their work is completed and then need to attend their son’s parent teacher meeting, then do let them get away early. There should be no making hours up, no catch, it should be done simply because they deserve to be thanked in this way. Little things like this are remembered and they will make staff feel valued.

Manage performance issues

With all of the above steps in place, you should not need to do this regularly, but the best of leaders and the best of team players can occasionally run into performance issues, so you need to manage them.

Address any issues with the individual concerned directly. Be clear on the area that requires improvement, articulate the change that you need to see and put in place a plan to deliver it. Remain supportive and encourage open conversation. You do also need to be direct when sharing the consequences of the continuing underperformance.

After this session, monitor, support and recognise improvements. If there are none, then you will need to go back to managing it and taking it to the next level.

It is essential that you do this. It is fair to that individual, it ensures you are delivering effectively to your clients, and your other members of staff who are performing well will appreciate that they are not carrying another. Be fair to everyone.

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