Hire slow, fire fast.
Have you heard this piece of advice about growing a team or building your company?
Truer advice was never spoken.
Creating just the right team can be the difference between you reaching the goals you set for yourself in 2021 or struggling with execution.
I’m all about execution. So today’s conversation is dedicated to anyone who knows they CANNOT do it alone.
I know that in order to execute you must be able to focus on the tasks and behaviors that lie within your genius zone. Everything else must be delegated or moved to some else’s plate, yours is full.
So here are 8 nuggets of advice that can help you create the team you need to create the business you want.
1 – Get clear about your company’s culture.
Most people skip this step and it’s actually the most critical. How many times last year did you hear about the company’s crumbling from within because of toxic company culture? From a branding perspective, it will also help you attract the types of people who will enjoy working in your company. In addition, people want to know a bit about what it will be like to work within your company. What’s most important to you? How do you like to work? What do you value? What is the vision? Mission? Do you have casual Fridays? Do you value diversity?
2 – Document your company processes and procedures.
How do you do what you do? If you don’t know how you do what you do, how can you train someone to help you do it? Writing out your daily activities, important procedures, tasks, etc. will go a long way to helping onboard future employees or team members. (Ask me about helping you build a company portal or intranet onto your existing website.)
3 – Hire based on your company needs so it aligns with your goals.
The previous step will help you better understand what you need in your business and who needs to do what. Now you get to look for what you truly need. Writing down every task you need someone to do. Focus on the tasks that are directly tied to revenue generation activities, not the fluff that’s just feel-good stuff. Follow the money, honey.
4 – Assess the strengths of every team member.
The CliftonStrengths 34 is a great assessment to use for this step. For $50 you can find out if the person you’re considering has the strengths you need on your team.
Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath and Strengths-Based Leadership by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie are two books that will help you understand how these can help you with your team. The CliftonStrengthsfinder assessment has been used for over 40 years to help people discover and use their strengths. It has very strong reliability and validity and has been used by millions of managers to grow strong teams.
5 – Interview (have a deep discussion) about how your prospect’s top 5 CliftonStrengths can make them a great “addition” to your team and the role you want them to play within your growing company.
It will create a great conversation about their working style or relationship within a team. You will be able to learn a lot through this conversation to see if they will be a good “fit” for your team. Let them know what tasks you need support with on the team and pay attention to all of the verbal and non-verbal cues during your conversation.
6 – Evaluate the person you’re considering adding to your team for (30/60/90 days).
You don’t have to make them an offer right away. Give your new prospect some tasks to complete that fall within their sphere of expertise/strengths, and see how they perform. This evaluation period will give you a good opportunity to see if they will be a great addition to your team. It should go without saying that you should be prepared to compensate them fairly during this evaluation time.
7 – Provide feedback to prospect following the evaluation period.
Once the prospect completes the evaluation period, you have a decision to make, are you ready to make them a permanent part of your team? Or were they not quite a good fit? Provide them with feedback about the things they did well and the things they can improve on. If you’re happy with how they performed, welcome them to the team. If not, thank them and wish them well.
8 – Onboard your new team member.
Onboarding can be tough for a lot of small businesses because they haven’t even thought through what they want their company to be yet. It’s important to think through how you can set your new team member /employee up for success and how they can contribute to the day to day operations of keep your company running smoothly. What are some expectations you have of your team members? Where can they find processes or procedures? What are the annual holidays? Documents they need to sign? Your procedure for social media use? Don’t make assumptions, spell things out to avoid confusion, disappointments, or legal entanglements.
An additional piece of advice about forming teams:
A healthy team is comprised of healthy individuals and trust and communication are key to creating that well-forming team. If you understand a person’s motivation or blindspot it will help you communicate more effectively. That’s one of the reasons I love CliftonStrengths so much, it helps illuminate what makes people tick, which leads to a better level of understanding and clearer communication.
As you build a culture that fosters open communication, it will go a long way to forming your well-run team. You get to decide what culture you create and how people are treated. You get to be the type of leader that you’ve always wanted. People need to be seen, heard, and valued. Commit to creating a culture that does just that and we will create companies people love working for.
Keep an eye out for my podcast episode where I discuss the book Strength Finder 2.0. My goal is to help you build stronger relationships within your team so your company will thrive in 2021.