The eternal question of any entrepreneur: how do you form a team of strong specialists who will support the manager, not burden him even more with new problems?
And then how do you control this team so that the business works like clockwork and everything goes the way he, the entrepreneur, intended?
The answers to these questions we set out in this article.
What is a “team”?
A team is a set of people dependent on each other, united by one goal, understanding who is responsible for what, and also knowing what product/result other team members expect from their activity.
For example, a soccer team: They have a common goal (to win a match), everyone knows who is responsible for what (left/right striker, left/right defender, goalkeeper) and what product other team members expect from them (the tactics of the game as outlined by the coach before the match). This group of people can be called a team.
Athletes representing a country at the Olympics are not a team but a “national team”. Since they have a common goal and area of responsibility, they are virtually independent of each other. One athlete may win a gold medal, while the other may take last place.
And so, we have defined the criteria for a team:
- common goal;
- dependence on each other to achieve the goal;
- understanding of who is responsible for what;
- awareness of what product/result is expected from each other’s activities.
If these four criteria are met, each team member will be involved in the overall result and care about it. After all, if someone screws up – then all the work of others will be in vain.
Often, managers mistakenly focus on selecting and developing independent solid players on the “team” without trying to turn them into a team. And then wonder why these business experts can’t find common ground and why managers have to quell conflicts, destroy work, and constantly force employees to perform their duties.
How do you build an effective team?
- Determine a common goal for doing business.
The purpose is a vector for the future actions of the team. The goal should energize, motivate and inspire the team. It must be clear for all team members. If you can’t determine such a goal – visit smartyafrikaners.com and find some courses to learn from.
- Determine who is responsible for what on the team.
Divide responsibilities among team members. It may seem more logical to have versatile soldiers who can perform all functions. But this is not the case. After all, if employees can do everything, they are not narrowly focused specialists who can do their job faster and better than others.
For example, you have three salespeople in your online store who, in their spare time from working with customers, promote products on Instagram. As a result, you have three salespeople who, instead of calling customers, are engaged in publishing poor-quality posts in their spare time. At the same time, you don’t have a single specialist responsible for quality promotion in social networking.
Of course, employees can help and replace each other. But the area of responsibility must be fixed.
- Establish an understanding between employees.
The team should be transparent about each employee’s workload and responsibilities. If you try to keep everything to yourself by hiding the workload and responsibilities of each subordinate from their colleagues, your potentially strong team will turn into a group of mindlessly following the manager’s lead. As a result, each member of such a team will want to be closer to the leader, making the atmosphere in the team will be tense and unfavorable.
How do you build this understanding? You can start by having five-minute mornings or weekly coordination meetings in which each employee:
- reports on their past performance;
- reports on their planned results for the next period;
- says what they need from whom to achieve the intended result.
This simple and quick activity is enough for employees to understand that they are in the same boat and that only teamwork will help to swim further.
- Determine who is responsible for what in numbers.
Any function performed in a team can be measured in numbers for a period. Sales – in money. Social media promotion – in audience reach. Event execution – by customer satisfaction survey. And so on. Determining and capturing these numerical job results – greatly increases each employee’s accountability for the result.
In other words, each team’s function should have a measurable indicator of its performance.
Also, an overall performance indicator (analogous to the number of goals scored in soccer) must be defined for the team. This indicator should be influenced in one way or another by each member of the team.
How do you control a team in South Africa?
There are four basic tools for building and then controlling the team:
1. Organizational structure.
Organizational structure – identify a few things that are vital to a strong team:
- Area of Responsibility.
- Finding subject matter experts.
- Estimating workload.
- Understanding team structure.
2. Functional duties.
Functional duties allow for a clear delineation of responsibility.
3. Performance indicators – identify strong and weak players:
It’s like a score in any sports game: no score, no game.
4. Weekly planning:
Plans are the first point of control over employee performance. What is not planned will definitely not get done. That’s why Systemator created the weekly planning function as one of the first. It allows you to step by step bring the team closer to the overall goal. If there are no plans, there is no development, but chaos, which for business equals the beginning of the end.