How to Build the Best Employee Team
Building a team in your organization involves more than providing awesome benefits or hiring highly talented staff members. It requires a combination of developing a solid company culture, hiring team-oriented staff members, and encouraging personal and relational development in your existing staff. Clearly, building a team in your workplace is easier said than done.
You company culture is perhaps the most important factor in determining if your staff will work together. If your culture directly or indirectly communicates to staff that they are not important or that your culture values dishonesty or promotes an environment that encourages trampling others down to get to the top, your staff won’t work together as a team. Take some time to show your employees that relationships are important and that you truly care about them as people instead of just workers.
Employees need relationships and collaboration to grow their big ideas. Find ways within your organization to help employees develop relationships with one another. For instance, Google provides free food to its employees to encourage them to stand in line and meet other coworkers and to form relationships with people they might not otherwise run into. The relationships they develop will provide more people to bounce ideas off of and provide yet another reason to love coming to work.
Most organizations say they care about their employees, but how many actually show it? Consider what benefits would communicate to your employees that you care about them, and also consider employees on a case-by-case basis. Would some employees work better from home? Then let them. Is an employee going through family or personal issues? Offer extra paid time off so he can work through the issues without the stress of work. Does an employee have a cause he’s passionate but doesn’t have time to dedicate to it? Give him extra time to pursue his passion. Allowing freedom on a case-by-case basis communicates to employees that their personal lives and well-being matter to them.
We all know the effort put into hiring a great employee pays off in the end. After all, you get what you pay for. Spend some extra time before you hire to help eliminate some of the hassle of hiring a non-team player.
Taking time to carefully consider and write a job description will help attract the right candidates to apply for open positions. Include a section about your company that showcases your company’s strengths, unique perks you provide, and why employees love to work there. A second section should provide information on the responsibilities the job requires and the people or departments the person will be working closely with. The final section should list necessary skills applicants should have.
Background checks will provide a detailed look into an applicant’s past. Criminal history, sex offender records, and other reports will help you consider if the applicant in question will fit your team. While not every criminal record should eliminate a candidate from the running, you and your team will have to consider what types of criminal pasts may be detrimental to your business. Be sure to review local, state, and national laws before making a hiring decision based on a criminal record.
Additionally, employment verifications, education verifications, and reference checks should be part of your hiring process to help you see if an applicant will fit in your organization, how she works on a team, or if she has the necessary training to perform her job well.
Train your interviewers to ask questions that will provide the interviewee a chance to show how his values align with your company values. Instead of focusing simply on job skills, interviewers should consider how the applicant’s personality will fit with your current team. An incredibly skilled but lone shark employee may be a detriment instead of an asset to your company.
Building a fantastic team goes beyond hiring and on boarding an employee. Even after they’ve been with you for a while, strive to continuously promote teamwork in your employees.
On a regular basis, survey your employees to discover how they’re doing as a team. Ask questions like “what obstacles are standing in the way to teamwork at our company?” or “what can we as a company do to better promote teamwork in our staff?” Their answers will provide insight into what is working and what isn’t.
Teambuilding gets a bad rap and often for good reason. Exercises that feel awkward or invasive don’t do anything to promote teamwork and in reality probably hinder it. Instead, try meaningful activities, says Jeff Haden in an Inc. article, like volunteering in a great cause that employees can all get behind or by building relationships through physical activities like hikes or a sporting event. Keep in mind though, that some staff members may not be able to participate in physical activities, so be sure to consider your staff before deciding on a specific exercise.
Take your staff on occasional retreats away from the office to help get their creative juices flowing again. Staff retreats don’t have to be overnight or more than a day—what’s most important is that you leave the office and go somewhere new to take off some of the stress from the workplace.
Your workplace doesn’t have to be full of staff members who disrupt company unity. Building a team takes effort on the part of the managers and human resources department, but it can be done.
What are you going to do to build a great team?