Finding and hiring the right people is a critical part of your business success. But if all of those fantastic employees are working alone or in silos, you won’t get the results you’re looking for.
Yes, it’s important to have capable contributors on staff, but successful companies also require successful collaboration, communication, and teamwork.
Wondering how to build a great company culture, even as you add new employees to the mix? Take a look at your current team strategies and practices to see what’s working and what isn’t. And then be brave enough to make the changes you need.
If you build it…
They will come. And stay! And succeed!
Here are some key ways to make sure you’re building the kind of team you need and the kind of team your employees want to be part of.
Focus on "why" before “how”
When you’re the one creating the company vision, it can be easy to fall into the trap of believing everyone in the organization understands why it’s so critical. This isn’t necessarily the case. You can never explain in too much detail why you’re doing what you do, and you can never tell the story too many times.
Once you help your team understand the "why" behind your vision, you may be shocked at how quickly and efficiently they will be able to execute on the "how.”
Stay in alignment
You have a vision for where you want to go and how you want to get there. But creating and communicating that vision isn’t enough. You’ve got to commit to it.
Hire with this vision in mind. Promote with this vision in mind. And yes, sometimes you’ll have to let people go with this vision in mind. If you have team members who aren’t willing or able to help execute that vision, cut them loose. Don't fool yourself into believing you’re taking care of your people by keeping employees who are no longer a good fit. Doing so destroys your leadership credibility and weakens the team, and that's not fair to anyone.
The sooner your team is aligned, the sooner you can get moving in the right direction.
Hang on to your keepers
When you shake the tree in an attempt to release the bad apples, be sure you aren't going to inadvertently lose some of the good ones. Change is disruptive by nature, and it tests employee confidence, especially for the newer folks.
Never assume your best employees will easily pass that test. Look for opportunities to reinforce your confidence in your top performers. Let them know you recognize and appreciate their capabilities, and help them see how they fit into the changing picture.
Recognize and reward
Be sure your compensation program and all relevant processes and procedures are designed to produce the results needed to achieve your new vision. These systems should motivate and incentivize, not deflate and desensitize.
Realistic goals, genuine appreciation, and healthy dose of positivity will go a long way here.
Horizontal connections are often ignored in companies ripe with silos. There are silos separating one product department from another, silos separating one sales team from another, silos separating sales from service, and silos separating leadership from everyone else.
Build bridges between teams and individuals to allow the transfer of knowledge, ideas, and confidence. Whether your employees have been with you a week or a decade, they will appreciate feeling connected and being part of something bigger.
Keep the communication channels open, not only between leadership and staff, but across teams and between employees. This should be a top priority and part of your overall company culture and commitment to employees. Make communication part of your onboarding process and embed it into everything you do.
Transparency is one of the best ways to build trust. Establish clear communication patterns and lead by example.
The kind of team and culture you create will determine the kind of employees and customers you attract— and how loyal they will be to your brand. Make sure your organization embodies your values from the ground up. If you’ve built a solid framework, more people will be willing and able to jump onboard.
Photo by MichaelGaida