Build and strengthen your ‘dream team’ to create and innovate
Do you remember having the best time at work? You start your day normally and by the time you leave, you are high fiving everyone? Or have you had the misfortune of crunching on eggshells because one person needs everyone to know just how they feel…rotten!
How do you build or strengthen that team of awesomeness? Well, like anything in life it takes work. It is a gym membership and as a team leader, you have a yearly membership to work it out. Here’s five steps to get you building your dream team.
Step One: Doctor, what is her status?
Are you happy and healthy? Are you exercising and eating right? No one likes a grumpy dictator. Get onto that treadmill and ensure you are in the right mindset before you start leading others. You are an influencer, and people will be respectful, loyal and trusting when there is a well-balanced leader. If you are having a bad day, that’s ok but you must implement some effective strategies to leave it at the door and remain positive and clear in every-way you communicate.
Step Two: Recruitment! WE WANT YOU!
This is key to set clear goals and expectations. Over the years, I have been pretty spot on with my gut instincts but sometimes people are not always at their shiniest. Maybe it’s nerves or maybe I have asked a question they simply don’t know how to answer. Dig a little deeper with these ones, as I have discovered true diamonds in the rough and learned a lot about my own emotional intelligence in the process.
“Why the best hire may not have the perfect resume”. Put simply, you have two candidates. The first is a person from a well-off family who has had an easier life, they are called “the silver spooner “. The second is someone accustomed to adversity and has faced tremendous odds to be where they are now, they are called “the scraper”. Both are equally qualified, who would you hire?
Regina Hartley, who leads HR at UPS, said: “Hire the Scraper”. The hardships make them stronger, build character and no job seems too small. As PC as this terminology sounds, I have found in my industry this to be true and I proudly stand as the latter candidate. With recruitment comes the opportunity to express your core values and set the tone of the working relationship. If you are inheriting a team, then sit down and interview everyone in the same manner. You will get to know each person’s mindset and clear the slate to establish your own goals. This process also works well when you have a team that has been accustomed to the old guard. If possible do these interviews out of the work environment as you will see a more at ease and honest response in people. And what if someone is not as passionate or loyal to your brand? Be honest and let them know that this role is not for them and if they would like to proceed great, but that these are my terms and if they don’t like it, that is their choice and wish them all the best.
Step Three – Training
Find out where every individual’s knowledge is at and how strong that knowledge is in each area. What are their career goals? Be supportive and set up a pathway to achieving these goals. Every 3-6 months I will have a performance appraisal done. Currently, we are using a model that is self-rated, there is also space to write down short and long term goals and they can be both business and personal. I will discuss these and will always include a marker of what they have achieved since the last appraisal. I do this as, often when you set targets that keep increasing we don’t look at the achievements already accomplished which can be disheartening for the employee.
Step Four – Communication
“We have two ears, two eyes, and one mouth!” meaning we should look and listen twice as much as we talk. A mindful leader will overcome the “God complex”, know when to be compassionate, and clear when directing a message that requires results. Team meetings don’t always give me the immediate business result I am seeking but what I do see unfold is the self-motivation and pride in the work place simply because space has been created for everyone to be heard.
Step Five – Accept the Challenge!
Great team leaders can be disruptors and question processes, constantly pushing to find new and better ways of doing things. Team engagement is often increased during these periods when the disruption turns into an exploration. By challenging yourself and your team to discover pathways for setting new processes.
As many have said before me, including my favourite Mr. Stevie Wonder
“Team work makes the Dream work!”
If you want to delve deeper, Regina Hartley has a great TED talk titled ‘why the best hire might not have the perfect resume.’
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