Building and managing a team should be rewarding and even fun. However, it is surprising how often it is not. The following dos and don’ts will offer tools, tips, and techniques for attracting, developing, and retaining a self-sustaining team of hard-working professionals.
When recruiting new talent, consider hiring someone less experienced but more self-motivated to learn and succeed, rather than limiting the search to only those who have proven to be successful. Ambitious employees are usually more willing to roll up their sleeves, embrace new challenges, and go the extra mile. As an added bonus, these candidates often remain more loyal to their employers.
Targeting and achieving clear goals is significantly more gratifying than working solely for a paycheck. Furthermore, even the best employees can become complacent, which eventually leads to boredom and career stagnancy, both of which diminish productivity. Working closely with your team to set realistic goals, with frequent status checks to ensure progress, will do wonders for motivation and retention.
Everyone wants to be heard. Acting as a sounding board for your staff creates a symbiotic relationship. Your employees have the opportunity to vet any issues and managers have the opportunity to coach and transform their ambitions into company successes. Mentoring is a self-investment in a team, which pays off both immediately and in the longer term.
It’s easy to fall into a monotonous rut where the same tasks are repeated over and over. On a regular basis, inject a source of inspiration that will facilitate creative thinking. Develop a forum where employees can share their latest and greatest work with their colleagues. A practical and cost-efficient solution, it leads to elevated output levels and job satisfaction.
Company morale is cyclical. Employees are typically happy, excited, and productive when they first start a new position, although it only may be a matter of time or circumstance before morale takes a nosedive. If employees are recognized and rewarded properly and often, the cycle restarts, along with rejuvenated productivity.
An efficient and cohesive team is the result of many factors, both tangible and intangible. Credentials are only one portion of the corporate-culture recipe. Interpersonal compatibility is arguably the more important factor for achieving a good fit. When recruiting talent, take ample time, make thoughtful decisions, and allow the team and candidate to get to know each other before extending an offer. If the right chemistry is there, you will have an easier time attracting and retaining talent, as well.
Motivation can be defined as having a strong reason to achieve a desired goal. However, having these goals determined on one’s behalf without understanding the fuller picture is not motivating. As a result, employees need to be provided with a clear vision of the company’s direction, and their specific role within it, in order to see that they can help set their own personal goals to get there.
Assumptions are dangerous and should be left at the door. It takes time and effort to get to know your employees. Once you have a clear understanding of their strengths and challenges, you can evaluate them fairly and consistently.
A management style with close observation or control may be necessary at first, especially for new employees. That said, having methodologies, processes, and training materials in place can help ramp up employees more efficiently so business can grow with limited supervision. After new employees have been on-boarded, though, it’s important to loosen the reins. Allow them to exercise their creativity by developing new philosophies, and empowering them to work towards enhancing the experience for the next generation of employees.
If an employee is at or even close to the level that is being recruited, it is better to promote from within instead of hiring externally. Being overlooked by management is highly demotivating; employees consider their status to be minimized. This snub especially becomes an issue if a new position arises above someone that helped build and grow the business in significant ways. Employees may deem the new hire as benefiting undeservingly from others’ efforts, which will put an immediate strain on working relationships, benefiting no one.
In closing, the key to long-term growth and success revolves around keeping work productivity and employee satisfaction levels high. Develop a replicable team structure that supports infinite growth, while simultaneously facilitating creativity within and across teams via cross-pollinating ideas.
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