Laura Iñiguez, Content Manager at Hirebook
Laura is a content and social media strategist with deep experience in Employee Engagement, People Management, and Culture. She works with Hirebook to bring their innovative best practices to life through content, videos, and webinars seen by thousands around the globe.
Pub: October 30 2021
Upd: June 9 2023
A successful team relies on its manager’s ability to bring out the best of individual team members and use their strengths towards achieving a common goal, together. A good leader understands their employees’ motivations, knows how to correct mistakes without scolding them, and empowers them to work autonomously.
To sum it all up, it takes strong leadership to build a successful team. Team building requires craftsmanship and creativity, you can learn a lot about what it takes to build a successful team, but your intuition will help you determine whether you’re on the right track or you need to take a few steps back and change your approach. Either way, we’re here to provide you with a few simple tips to help you build the team that’ll help you reach your goals.
1. Support your Team
This is probably quite obvious but supporting your team entails a lot of things. Your team members are your family outside your home, and just as you support and protect your family members, you should do the same with your team.
As head of your team, you’re there to facilitate communication and guide them and inspire them into doing great work. Your team won’t trust you and won’t follow your lead if they don’t feel you’ve got their backs. After all, whatever your team does you’re responsible for. If they fail at something or don’t reach a certain objective and you blame it on them, be sure they won’t respond positively… they might do a better job next time, but you’d also be building a very toxic environment. Their good performance won’t last long if your employees are working under a toxic leadership.
Furthermore, even the most supportive and inspiring leader can face challenges when their team is stretched too thin. You should recognize when your team is overwhelmed and when to consider hiring new members or outsourcing tasks to alleviate pressure. For example, if your SEO team is overloaded, you can outsource content to a content writing service. A service will ensure high-quality work, provide fresh perspectives, and free up your team's time for other crucial responsibilities. Taking proactive steps to support your team's well-being and success will optimize performance and maintain a positive work environment.
In addition to facilitating communication, you need to provide your team with all the resources they need to do their job. For example, a content manager with link-building experience would need a plagiarism checker, SEO tools, writing tools, and more. This ensures that your team will have all the resources necessary to scale your business.
If you want to inspire your team, they need to know they can count on you. If you agree to something and it doesn’t work out as intended, take accountability for it and, instead of throwing a tantrum and being mad at them, try to look for a solution together. Let them know you’re there to point them in the right direction and point out where the strategy went wrong so they can learn from it. For instance, let's say that your team didn't know how to use a sales navigator or any other tool that was needed for completing their task, taking the time to teach them would be highly beneficial. Eventually, they’ll need less micromanaging and will become a strong team you can rely on.
2. Value your Team Members
Success isn’t something you achieve alone, it’s a team’s work. Every individual involved played a part in achieving success by working effectively and performing their roles. Some will have more to do with success than others, but whatever amount of effort that led to success, it’s important to recognize and praise your team members for the work they do.
Always provide constructive and positive feedback, and pinpoint whatever your direct reports did well when performing their part of the job. This will positively impact your team, making them feel valued and appreciated, causing them to work harder in order to exceed expectations and previous performance. Build up their confidence, everybody makes mistakes but that’s not enough reason to tear your team apart, instead, be motivational, help them correct their errors, and work forward.
If you want an extra push, you can put other strong team members in a leadership position, empowering them to find solutions on their own and helping you push your team towards high performance.
3. Set Clear Roles
Teams work best when each employee is responsible for contributing something specific. Having well-defined roles allows them to focus on completing individual tasks and follow specific strategies, rather than using their energy to step somewhere they don’t belong or do something that someone else is already working on.
Set ground rules, clear roles, and expectations, that will show you the true skills your team members have. It’s important to mix and match their roles every once in a while, and don’t have the same people stuck to the same tasks forever, this will help them develop new and existing skills and can even trace a clear professional path within the organization.
4. Don’t Micromanage
Micromanaging smothers the performance of your team and only creates toxic relationships. If you treat your employees as little kids, they will start acting like so. Your employees will be frightened to make any mistakes because they’ll know you will overreact and be completely oppressive when “helping” them fix their errors. Putting this amount of pressure on your team will only negatively impact their performance and the overall success of the organization.
You can avoid that by letting them work autonomously. It’s understandable to be nervous about it, but you can start with simpler tasks to build up their confidence. This doesn’t mean you should be condescending, just learn to relieve complete control and allow your team to self-manage. You might be surprised when you learn they can actually do their jobs without you being on their backs.
5. Learn How to Maximize your Team’s Skills
Every person is different, with a diverse set of skills and personalities. If you play your cards right, you can pair your employees up in a way that their skills complement each others’. This is key because every person has their own strengths and weaknesses; the strength of one employee can negate the weakness of another. Pair them up correctly and you will minimize deficiencies that can negatively impact the overall performance of the team.
A successful leader should understand where each team member stands, in order to know how to put them to work in the best way possible to achieve success. This requires great leaders to develop emotional intelligence and learn how to establish clear communication with different personalities to motivate them correctly.
6. Encourage Your Team Members to Take Risks
A good leader doesn’t let their employees settle and play it safe. If you don’t let your employees take risks, you’ll all going to miss out on great opportunities and results. Of course, taking risks should be done with effective team guidance or you’ll end up developing a system to solve unforeseen problems. Don’t let things get out of hand, and learn how to keep your team on track while allowing them to be free to pursue risks that could bring great positive rewards for the organization.
By letting your team be bold and risky you’ll be able to observe how they perform under the excitement of freedom and expectancy. This will give you a better insight into how and why they make certain choices.
A successful and effective team can’t be built out of hiring talented individuals or having a structured company culture, it all comes down to how the leader manages them that will make a team shine and thrive. You can always rely on a performance management tool to check in on your team and find out if there are any blockers that need to be removed to keep on working successfully.
Photo credit - freepik
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