Are you building a culture of strong teamwork? Whether you are just starting to build a team or already have multiple people working with you, you want a team who will be there for the long run. Building a business that lasts involves focusing not just on building a team but creating a culture where that team will want to stay and build the business with you. Here are a few suggestions to build a team that will be committed to the success of the company.
“Good teams incorporate teamwork into their culture, creating the building blocks for success.” — Ted Sundquist, American football player.
Hire for Culture
First of all, hire for culture over skills – you can teach skills. But if a hire is not a good fit for the culture of your company it will negatively affect your team – and the new hire. Of course they also have to be willing and open to learning new skills. It is also another reason to hire slowly. You don’t just want to fill a position for the sake of it. You want to build a strong team of members who are engaged, work well together and are focused on the goals and success of the company.
Once you have identified a candidate who will be a great fit for your team, be sure you have created a strong onboarding system. BambooHR found that approximately 31% of new employees leave their job within the first six months! Onboarding is one of the most important keys to the challenge of employee retention. Brandon Hall Group found that companies with a strong onboarding program increased their new hire retention by 82%! Onboarding is not the same as orientation.
Orientation is also important but basically involves welcoming new employees to the team, completing paperwork, and introducing them to the company. The onboarding process is much more in-depth and should continue for weeks to months. To be effective it involves checking in with new employees often – and encouraging open communication. Onboarding should familiarize the new employee in the briefest time possible, decrease the time it takes for them to become productive and properly engage them – thereby promoting an even better company culture.
Show Strong Leadership
Demonstrate strong leadership and encourage leadership within your team. As John C. Maxwell advises, “Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.” You need to give them the tools to succeed without micromanaging them. Develop a strong bond with your employees as well as helping to establish a harmonious relationship among your employees. Create and celebrate leaders and you will be more likely to retain those team members.
Set clear goals and expectations and then let your team know that you trust them to reach those goals and that you value their input. Encourage them to share their opinions and to not be afraid to question. When they see a potential problem, encourage them to speak up and offer 3 possible solutions. A company with a culture of open communication, flexibility and honesty will be much more likely to thrive and retain employees over a company with an atmosphere of negativity and a toxic work environment.
Offer a Competitive Salary
Be prepared to offer a competitive salary for the industry. And if you can’t offer a competitive salary, think about what other benefits you can offer. If those employees are valuable enough to your firm, you might offer the flexibility of working from home some days, or flexibility of work hours to work around childcare, elder care, or a health stipend (in place of a full insurance plan for a small business).
You might pay for trips to High Point Market or other design shows, or educational seminars. Inspire their dedication to the success of the company by offering a bonus program. Lay out possible options for a bonus program that will fit your company – they might be used individually or in combination with each other. Rather than something expected at the end of the year, make it worth something – in recognition and a thank you for doing an outstanding job.
If your firm has had a particularly successful year because of the exceptional work of your employees, then you might offer a performance-based bonus based on that success at the end of the year. Or you might want to offer “on-the-spot” recognition for going above and beyond. Knowing your employees well, you may decide to offer gift cards, physical gifts, extra time off or other perks. Again, depending on your employees you may also decide to offer them a choice. Certain employees may value extra time off over a monetary bonus.
Another piece of advice from the game of football: “Individual commitment to a group effort—that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” Vince Lombardi, American football coach and executive in the National Football