Have you ever imagined what it would be like to have great team members? To work with people who are passionate and take pride in working with you and your clients. Team members that are experienced and flexible giving you time to do what you do best?
Our experience tells us that business owners struggle with recruiting the right team members. It is difficult to find good people who, when the next shiny opportunity comes along, do not want to leave. It can be frustrating though there are other options which will save you time and money.
Here are some of the challenges we regularly hear:
- Client 1 – I do not need someone all the time, maybe just for a few hours a week is that possible?
- An experienced resource stepped in to support as and when it was required for a minimum of 10 hours per month
- Client 2 – It’s important that my clients always receive a great professional service
- Recruited with corporate experience and values at the heart. Service was improved as emails were responded to quicker than the business owner has been getting to them
- Client 3 – My team need to have experience of working with other coaches and understand how we operate
- Client feedback within a week “I didn’t realise what a heavy load I was carrying until Helen stepped in” Lynne Irwin, Irwin Consultancy Services
- Client 4 – If they are not employed and integrated within my business how can this work?
- “It wasn’t until I spotted Wendy on LinkedIn after working with Noggin for years, that I realised she was self-employed herself” Jude Slater, Think with Jude
We find that business owners regularly tell us that they wished they had started to work with us sooner. Outsourced support has many benefits and can be a great option if you need resource quickly with little notice. Just consider if you had a pipeline of great team members along with a pipeline of clients. Would this not be a recipe for success for your business?
What are the qualities of good team members?
Success in today’s work world is more about team than individual performance. A team is more than just a group of workers, located together, doing their jobs. Real teams are interdependent. That means they must rely on one another to get the job done. Teams are such an important part of any growing buiness. There are several characteristics that we should be looking for when looking for new team members.
- Honest and Straightforward. A good team member is up front. He/she doesn’t play games, or lead others on. You can count on a good team member to tell you what’s what, whether it is good news or bad news
- Shares the Load. A good team member does his or her fair share of the work. There is a sense of equity and fairness, which is critically important for team members’ collective motivation
- Reliable. The good team member can be counted on. She or he meets deadlines and is on time
- Fair. A good team member takes appropriate credit, but would never think of taking credit for someone else’s work
- Complements Others’ Skills. An important characteristic of effective work teams is the shared capacity: Every member has areas of strength and some weak spots. A good team member provides some unique skills and/or knowledge that moves the team forward
- Good Communication Skills. Teamwork is social, so good team members need to be skilled, and tactful, communicators
- Positive Attitude. No one would follow a pessimistic leader, and the same goes for team members. A positive, can-do attitude is critical for the good team member.
How to build great work teams.
Great teams can be amazing, both in terms of what they can accomplish and the positive experience of working with the best people who share your goals and values. Bad work teams can be a source of stress and pain, and can easily self-destruct and fail to get anything done.
How can we ensure that we build good teams, with capable, qualified workers, who are rewarding to work with?
- Selection. It is critical to select individuals who have the right capacity and experience to work in teams.
We want team members who are committed, cooperative, and conscientious
We want to avoid team members who are self-centred, conflict prone, and non-communicative
How do you determine whether potential team members have the right characteristics?
Ask about past team experiences:
- “What do you like most about working in teams?”
- ”Tell me about an experience working in a team which was particularly successful.”
- “Tell me about an instance where working in a team was a negative experience.”
When discussing with potential team members search for instances of cooperation, sharing, and understanding of the value of working collaboratively with others. Too much focus on what “I did” may indicate self-centeredness and lack of sharing.
- Training and Development. Do not expect great teams to naturally emerge. Ensure positive team creation and development with training.
Develop good individual and group communication skills. Spend time focusing on the collective mission. Train team members in conflict management skills.
Create a learning environment where team members want to develop their skills and are motivated to do so.
- Management of Teams. Team leaders should make sure that each team member contributes his or her strengths and create interdependencies and redundancies so that if a team member is missing, someone else can pick up the slack.
Establish concrete goals and provide clear and constant feedback about individual and team performance and goal accomplishment.
Use both individual and team-based rewards to recognize performance and strengthen the team unit.
“Wendy and her team have been a brilliant addition to our team. We really appreciate the care and professionalism Wendy brings to working with us, she is a true partner to our work, someone we entrust our precious clients to, someone who shapes our thinking and shares our passion for our work.” Resident Coach