A voice for startups

Building an Awesome Team

How to build a great team – 101

Are you running your business  with stress or bliss? This can be answered by evaluating the manner your  team has been built. You could be a jack of all trades still, running a business with an incompetent team can be really painful.   Be it for gearing up a new venture or branching out the existing, a trustable network is a treasure hunt. Building a team is never a walk in the park. There are startups that had grown great with a good team and are many that had vanished in thin air with a bad one. So how do we crack the code?  Below  are some game plans that will help you accomplish it.

Startups Club Post - Vision

Vision – Why are we doing this?

Most of the entrepreneurs, in the startup phase work on  improving the business, broadening their ventures, not to mention making money but only  few work with a vision. Startups that have succeeded in the past had one thing in common it’s their vision.  “The number of transistors incorporated in a chip will approximately double every 24 months” said Gordon Moore the founder of intel and he did work with his vision. Result is what we see now, smart machines in small sizes. Goals and targets are necessary but only when it is worked with a vision it will attain exceptional results. Make your team aware of your vision and train them in all aspects to achieve that.  To materialize this initially,  it is preferable to recruit  candidates from your trustworthy network, people who understand your vision, who are like minded and who can adapt to your idiosyncrasies.

Teamwork makes the dream work, but a vision becomes a nightmare when the leader has a big dream and a bad team. John C. Maxwell

 

Startups Club Post - Understand

Sleeping on the job? Understand each one’s story

Once Sir Richard Branson  caught an employee who was sleeping at work. The virgin boss went near him, took a snap and gave him a wake up call. He stated in an interview “I popped into the office and the airport to say hello and check in to see what the team are up to. This guy wasn’t up to much at all – I caught him sleeping on the job! Wow, did he get a shock when I woke him up,” the billionaire wrote. “He must have thought he was dreaming because he went straight back to sleep. To be fair, he was on standby, getting some much needed rest.” No wonder the Virgin group has evolved so successfully.  

If you want your team to deliver their best, then it is really important to understand what they are good at . Learn how they react and what they can offer at crucial stages of business. It plays an important role in taking your business towards success. So speaking of good and bad times, be ready to offer your helping hands on building anything apart from what is assigned. Mistakes happen, to err is human and it is very common for a startup to come across many hardships at its initial stage. But those hardships shouldn’t hold you or your team back from, tasting the success. It is at these times your team might need you the most. So feel free to motivate and support your team at all times.

 

Startups CLub Post - Culture

Its all about the culture and environment

A key factor that impacts the performance of an employee is the work environment. Setting up a scope of work is important but a nonchalant work environment is equally important Essential-instead of using another important in the same sentence?. Infact, it is the  proper work environment that encourages the worker  to work every day happily . A sense of positivity should hover around the work floor to make the  employee feel confident at work. This not only means the office setup,infrastructure, flexibility at work but the way management responds, communication of leads, transparency and social relief . Also, conducting interactive events is one such example and giving scope for their extra curricular activities is another way.

When it comes to a comfortable work culture, the flexibility is the key. One such example is Amazon, where their CEO Jeff Bezos says,  “I’m very proud of the culture we have at Amazon, I think of it as a gold standard culture for innovation and pioneering work”. Amazon’s key reason of success has been it’s different work culture”. Jeff also adds up telling, “If you are giving a great customer experience, the only way to do that is with happy people,” he said. You can’t do it with a set of miserable people watching the clock all day.

 

Startups Club Post - Learning

Never stop learning

In the book, “What got you here, wont get you there” Marshall Goldsmith , It describes,  how successful people became more successful. You might be satisfied with the way your employees are working and the skills they already possess, but that alone doesn’t carry them further.  Constant learning  brightens their lamp of knowledge which eventually  impacts in the company’s progress. Employees should be given exposure to new technologies and shared updates on the emerging trends. A suggestion would  be helping them completing online learning  badges like they have in  linkedIn, asking an employee to give presentation every week on a new thing they have learned, setting up a library in the office and motivating to read books.

Startups Club Post - ear

Lend an ear

Great leaders are good listeners. Each of them have  different  ways of thinking and see things from different perspectives.  You can yield solutions for your quest when you put them together.   Value their inputs and only in a startup phase you can have such a communication . Assigning administrative roles is important, where the lead does not get a chance to conduct meeting often rather  others should be given an opportunity to organize this develops their skills.

Here are few things that can possibly happen when knowledge is shared:

  •         Participative Decision making
  •         Shared expectations
  •         Open trust environment
  •         Individual recognition

 

Startups Club Post - Team

Its not all about the money –

You might be paying your employees well and even periodically increasing their pay but it  does not do the trick. There should be timely  acknowledgement for the good works your employees do. Appreciation is a fundamental human need. Employees respond to appreciation expressed through recognition of their good work because it confirms their work is valued. When employees and their work are valued, their satisfaction and productivity rises, and they are motivated to maintain or improve their good work.

There are many ways of rewarding  your employees which you could think of but what St. Louis Children’s hospital’s management follows is something unique. They post about their employee’s performance on social media. This makes the employee proud not only within the organization but also improves their status among their peers. You can use this as a key to boost up your team member’s performance so that they will stick with you for a long time.

The Epilogue

Any one can form a group but only a mastermind can transform them to an elite team. So buckle up your shoes to go an extra mile for the team’s welfare.

“Remember, teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.” –Patrick Lencioni

Khuzema Siam

Khuze Siam leads the tech development for Startups Club. He specialises in internet technology and has been engaged in the area for the past 7 years. He is also the founder of Siam Computing.