Having the right team members can significantly impact your business in multiple ways. Firstly, it enhances the work environment for everyone, leading to increased productivity. Secondly, having top-tier employees enables your firm to generate more revenue per employee.
However, if you have never had to manage a team before or have struggled with hiring in the past, it may be a skill that you need to develop. In this article, we will discuss common team-building mistakes and provide strategies to address them effectively.
You’re not removing the bad apples
Terminating employees is a challenging aspect of leadership that many find unpleasant. However, it is a necessary task in order to cultivate a high-performing team. It is important to recognize that hiring individuals who do not meet expectations can not only impact their own performance but also have a detrimental effect on the morale of your other employees. Additionally, if such an employee were to interact with your clients, it could potentially harm your business relationships.
Removing underperforming staff members as soon as possible is crucial for maintaining a strong financial position.
You’re not promoting your firm’s culture
Whether you are a staid and serious financial institution or a trendy and innovative firm, it is crucial to establish the desired atmosphere from the start. This will ensure that prospective employees have a clear understanding of the organisation’s values and culture. It is important to prevent circumstances where an individual who prefers a more traditional approach finds themselves disenchanted in an avant-garde environment, as this can negatively impact team dynamics. Therefore, it is imperative to showcase your firm’s ambience across all platforms where potential candidates may be evaluating your company:
your website and social media outlets
your business cards
your office’s furniture and décor
your advertising and employment notices
the way you dress
even your car can represent your firm’s culture
You don’t have a statement of values
Similar to your company’s culture, expressing your values can provide clarity to new hires on how they should address specific challenges. Zappos.com, a renowned online clothing retailer, has established a prominent set of 10 core values:
Deliver WOW Through Service
Embrace and Drive Change
Create Fun and a Little Weirdness
Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
Pursue Growth and Learning
Build Open and Honest Relationships with Communication
Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
Do More with Less
Be Passionate and Determined
By openly displaying these values on your website, you can effectively communicate to both current and prospective team members the expectations for their daily approach to their job.
You’re not helping your employees grow
Individuals are not merely seeking employment, but rather a vocation. They yearn for continuous learning and development to enhance their ability to contribute to the organisation’s future. If you confine an employee to a single monotonous task indefinitely, it’s inevitable that they will become disinterested and seek fresh challenges and ways to better themselves. Therefore, it is imperative that you offer your team members opportunities for personal and professional growth. Invite guest speakers to inspire them, send them to enriching seminars, empower them to explore innovative practices employed by other firms, and challenge them to implement these ideas within your own organisation. Additionally, investing in online learning courses on their behalf would be greatly beneficial.
Provide them with the necessary space and opportunities for development, regardless of the path they choose.
You’re only hiring accountants for all of your positions
It’s not uncommon for firms to have a team consisting solely of accountants. However, introducing someone with a different background can bring a fresh perspective and add value to the firm. For instance, let’s consider the scenario where your firm has grown to the point where you need a receptionist. While it would be advantageous if they had some knowledge in accounting, wouldn’t it be even more beneficial if they also possessed marketing skills? Your team is already filled with accounting experts, but how many of them can create compelling social media campaigns (assuming you haven’t hired a dedicated marketing professional)?
Similarly, consider the individual responsible for organising and delegating tasks to your outsourced team. While they should have an understanding of identifying missing components in files, being a certified accountant may not be essential. So why not hire someone with an HR background who can serve as both your go-to person for task management and your resource when it comes to future hiring needs? This diversity in skill sets can enhance the overall functionality of your firm and help it thrive.
You’re not setting goals
Goals play a crucial role at both the micro and macro levels. At the micro level, goals serve as milestones that motivate employees to strive for daily achievements. Instead of simply asking about their tasks, take a moment each morning to inquire about what they aim to accomplish by the end of the day. Verbalising their goals makes them tangible and increases their desire to succeed.
On a macro level, concrete goals provide team members with a sense of purpose and contribution. Their everyday efforts are not merely repetitive tasks; instead, they actively contribute to the overall improvement of the organisation. This emotional investment fosters effective teamwork rather than mere individuals working in isolation, absorbed in their individual assignments.
By emphasising goal setting and fostering this emotional commitment, you can transform your team into a cohesive unit dedicated to achieving collective success rather than solely focusing on individual tasks.
You’re not introducing your team to your clients
Developing personal relationships with clients from the beginning is crucial for creating a strong connection. Rather than just seeing them as files, your team will view them as individuals with dreams and goals. Whether these dreams are personal or professional, such as planning for retirement or growing their business, your firm will be dedicated to helping them achieve success. This approach also empowers your employees by involving them in value-added work opportunities, allowing them to contribute more to the overall success of the firm. By trusting your team with additional responsibilities, it not only gives them a sense of fulfilment but also allows you, as the boss, to focus on acquiring new clients.
You’re not celebrating your wins
It is essential to acknowledge and celebrate your team’s achievements when they reach significant milestones, whether it be on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis. This gesture shows your employees that their hard work is valued and appreciated. Additionally, these celebrations can serve as a form of marketing for your firm. When clients visit your office and notice remnants of the celebration, such as confetti in the cracks of chairs or photos of your team wearing silly hats on the wall, you can casually mention that these decorations are from helping a client successfully open a second location. This not only impresses clients but also highlights the successful outcomes your firm has achieved for its clients.