Small ideas can quickly snowball into lucrative ventures. You might not think it now, but your business could be five steps ahead of your rivals in a few years’ time. However, getting to that stage is going to be tricky and you can’t do it alone. So how do you build a team you can rely on and keep them inspired to perform at their best?
Growing Your Team
In the very early stages of growing your team you should be casting a critical eye over candidates and expecting a high standard. You want the best for your business and it’s ok to say no to those that aren’t quite right. Look for a mixture of experience and passion, and remember that it’s not all about qualifications. Graduates are now only expected to stay in their job for less than three years at a time. Training new staff is costly and time consuming, so make sure you ask your candidates about their future plans and gauge how loyal they will be to your company.
Don’t be tempted to bring friends and family along for the ride. It might seem like a good idea at the time, but things can turn sour pretty fast. As the boss, you need to be assertive and promote a high standard of performance and efficiency. Would you be comfortable telling your friend that they aren’t meeting your expectations? Employing friends and family can only work if you have a good professional working relationship. They might be able to understand your vision for the business, but will they be able to take you seriously as an employer?
Take your time building your team. They are the roots of your business and you need to get it right. If you have a heavy workload and rush the process, you may end up making a costly mistake. There are ways of outsourcing certain tasks, such as picking up the phone, so that you have time to focus on more important assignments.
Building Rapport With Your Staff
Once you’ve assembled your team you should always reflect on what they might think of you. If you come across as too aggressive or you don’t make time to answer their queries, they won’t be sticking around for long. Remaining positive and approachable is imperative as staff will inevitably face problems in their first few weeks. Promoting a positive attitude within the workplace also boosts performance and keeps stress at bay. A study published by Warwick Business School found that unhappy workers are 10% less productive than the average worker, whereas happy employees are 12% more productive.
Get to know your staff. They will feel more appreciated and valued if you take the time to chat to them throughout the day. If you know what your staff are like outside of the workplace, you can be more empathetic towards their workload and schedule. You cannot expect your staff to drop everything for your business. Their home life may interfere with their work life at times and keeping up to date with them will help you to understand any sudden drops in productivity. You can alleviate issues like this by offering flexible working hours or allowing staff to work from home on certain days.
Make sure you always show appreciation towards your staff. Try to set aside a budget to reward hard work. It doesn’t have to be much, but the little things such as providing workplace refreshments or arranging staff nights out helps to boost morale levels. Even just saying thank you to staff goes a very long way.
Numerous studies have shown that levels of staff engagement fell dramatically during the recessionary years, as managers were more preoccupied with keeping their businesses afloat. However, your workforce is the lifeblood of your company, and if they are disillusioned and unwilling to go the extra mile for the firm, your chances of progressing are significantly reduced.