It would be great if I could write a column and tell readers how to build a team, but it all depends on a company’s needs, status or trade. The key is to find the right blend.
Hiring younger employees who often come straight out of school brings the company employees with fresh ideas and new ways of thinking. Conversely, older employees bring experience, leadership and the ability to produce immediate results.
Having said this, you may be tempted to build a team made up of primarily young employees with a few older, more experienced employees sprinkled in. However, this may not be the best idea to build a team. At the end of the day, no two teams are the same. Team chemistry based on what needs to be done are important things to consider when determining how to build your team. If you’re running a restaurant, a law firm, or any other business, you always want to build for the future, but you also have to make sure you can handle the present. For this reason, your employee base should consist of a mix of young and seasoned employees to ensure optimal results.
In business, especially small business, owners often act as the company leader. However, all structured systems delegate responsibilities, including leadership, to subdivisions. Your business may hire someone specifically to fill a leadership position or choose to promote someone from within the company. It is not uncommon for an employee to be asked to take the next step and become a leader. The ability to lead and the ability to manage are different talents.
Leading is social and interactive, while managing is calculated and by the numbers. Although a person can possess both, these skills are not mutually inclusive. Still, rather than hire an employee for each task, people in management positions often are relied upon to lead their staff.
The trouble with pushing these people into leadership positions stems from the fact that employees often are promoted to managerial or leadership positions for having strong job skills and a track record of getting results. While impressive, these distinctions do not necessitate that the employee have strong people or team-building skills. Good leadership does not require job skill or brilliant intellect. Charisma and reliability are the skills you want your leaders to possess. I am not convinced these are trainable attributes but something individuals are born with.
Many employers ask job seekers to name a time when they failed. Look to see if the job seeker is humble and talks about what they learned from the experience, not a “spin-your-weakness-into-strengths answer.” The purpose of this type of question is to determine their character and to see if this person learns from their mistakes.
The only way to avoid failure is to do nothing. You don’t win all the time. If the job seeker can’t answer this question correctly, one can assume they did not learn from their mistakes, did not have any responsibilities in their previous professions, do not remember their failures or they do not think quickly on their feet.
It’s important that your employees, especially your leaders, are not detrimental to your work environment. At times you may shy away from firing these employees because you like them or they are great individual performers. If you can isolate the problem employee and have them continue to perform individually, that’s fine. If not, you have to let them go in order to prevent this individual from negatively influencing the company.
Whether assembling a team to carry out a specific task or picking your best employees to oversee a company function, teams are important in the workplace. Teamwork in business is important. A major contributor to successful teamwork is having people who can work together. Only one person can be a leader, but this doesn’t mean only one person should have input. On the contrary, the best teams are those who have input from the most people.