Although you may start off in your business on your own, as it grows, you will need the support of staff.
Your objective should ultimately be to work on your business and not in it. You, therefore, need to build a team that is committed, motivated and makes things happen. How do you achieve this?
Create your vision
Before you even think about employing people, define your business objectives for the next three years. Think too about the culture you desire to create. Would you like a team of innovators or perhaps, self-starters? Are loyalty, ethics and a can-do attitude important?
This exercise will assist you in selecting staff who have the right culture fit and who buy into your long term vision.
Define your needs
Work out what skills you require and how these will complement your skills in the business. You want people who can genuinely add value – don’t feel intimidated about employing someone who is better than you at certain tasks.
Define job roles clearly so there’s no confusion about expectations and deliverables. Allow your staff to take responsibility for their role. Manage via a status report system, whereby your team member has to update you on progress of deliverables at agreed intervals.
Your goal is to build a senior team of managers of all critical areas of your business in order to take it further.
Avoid employing family or friends as this can be a recipe for disaster.
Let your staff know you value them
Be interested in your staff and show it. Ask them about their families and remember staff birthdays.
I knew an MD of one of the large South African banks who had a reputation for being able to greet staff members whom he had met only once, by name on subsequent occasions. An impressive feat if you consider that the bank had 20 000 employees.
If you create a culture where you show you value your employees, they, in turn, will be motivated to care about your business.
Just as you nurture your business, invest in improving the skills of your staff. Start an educational incentive whereby one employee a year is selected to enrol on a management programme, paid for by the company. Set criteria for how your staff qualifies and how the selection process takes place.
Have a team afternoon once a quarter. At these events, communicate how the business is progressing and hire a speaker to present a talk on a relevant topic. Make the afternoon a combination of fun and learning.
These activities will not only add value to your team members but will be great motivators.
Set the tone
Lead by example and be positive and inspiring. Staff, in order to stay committed, loyal and motivated; need to respect the person at the helm of the business.
In the words of John Maxwell, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.”
Business and Executive Coach