How to build a kickass team part 1: Setting the foundations
Step #1: Strategy!
First of all you need to begin with your strategy; so what is the strategy for the team and what your team would ultimately look like. The best place to start to build out that strategy is to start with your future state org chart. So we do this exercise often with clients where we will get them to look at their current org chart where everybody is sitting who is reporting to who and what their responsibilities are and then we’ll get them to build their “Blue Sky” best case scenario future State org chart and what they want their business to look like in a year’s time from now. So you have your future state org chart ready to go, you know who we need to have in place, what they’re going to be doing. The next step is to look at the responsibilities for all of those people.
Look at your existing team and get them to map out all of their current responsibilities and what we generally do is start with an excel spreadsheet and each tab would be allocated to a specific employee and you get them to list out all of the responsibility right now and all the task they’re doing a regular basis. From there get them to use the Brian Tracy ABCDE method and basically beside each of those responsibilities or task assign them Either an ABCD or E. So A would be the most important high priority, B second, C is something that you might be able to table for a little while, D is anything you need to delegate and E is what you need to eliminate. From there stop doing everything is an E right away and then you can take a look at those Ds and start to think about who would need to take over those tasks.
The best way to approach this is to get your team members to do their responsibilities list themselves and then for you to do it and then compare. It’s remarkable how often people ideas on the priority of tasks are completely different. So this makes this a good exercise in and of itself. But then you can sit together and compare your notes and then talk to them a little bit about what their responsibilities are, what they love doing, what they would like to do more of and what they really don’t like doing. You can then adjust from there, it’s really great exercise to get both people on the same page and also to make sure that your existing team is super happy with the work that they are doing. If you’ve done any strength building activities before in the past you can pull that discussion into the conversation, if you haven’t take a look at this link. This tool is a survey to help the individuals to determine where their strengths are and you really want your team to be in there strengths much as possible of their day as possible that’s where you are going to get their best results from them.
Once you are done sitting with your current team and you’ve looked at their ABCDE break down and talked about what they want to be doing more of what they want to get rid of and what they love doing, you can go back and then build out the responsibilities for the new roles you want to hire for. To start you are going to pass all of your Ds off right away. Secondly, get rid of all the Es and reshuffle the responsibilities. This will help you decide the current staffs job responsibilities and then your future staffs job descriptions. When creating those future employee job descriptions don’t restrict yourself, you might have some roles that don’t look like a full time jobs yet and that’s okay! Just create that role and see how things go, you might be able to hire someone to take over two roles to start off with and as the as the company progress and the responsibilities increase then split that out into two roles.
It’s really good at this point to take a look at those and make sure that you team structure and responsibilities that everyone is focusing their time on is in line with what you are trying to do with your company. From there you can there tweak you future state org chart you can tweak everyone’s responsibilities and see if there’s anything else that needs to be adjusted based on where you are trying to take the company.
Who you hire does not set the culture for your company, you as the business owner set your culture and the vision for your culture. Creating company culture is an intentional thing and it involves certain type of structure things and part of it is hiring people that fit in with the culture you want for your company. Things to look at to set culture are; perks, expectations, standard for excellence, working hours, location, dress code, professional development, mentorship and career progression. There are lots of different things that you can look at but you need to be intentional about where you sit where all these, they are probably all in your head already but you need to document it. Once documented you need to make the passing of company culture to the new employees a part of your onboarding process so that the team that you are hiring on is very clear about what you are all about.
Example: when I was hired on at LuluLemon we had a whole week of onboarding before we did anything at our new desk. I’d said at least 50% of the time was focused on the educating the culture of the organization. This is an extreme case but it goes to show that some companies spend that time. It’s important to sit with your employees to make sure that they are in line with the vision and they are excited about it.
We hope that these tips were helpful and relevant for you! Be sure to check out the next part to this blog and send us an email if you have any questions about how to build your foundation!