Do you have a winning team?

 

You can’t do everything in your business so having the right people behind you is vital. After all, building a successful business is a multi-layered task.

 

Having a great product to sell is just the beginning. If you don’t know how to sell that product, you don’t have much of a business. More importantly, if you don’t have a strong team, you are probably stuck doing way too much of the grunt work.

One of the biggest problems Earthmoving Business owners run into as they build their business is simply working too much IN their business rather than working ON it. Many Earthmoving Business owners don’t think they have the time to focus on the big picture. This is one of the biggest fallacies in the business world.

There is time to focus on the big picture!

 

Remember, my recent article On V In spoke about the importance of the Business Owner focusing on GROWING THE BUSINESS – Not being Superman!

That is why it is so important to staff your business the right way. Hiring and training employees is not easy, but it is one of the most important things a small business does. The employees in a business are the direct conduit to customers. They are indicative of what is right and wrong in any business.

Good employees help build a business’ customer base, bad employees can destroy it, so it is imperative that each business trains their team in exactly what is expected and required from their team.

In that spirit, here are 4 mistakes businesses typically make when building their team.

  1. They Hire Friends and Family

Friends and family are great. Of course you love them and enjoy spending time with them, but that doesn’t mean they should be working for you. Many small businesses hire friends and family because the owner figures they are a better fit than possible employees they don’t know. But guess what? Business owners that think that way are wrong.

Maybe you’re close with the friends and family that work for you, but how well do they take direction? Do they treat you like the owner and boss, or is your work relationship an extension of your personal relationship?

For too many small business owners, the answer is the latter.

Hiring those you know might be easier, but it’s not better for the business.

Why?

Ask yourself, how much value do the people close to you bring to your business?

Are they knowledgeable about what you sell? Do they practice appropriate customer service techniques or does it seem like they are just filling time until the end of the day?

Normally when you hire friends and family you get a staff that doesn’t look at their job as a professional responsibility. Instead, they see the job as almost a personal favour to you. They are helping you out, or, at least that’s how they perceive it.

When a business owner has to fight the perception that they are doing their employees a favour by employing them, it is an uphill battle to have a successful business.

Remember, when you hire friends and family, you are doing them a favour, unless they are qualified to work in your business and because you must treat them like any employee, relationships can be strained, both personally and professionally. This can lead to problems for the business owner, both in the business and their personal life. Hire qualified people through a rigid screening process who have a professional responsibility to the job and spend time with your friends and family away from work.

 

  1. THEY LACK AN EXTENSIVE SCREENING PROCESS IN HIRING.

How do you decide who to hire? The days of a simple one on one interview after reviewing an applicant’s resume are long gone.

I could rattle on all day about implementing your own hiring process that is quite extensive, but it does pay you with the right candidate who fits right in. If you don’t want to install an extensive hiring process you of course can employ an agency to look after it for you.

Regardless of what way you go, you need to understand WHO you WANT on your team and WHY.

One of the best ways to get to know a potential candidate is to use personality profiles. The DISC Personality Profile is a great way to find out if a candidate will be able to fit in with the rest of your team.

DISC breaks down people into four personality types, D, I S and C. Each is a specific type of personality with its own communication traits that are reflected within a business.

Remember, you don’t hire the perfect employee. You hire the best prospect and turn them into a great employee through training, so once you’ve gotten all your questions answered and made a decision, the job has just begun.

Now, you have to ensure all your employees know the rules of the game and what is expected of them.

 

  1. Failing to Define Your Culture

How does your business define who it is? How would your employees describe your business? What about your customers? One major mistake in team building is failing to define exactly what the company’s culture is. Without defining your culture it is very easy for employees to feel lost and unsure about their role and the business in general.

So how can you be sure to define your culture in a way that is easily understandable?

First, craft a vision statement. This is a clear, concise statement of where your company will be when it’s finished. It should sum up what you want your business to be in the ideal.

The importance of the vision statement should not be understated because it allows everyone in the organization to know exactly what the team is working toward.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of businesses don’t have vision statement, or if they do, the keep it a secret from their employees as if it’s a long lost copy of the Magna Carta.

The vision statement is the long term goal of your company. It is a statement about the grand vision of what your business will be 100 years from now and because you should be proud of your vision and company, you have to share the statement with everyone associated with the company.

Remember, a vision statement is a living document, so it’s critical that each member of your team identifies and accepts that vision.

Once you’ve completed your vision statement, you’ll want to spell out what is acceptable and what isn’t from your team through points of culture.

These are the rules of the game that the team must play by. After all, you wouldn’t play basketball on a football field, why should employees not follow the rules you’ve set on your field of play?

You may know what you expect from your team, but how do they know what you expect?

 

  1. LET PROBLEMS FESTER INSTEAD OF NIPPING THEM IN THE BUD.

Hopefully in your business you will spend very little time putting out fires based on personality conflicts. Utilizing the methods described earlier should help with many issues, but odds are there will always be a problem or two between employees from time to time.

Your team will spend a lot of time together, so the likelihood is that there are going to be conflicts. As the owner, it is your job to deal with any conflicts and get them resolved as quickly and positively as possible.

Like most aspects of leadership, this comes down to responsibility and accountability.

The owner is always responsible for the output of the company. If there is a conflict that is hampering the business it is always the responsibility of the business owner to resolve the conflict. You can’t wait until the warring factions have made up. That type of resolution could take too long or might never happen at all.

It’s far easier to be pre-emptive AND have OPEN communication lines from the get go. Our last point focused on Defining the Culture within the team and having a dynamic Vision. Here we need to reduce the risk of conflict by ensuring we have an Organisational Chart for our business. Who reports to who and who is responsible for who. With the majority of Earthmoving companies I work with, the org chart is non-existent. Kind of explains why there is poor communication between certain divisions AND the heightened level of Chaos that ensues.

 

Selecting and hiring the proper team members is not to be taken lightly. Your team is a reflection on your business, which is why you need to take great care in making sure everyone you hire fits into your system. Hiring a perfect employee is not possible, but hiring a good employee and training them to be great is.

If you stay away from hiring family, trust the team you have to do the jobs they were hired for, use an extensive hiring process, renumerate exactly what you expect from your team and nip any conflicts in the bud, you should be able to build a team that will make you proud and grow your business.

If you’d like further info, please give me a call on 0421 063 900 or drop me an e-mail waynecohen@actioncoach.com