How do you go about putting the best team together? You know the one that is excited to work together and produces amazing results while having fun doing it! As a manager, doesn’t that sound great? When I am thinking about my teams, that is the end goal of all of my work as their team leader.
Here are the steps I like to take:
- Set expectations that set the tone. When I first come into a team, I always put forth my simple guidelines of what I want us to do. There are 3 key points. First, we will be trained and cross trained to issue that we can complete our assignments. Second, we will make and keep commitments. Lastly, we will have fun. Not hard to remember. Usually no one has problems with those, but if they do, it is time to start looking elsewhere.
- I ask my current team to think about which co-worker that they have worked with that they would really like to work with again. We all have those folks in our past, that we would love to work with again. Building a strong team from the teams perspective is very key to getting their team development quickly. When we have an opening, it is a quick reference (and my current team helps recruit strong candidates).
- I use the team to help describe, “what characteristics are for the ideal teammate.” It gets them to think about what is truly important to the team. It helps set the stage for what we are looking for. The added bonus is that each member of the team has a better understanding of what is important as well. I have seen team members change their behavior based on just that activity.
- All potential candidates are interviewed by an interview subset of the work team. That subset are usually 3 folks that have additional interview training. We set up what each person wants to interview on and how we will grade the responses. When completed, we do a face to face debrief on the overall interview and fill in our grading. The interview team pretty much has decided which candidate is their best choice, but they understand that the final decision is usually mine to make.
- We always have a “buddy” or mentor for every new team member. It is to help with assimilation into the team. It is an important role, that every team member will play at one time or another. Everyone wins. The buddy keeps focus on the important things. The new person comes up to speed quicker. Lastly, I get to see each person in action around some of the basic team skills (like communication, relationship building and problem solving).
Those are mine, what are yours?
The only important piece of all of this is, make sure that you are including your team in helping build your team! We all like to think we can do everything, but we just can’t.