5 Steps to Building – and Keeping – Your Dream Team

Whether you’re expanding your team, re-mapping roles or simply searching for a couple of new employees, figuring out what makes a dream team is one of the most essential pieces of building your company.  The formula is going to be a little different for everyone, but there are some fundamental elements to keep in mind as you recruit, train, and promote your crew.  These 5 steps will help you not only build the kind of team that you need, but will help you keep them around once the system is in place.

1. Strategize
First things first: understand who and what you need.  Bringing in new talent is exciting, but if you don’t have a clear vision of the kind of talent you need or the kind of work that will be expected of them, recruiting gets a little tricky.  When you’re creating new positions, get feedback from your team about the kinds of additions they think would be beneficial.  Incorporate their ideas into your expansion strategy, and check yourself to ensure you’re building a well-rounded team that won’t have any cracks. 

2. Communicate
The way we communicate has changed, and continues to change, almost by the day; and with so many channels and methods floating around, even our internal communications can be easily muddled.  When it comes to your team it is really important to create and maintain a 2-way communication street.  That means you openly communicate to ensure that expectations are understood, but it also means that you keep your door open, and are available to hear and understand input from your team.  If the company is not effectively communicating, employees will get frustrated.  If that happens and they feel like they don’t have anywhere to turn, you run the risk of losing some important pieces of your puzzle.

3.  Foster Collaboration
Every once in a while you’ll get a few team members that work really well together.  I’ll tell you right now: striking this dynamic can be like striking gold.  When you get a group that balances well, productivity and job satisfaction can increase, making collaboration simultaneously beneficial for your team and your company.  By allowing employees to connect with something outside of themselves, their days become more than just checking off a to-do list.  Fostering these working relationships and allowing employees to succeed as a group is what team is all about.   

4.  Inspire Positive Attitudes
There is truth to the saying that one bad apple ruins the bunch, and allowing your team to funnel into negativity and gossip is something you want to avoid like the plague.  Group dynamics are seriously important for any office environment, so when you start to hear rumors fly, pump the breaks.  Figure out the root of any negativity, and then figure out what you can do to eliminate the bad and promote the good.  Think about when your team works best together, and see what you can do to get back to that place.  This is a moment when positive and productive leadership can steer you back on course.

5.  Recognize Good Work
This isn’t to say that every typo-free email deserves a pat on the back, but when your team achieves something that’s been in the works for a while, don’t let it go unnoticed.  Recognition for good work is positive reinforcement, it lets your team know that what they do matters, and it sparks motivation for the next project.  Recognition comes in a whole variety of shapes and sizes (bonuses, gift cards, a half-day Friday, a company-sponsored outing), so figure out what best reflects your mission and start there.