Most successful businesses will agree that it is essential to build a strong team to run a thriving venture.
However, what happens when disruptions like COVID-19 hit unexpectedly?
For the first time in many years, businesses in hospitality, F&B, fashion, infrastructure, multinational corporations, institutions, and public-transport sectors were forced to shut down indefinitely due to a tiny infectious microscopic virus.
Singapore was not spared as well.
Work was brought to a halt, and a brooding wave of panic began to grip business owners and workers alike.
Suddenly, the future doesn’t seem so sure anymore.
However, instead of being worried like the rest, this could be an opportunity for you to grow stronger. Take a step back, seize this moment, evaluate the strength and weaknesses to build a strong team.
If you want to know the strategic moves that will make you a resilient team towards disruptions and uncertainty, then this guide is for you.
What “Strong Team” Means
Building a durable team in the workplace requires effective management skills. It’s not just about “getting the work done”, but working like a well-oiled machine that thrives.
A strong line up takes businesses to higher levels. Employees will be driven with a passion for being a part of a team or company that focuses on achieving their goals with roaring success.
Here are what it takes to have a robust and resilient team.
- They communicate very well with each other
- They are focused on achieving goals and results that align with the company goals
- Everyone brings their fair share to the table
- There are mutual respect and support for each other
- Talents are diversely individual but work together
- They are well coordinated and organized
Most of all, a strong team also has fun when they are together. Your team will enjoy and feel comfortable in each other’s company. Enjoyment holds the bond of teamwork and strengthens the synergy they share.
Steps You Need to Take to Build a Strong Team
A company that thrives has employees that strive with a positive mentality.
The resilient team that you want to build will include individuals who are willing to step up, fits the needs to achieve the goals, and complement each other.
Most will be determined to pursue long-term goals together for the sake of achievement and moving everybody forward.
However, you cannot build a strong team overnight.
There are best practices you can use to build amazing teamwork among your employees. It takes time to refine your workforce strategy and goals. But you will get there. As long as your focus is on the people.
After all, an organization is only as great as the people running it.
Prioritize People Strategy
Most successful businesses are people-centric.
Let’s look at some of the big brands.
The founder of the Virgin Group, Sir Richard Branson’s mantra is as follow. He believes that people and the planet should be on par with profits.
“People, Planet & Profits.”
Ritz Carlton Hotels has also embodied their people-first philosophy with the corporate motto,
“We are Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen.”
Both of these companies are well known all over the world and they prioritize people and are backed by strong teams.
They have developed a positive culture where employees, customers, and profit are all equally valued. Their workforce strategies clearly work for them in ways they planned it to be.
From these case studies, it is clear that hiring and developing the right people is crucial to developing a resilient team.
Here are a few actionable steps you can take to build a strong team.
1. Develop Clear Job Descriptions
The best step to hiring and building the desired team is to clearly define the roles that each individual will play in the company.
Job descriptions, also known as JD, should strategically reflect the strength criteria (competencies) you need to get the task done.
Characteristics are essential elements to consider as they ensure the suitability and adaptability of the individual towards the job task. It would be especially useful if applicants have prior experiences related to the particular scope too.
But in Hatch Asia, we usually focus on the future more than the past—meaning their growth potential.
For instance, hiring an executive requires a JD for managerial skills, their sense of responsibility, communication, and strategic planning.
When scouring resumes, you may need to identify growth potential for leaders too. It is important for succession planning. A strong company consists of continuity of leadership of people whom you can rely on.
2. Define Your “Success Profile”
Planning is key to success.
Therefore, the next step is to put together a “success profile.”
Starbucks adopts that “success profiles define the pathway through which individual performance impacts organizational strategies.”
This profile is a worksheet intended to illustrate the expectations and skills needed for the succession planning process of your organization. It outlines the abilities, knowledge, and competencies required for key roles.
Drawing the profile of your “ideal employee” makes hiring smoother and specific. It saves you time, money, turnovers, and a whole lot of frustration down the road.
You will have a clear idea of the “must” from any candidates who wish to work together with you.
You can also look to internally promote individuals in your current team that matches your “success” criteria, which you may have overlooked.
Internal promotions help shape your company culture by elevating key players who are already in your circle and familiar with your business.
To accomplish this, you need to understand and identify their skills that match your defined success profile. It will help you make better decisions and achieve greater results by placing the right people at the right job.
Here are some of the must-haves in your success profile checklist.
- Committed to self-improvement and mastering of skills
- Naturally self-resilient and motivated
- Dependable, honest and takes ownership of their tasks
- Excellent communicative skills that are empathic and relational
- Confident, positive, and adaptable
- Understands the industry and is able to work in a team
- Detail-oriented and is able to multitask
3. Identify Individual Strengths in Your Team
Different organisations may define strengths differently.
In our context, a specific strength defines how well and passionate a person can get when they’re good at something specific. When you assigned the right task to the right person in the right environment, they will thrive.
Based on this concept, employees that have the strengths that match your goals and culture will definitely thrive.
Also, different employees with different strength combinations will also bring out different results as a team. That we will leave it for another article.
Now, the more important question is: How do you discover someone’s strengths?
Observe and Ask
Sometimes the obvious may be right in front of your eyes.
We often overlook our current employees and focus on getting external new hires.
Take the opportunity to learn more about your employees—the attributes, level of skills, interests, passion and values of your current team.
Direct communication is one of the best methods to gain more insights and build a closer bond with them. Employees will be happy for the chance to express themselves to you. It also shows that you care enough to connect with them.
Learning more may allow you to reposition your team members and tasks while optimizing your operations.
Run Strengths Assessments
Everyone has different combinations of strengths. Your business needs a various combination of strengths from individuals to a thriving team.
The key to matching their strengths to your needs is to understand.
But how would you know who they are and what they’re capable of?
One way to uncover talents is by using assessment tools like the Gallup CliftonStrengths Assessment.
Through this test, you will gain a thorough understanding of your unique strengths as it measures your talent DNA.
It expounds the unique ways you accomplish your goals by the strengths categorization the assessment offer—thinking strategically, building relationships, executing plans, and influencing others.
At Hatch Asia, we offer our potential candidates with a free Gallup CliftonStrengths Assessment report. With an in-depth understanding of our client’s business goals, culture, requirements, and needs, it allows us to match the best-fit candidates to what our customers, which are businesses, need.
Follow the next link to understand Gallup CliftonStrengths and how it can lead to your personal growth and career success.
Identifying Growth Potential & Coachability
Besides learning about their strength profile, you will also need to identify the candidates’ growth potential.
But, how can one identify what has yet to happen?
Here are some tips.
- Discover if they do tasks beyond job designation.
- Observe what they have accomplished both on the direct responsibilities and indirect.
- What additional skills they picked up to accomplish tasks that require more of them.
- Look for leadership skills from accomplishing their tasks and interacting with the project team.
- Observe their reactions as you ask about the job role and expectations.
- Give them situational questions to understand how their mindset works and how they see and solve matters at work or in personal life.
- Understand their experience in handling situations, their thoughts and feelings of the outcome and what they would improve on.
- Ask about their short-term and long-term goals and how they align with their values and principles.
How to Build a Strong Team Culture in the Workplace
Team building encourages correlations. Investing in effective team-building strategies. Many employees usually think team building is “tiresome.” However, when done right, they will not just enjoy the session but will also come out stronger as a team.
Know Your Team Better
Take the efforts and time to know your people better. It inspires trust. It also encourages open communication, decreases chances for conflicts, and indirectly improves collaboration among team members. Also, encourage honest communication between employees. They will learn more about others through different situations and come to genuinely develop a sense of unity and bonding.
Promote Growth Culture
It is important that you promote a culture that encourages growth within the workspace. Encourage and create opportunities for your employees to learn new things as individuals or in groups. Let them learn to set their own goals, define how they want to achieve them, and employ others to help them achieve the goals. This promotes strong camaraderie among the staff while promoting growth.
No, its not that you must have meetings every day. However, having effective and concise meetings once a week can help overcome roadblocks and red tapes to increase productivity. It also gives you the chance to clear doubts about the direction your business is heading. Ensure that the objective of the meetings is clear, run it short and on point.
Your Dynamic Team – Ready to Brave Disruptions and Uncertainties
Just like Rome was not built in a day, building a dynamic team is the same too.
It takes time, patience, and passion for developing, training, and even changes for it to happen. Do not rush the process. You want to build a strong team that is resilient to disruptions and uncertainties, so let it be a solid one.
How do you know that you have progressed towards the makings of a strong, resilient team?
If you notice laughter, excitement, peer support, and maybe results-driven actions—you are absolutely on the right track! Of course, besides all the great work the team delivers together.
Amos Tay is the Managing Partner of Hatch Asia. He is a Gallup-Certified CliftonStrength Coach and leads our executive search business across the region. With over ten years of experience, Amos has helped clients obtain quality hires through proven assessment methodology. He specialises in the supply chain and logistics sector across Asia and believes that “people matters”. This philosophy pushes Amos to deliver quality hires for his clients while helping candidates build strong partnerships among stakeholders focusing on individual strengths.