If you want to build a team that cares deeply and passionately about what you do, then this is for you. Your business will be a reflection of your leadership, work ethic and the values you hold dear. You don’t want to build a team of clones, but you do need to build a team that give a shit and will always go the extra mile for you and for clients. Giving a shit is not something you can fake, you have to feel it and your clients need to feel it too. Here’s what works:
1. Invest in good systems and technology
You won’t make a great cake if you have bad ingredients. A lot of stress is caused in businesses that fail to invest in proper systems. This leads to moans from the team who will feel ‘they’re not worth it’ or that you don’t care. At all costs avoid a ‘them and us’ situation and make the investment. Your life will be a lot easier and your team will be much more efficient and will enjoy their jobs as well.
2. Share the vision & values
A team that works with a common purpose will outperform a team that has no clear direction. It’s really simple but people need to live and breathe the company values, that is the foundation of the work ethic. The shared vision needs to be built around performance, key performance levels and shared respect, everyone needs to know what role they play in making that vision a reality.
3. Match the skill sets
Never try to put a square peg in a round hole, it doesn’t work. People work best when they’re playing to their strengths. If they’re in a role that is not right for them they will become a weak link in the team. This can result in people being disruptive and it’s never worth the aggro. There are some great tools out there like DISC that can help with this. This comprises of a short questionnaire for each person which also shows up any areas of conflict and deepens the understanding of different styles of working.
4. Pay attention to detail
It’s often the little things that make the biggest difference. Paying attention is important, you can’t have people in a team on auto-pilot, but equally you don’t want them in a state of fight or flight. This is where good technology and processes can help. The standards for how you do things as a business need to be clearly understood and they will soon become habits, good habits!
5. Roles & responsibilities
This isn’t about job titles or a hierarchical organisation chart, this is about clarifying everybody’s role and the responsibilities, or expectations of that role. People work well when they know what is expected of them. In a team that give a shit people will always step out of that role to do extras like taking out the bins, making drinks, greeting clients, helping colleagues, it’s about positive thinking.
People manage increasing levels of communications, digital and verbal. The ability to prioritise is vital and a team that gels together well will prioritise successfully. In fact in great teams they can communicate without words. Once again it’s down to creating that positive drive and ‘can do’ attitude that makes sure that nobody drops the ball.
7. Zero tolerances
This is about a consensus within the company culture. To build a team that give a shit, it’s not just a question about caring about the job itself. It’s about the team caring about environment and behaviour. You’re not running a prison with rules and regulations but you are running a business and want standards to be maintained. So for example you might have a ‘no jeans’ policy or ‘chewing gum’ or even a ‘no bitching’ policy. Whatever the zero tolerance is, everyone needs to know that you will come down hard.
8. Recognition, praise & reward
Credit where credit is due is absolutely vital. You want to encourage ideas and then acknowledge who is contributing, you need a culture of asking how things can be better. Praise is important and also reward, if these things are not in place people may start to feel undervalued. There doesn’t have to be grand gestures, it’s just a case of noticing what’s happening.
9. Environment & energy
You don’t need fancy offices for a good environment. We’ve all been to businesses where you can feel the ‘vibe’ of the place and it isn’t always good. People pick up on energies, negative and positive, so make sure that any negative issues are dealt with so that the team doesn’t struggle to be positively charged. Negativity sucks the life out of a team.
10. Have fun
Work is so much more than the job. It’s about people, bonding, relationships, self-worth and in any team there will be the ones who are the go-getters, the carers, the comics, everybody brings themselves to the party. We spend a lot of our lives working, so it needs to be fun. Team building activities are great, a buffet lunch in the office, cake! Sharing simply builds those team connections and strengthens the bond.
We could go on with other suggestions but this is what we believe has brought our team to greatness. It’s not easy to build a team that give a shit and it does take time. At PCM many of the team have been here for years, so something must be working. This helps us to deliver a great service and we really want to say a huge “thank you” to each and every person that makes things happen every day.