Almost every one of our clients needs support turning their current “crew of help” into a real team that works together and is all pulling in the same direction.
Some call this their “long-term” team, or their “first real team”, but whatever you call it … if know that things need to work better if you’re going to keep your sanity …
Team is one of the biggest difference makers when it comes to growing and scaling your business.
Here’s the overall 5-step process that we use ourselves (and with clients) to build our #dreamteam
1 – Before You Start Building the Team
Make sure you’re building the RIGHT “thing” first:
- Build your team structure around areas of responsibilities first, not roles
- Make sure you have a plan for how you’ll transition from your current org structure to your ideal one (and over what time)
- Hire such that each person will be net-profitable in (ideally) 3-6 months (if longer, make sure your cashflow will support it)
2 – Before You Hire for Any Given Position
Make sure you’ve clear on what SUCCESS looks like for that individual role:
- What will be a WIN for the organization
- What’s the timeline for that win
- How will those WINS be measured
3 – When Making Hiring Decisions
Hire for FIT first, train for ability if necessary.
- Training someone less experienced = 6-12 months before they’re net-profitable
- Training a pro = 3-6 months before they’re net-profitable
- Either is fine BUT only if they are a cultural fit for the role, your organization, AND your team
Also, don’t be afraid to hire on a 3-6 month trial first, with specific performance objectives that they have to hit before they get out of their probationary period.
4 – After You’ve Hired & As You’re Onboarding …
Have a plan for their first 90 days:
- Set mutual expectations for the first 90 days
- Mutually create a plan for achieving the success measure
- Focus on getting them to become really good at a few things before you add more to their plate
5 – Focus On Leading Your Team
Always be in constant communication
- Both informally and through regular check-in
- Regularly be asking them to self-assess progress against their plan
- Remember they are a whole person: treat them as such! Ask about family, holidays, hobbies, etc. BEFORE you ask about work.
Now, if you take nothing else away from this post… remember this:
The more clear you are on expectations, the better your team will be able to meet them.
Often, the reason that your new hire isn’t working out is NOT that it’s the wrong person, but that it’s either the wrong position (see #1 above) or because you didn’t set them up for success (see #2 above).
So ask yourself, what does this person need to be doing 3 months from now, so that I know we’re getting an ROI on the position. In other words, how will I know that I’m getting what I paid for from this position.
Then, you either come up with the plan for how you’ll get them to that level of performance with them (lower level employees — see #3 above) — or you work with them to devise the 90-day onboarding plan which you will then vet with them (see #4 above)
Clear expectations from the outset – and a clear path for onboarding – is at least as important as the hiring process.
Or else, you’ll just do it all over again sooner than you’d like anyways!