You’ve probably heard it before – that hiring, motivating and retaining a team are vital for business success. But for an SME, with little or no HR expertise, developing and managing a team is not simple.
Team-building is too important to ignore. If you can get beyond the buzzwords, it’s also not that complicated. Much of the investment you need to make is about time, more so than money.
For an SME, best practice in team building can be boiled down to five main themes and taking action to change habits and behaviours.
Culture is Key
The best performing businesses, be they multinationals or SMEs, have strong cultures. They may or may not have mission statements stuck on their walls. But they certainly know who they are and what they are about.
Workplace culture is simple: you need to have a clear purpose and a set of values that your staff know and care about. Engaged employees take ownership of their workplaces. They are the best advocates for your business and your brands.
Employees are more productive and engaged when they:
- Trust the business they work for
- Take pride in the work they do
- Enjoy interacting with their colleagues and their management
Building trust is about credibility, respect and setting expectations. It starts with owners and managers and the relationships they build with their teams.
The rumour mill is a potent force in most workplaces. Many employers allow unfounded rumours to gain credence. Instead, you need to communicate regularly and consistently. You should have open, honest and transparent communications with all members of your team. And you shouldn’t shy away from tough topics.
Delegate and Celebrate
Trust your team to take on new challenges. Delegate more than the routine tasks. Celebrate the little wins, as much as the big wins.
Give your employees opportunities to step outside their day to day role and to take on challenges. They may show that they have solutions and also show managerial potential in the process.
Don’t Repeat Mistakes
Few SMEs haven’t made a mistake in hiring the wrong candidate for a job or not doing enough to retain a valued manager or staff member. Such mistakes cause disruption and additional costs. Replacing a senior manager can cost up to 30% of basic salary on recruitment costs, as well as productivity losses, induction and other costs.
A mistake is compounded if it’s repeated. Force yourself to ask tough questions about what went wrong. Or better still ask a trusted adviser to critique what went wrong and how you’ll avoid a recurrence.
Contact Mary of Right Hand HR for support with selection or team building on 086 8225448 or firstname.lastname@example.org