Are you having difficulties maintaining your team’s culture as it grows? Is hiring and retaining employees increasingly challenging for you? Today’s market is more competitive than ever. Coupled with a cost of living crisis and a UK economic downturn which is already biting, building and nurturing a strong, cohesive team is tough. If you are restructuring or growing your team, it’s important to keep both recruitment and retention front and centre.

Some of the most successful businesses are those that have built a happy and motivated team. However, building a successful team is not simple. It requires real commitment, careful planning and most importantly, it needs to start at the top.

Team Building is not just a buzzword

A fun team day away from the office (virtual or otherwise) once or twice a year is wonderful, but unfortunately, it is not enough to create the dream team.

team building“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.” – Babe Ruth.

In the same way a business has a growth or sales strategy, you need a long-term plan to build a team for success. You need to be clear and deliberate about your people strategy. 

What are the main challenges you are facing in order to achieve this? What would you like to address first? Every business will have a unique strategy; take the time to reflect on what the people in your team/organisation need and how you can help them become the dream team.

If you need help building a long-term plan for your team to thrive and succeed, get in touch with us. This is what we specialise in.  

Don’t tell people what to do; show them how to do it. The best leaders lead by example. Before trying to change the whole team or organisation, you must ensure that the executive team is on board and committed to the plan.

Company Culture and Values are just words…

In today’s world, having a solid company culture and values is essential, and it will also serve as the foundation to build your dream team. Customers and employees alike choose a brand based not only on the services or products they offer but also on how authentic and relevant the culture and values embodied by the brand are to their daily lives.

However, culture and values are just words unless they are translated into behaviours. If one of your company values is trustworthiness, what does this mean in everyone’s daily working life? A word can mean different things to different people; this is why it’s important to have clarity not only on what the culture and the values are but how you and the rest of your team live those values day in and day out. 

Aim for sustainable growth

The need to grow the team is a great sign. However, many businesses make the mistake of beginning the hiring process without first considering the people they need and want to succeed. Or how they can potentially signal a shift in the culture and values they’re looking to build and embed. 

Sure, depending on the role, asking for years of experience and a degree can be helpful, but we all are more than just our last job title and professional expertise. It may be better to hire someone who lacks experience but truly aligns with your company’s mission and is eager to learn and grow than to hire someone who has relevant experience but is simply looking at the paycheck.

It will be easier for you to find the ideal fit for your team if you are confident in the culture, values and people’s strategy that set your company apart.

You should also prioritise retention and engagement as you grow your team. While it could take you a little longer to induct and train someone with less expertise and experience, hiring a new employee every year will cost you more time and resources in the long run.

In addition, you need to consider how your team members will progress in the longer term as part of your people strategy. Lack of development and growth is one of the main reasons people quit their jobs. Enabling your best talent to access development opportunities will make them feel valued and motivated. Furthermore, it will allow you to start building your succession plan.

If you have a clear long-term plan for the development of your people, you can differentiate yourself from competitors, improve people’s sense of belonging and ensure that the people who stay are engaged and aligned with your culture and values. 

Plan well but don’t forget the execution

No matter where you start—whether you already have a one-year plan in place or you simply took your team outside for a day to talk about how to become a stronger team—execution is the most critical step.

No need to worry. You don’t have to jump in headfirst or attempt to address every problem at once. The important thing is that you start. People want to see that actions are taken, even if small and incremental. This will maintain their engagement and commitment to change. 

When thinking about execution, you must consider what you are committing to and how you will hold yourselves accountable. Whether it’s a new tool, technique or way of doing something, you need to plan for accountability. 

Share a doc where everyone commits to something, record a video, or sign an agreement; it doesn’t matter how you do it, as long as everyone is committed. 

The Optimist view…

Building your team for success is not an easy task. It takes time, you’re bound to make some mistakes, and you’ll need to adjust your plan along the way. However, to achieve the company’s growth and revenue targets, you will need the best from everyone in the team. 

Focusing on people and culture may not seem a priority if you are looking at revenue, but the only way you will get there is by building a successful team to support you on the journey.

At Optimist Performance, we help companies build their team for success. We’d be happy to work with you whether you want to start building and delivering your long-term plan or are just at a starting point for developing one. 

We will create a bespoke programme for you, either for a week, a month, six months or a year. We will focus on what you and your team need and work with you flexibly and collaboratively along the way to ensure your success.