Assembling an effective team is one of the responsibilities most often overlooked by the leader of an organization, a department, or a division. While a leader is responsible for providing the vision, the team is responsible for executing that vision—which means that having the right team in place for your organization is critical.
So how do you go about building the “right” team?
- Determine your critical functions (sales, production, finance and accounting, administrative, HR, technology, etc.).
- Construct an organizational chart to account for the critical functions.
- Determine the skill sets and talent necessary for each position, such as technical and interpersonal skills, leadership traits, and a passion to grow and learn.
- Identify potential candidates (both internally and externally) to fill the roles identified.
- Continually provide opportunities for the team to grow.
- Periodically evaluate performance against the needs of each position.
This process is pretty basic, but unfortunately, none of us re-visit it often enough. Think about it—when is the last time you focused on the way your organization or department is structured or staffed?
There are a number of things that distract us from focusing on building the right team. First of all, it’s hard. Plus, when it comes to evaluating people, there are no sure things—and we like sure things! Here are a few others:
- “We have been doing it this way for a long time and we cannot change the structure.” Sure you can! There may be some disruption, but be confident that the benefits will be worth it. Take a piece of paper and pretend you are starting on day one—what would the organizational structure look like?
- “I know I need to upgrade my team, but I can’t get rid of any long-time employees.” Yes you can. As leaders, it is our job to build an organization that creates opportunities for all. Your team members are watching your actions.
- “I know what I need, but I can't afford it.” You can’t afford not to. We must view our people as investments in the future of the organization, not as a cost. Good people (who are often only marginally more expensive) make you more money at the end of the day.
It makes no difference if we are talking about a senior executive or someone operating a piece of equipment on the shop floor—they are all critical components of building the right team for your organization. It has been proven that employing the right organizational structure and the right team members leads to better results, lower turnover, and leaders spending their time on more value-added tasks. These are good reasons to take the time to re-evaluate your organization’s structure and the people on your team.
How do you make time to ensure you're building the right team for your organization? Share in the comments.