What Does It Take To Build And Develop A Truly Great Team? Part 5 of a series…
Welcome back! Here we are, working on building a great team of hourly team members, from no experience/entry level to Store Team Leader. We’ve talked about hiring the best people by hiring for qualities rather than skills, because we can teach pretty much anyone almost any skill, however we cannot teach qualities.
Last time we talked about the need to indoctrinate (or whatever you choose to call it) your new hire just as soon as you make the decision to hire them. The importance of this cannot be overstated… you simply cannot leave this to anyone else. Only you, the team Leader, can imbue your new hire with the team’s values and goals, the work ethic you expect, and make sure they know that you not only value and appreciate what they bring to the team, but also your commitment to helping them achieve their goals.
I have found that stating these things without the passion, belief, and energy that we would imagine someone who is ‘indoctrinating’ another person would use, will end with us failing to achieve the desired results. The process, and how the message is delivered are as important as the actual message. At least this is what I’ve found in my experience.
It is most important that you begin developing that strong, trusting relationship the day you decide to add them to the team.
Now that we are hiring the best people, we need to keep these great new hires from joining the ranks and adopting the current culture, and change the culture and of the team. Without changing the culture, as well as the expectations of our current team members, those great new people will either become mediocre, or leave. We cannot allow that to happen!
To keep that from happening, we need to be doing several things at once…
- 1. Get the people who do not belong on a great team off the team as quickly as possible. Even if that means we run short handed for a while, the risk of allowing them to poison our new hires far out weighs the short term effects of being short handed. All of our time and effort spent finding the best people and getting them excited about working on this great team will be for naught if we do not get those who are not interested in being part of a great team off of our team.
If we are not willing to follow through on this critical step, we will never be able to develop that great team. People who do not belong on a team are like poison, and no amount of coaching, or relationship building can mitigate the damage they will do. The percentage of people who cannot be won over, and will need to be removed from the team is small. If you are feeling that a large number, 10%, 15% or more of the current team members need to leave the team, perhaps we should take a hard look at our reasons for wanting them off the team.
When turning a team around, it is easy to feel that everyone we did not hire, everyone we don’t immediately see as a great addition to the team, or everyone who might be loyal to the previous leader needs to go. In fact, what most likely needs to happen is we need to spend the time to develop relationships with the majority of these team members.
I have found that the range of people who can be great team members is much wider that many people think. People who are not currently great, and who can become great team members have usually been mistrusted, and mistreated by their past team Leaders. If we make sure they are trained, extend trust, and develop strong relationships with them, we will find that many of our current team members can move with us from average or mediocre to great. It’s up to us as Leaders to do everything we can to engage with, and get the best out of each and everyone of our people.
For those very few who are always negative; do not wish to do the work it takes to be part of a great team; or will not be honest and genuine enough to allow a relationship to be built, we must be decisive and move them off the team as quickly as we can.
I didn’t mean to spend so much time on this one sub-topic, and I feel that its importance can’t be overstated. Feeling that more than a few people need to leave the team is probably a clue that we are allowing ourselves to be driven by our fears, which will make it impossible to achieve great. And at the same time, failing to take action with the few who do need to go will also keep us from achieving great. Working with our coach or mentor can help us determine where the truth/balance lies, and keep us from getting derailed.
Next time we’ll talk about changing the expectations of our current team members…
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