Building a team from the ground up can be one of the most challenging - and rewarding! - experiences for a manager or team leader. It isn’t an easy process, and for anyone new to the game, it may feel overwhelming or intimidating. Thankfully, there are a few tried-and-true steps you can take to choosing the right people and setting your new team up for success!
Determine Your Purpose
Before you do anything else, you want to establish, as clearly as possible, what the purpose of your team is. Developing a team mission that states the objective of the team is a good first step. Ask yourself what your team will be trying to accomplish, what your ideal results will be, and how you plan to achieve those results.
Knowing your purpose will help you figure out what sort of team members you’re looking for. Is creativity most important, or analytical thinking? Do you want people with strong marketing experience, or do you want to prioritize meeting some tight deadlines? Defining high-level goals as soon as possible will keep you - and, eventually, your team - on track throughout the rest of the process!
Figure Out What Skills You Need
Once you know what your team’s purpose is, you’re ready to sit down and hash out what skills will be of the most benefit to your new team. Try to avoid thinking in terms of employees or potential new hires just yet. Naming names too early on in the process may end up affecting your decisions subconsciously, and you don’t want to pigeonhole yourself with thinking certain people need to be on your team or that someone is a perfect fit.
You ultimately want to choose team members based on the tasks you want them to perform, not changing your requirements to suit people you think you want on the team!
Set Some Ground Rules
Wait, surely you want to do this after your team has been put together, right? Not quite! While it’s important to make sure everyone knows the goals, rules, and expectations you have set in place, it’s better to figure these things out before you start putting your team together.
This is because you want employees who are not only a good fit in terms of skill sets and ability, but who you feel confident in trusting to complete the tasks assigned to them. If you have two great candidates for team members, but you know one of your candidates already has too much on their plate to be taking on new projects - then you should factor that into your decision-making!
Hire or Assign the Right People
Do you have your team mission figured out? Do you have a clear list of skill sets and behaviors essential to the success of the team? Do you have notes on what the rules and expectations will be for each team member? Good! Now is the time to break out your list of employees and decide who will be the best fit.
Make sure you clearly state your goals, rules, and expectations to anyone you’re considering for your team; even if you think they are a perfect fit, they might have their own concerns that should be voiced before a final decision is made.
In the end, teams are a great way to get things done - and building a new team from the ground up can be an extremely satisfying experience. Take it one step at a time, and you’ll build a team to be proud of!