Teamwork is a nearly century-old concept, documented in the well-known Hawthorne studies, the basis for much organization psychology research. The idea of teamwork and smart teams has been embraced, enhanced in innovative ways, and promoted worldwide in big and small organizations.

To keep employees happy and productive, entrepreneurs need to make significant adjustments to how they think and run their businesses.

Key Takeaways

  • The value of having a strong team for business success isn’t a new concept, but many entrepreneurs struggle with building successful teams
  • Many entrepreneurs don’t make good managers because they often dislike planning too far ahead or delegating tasks
  • Strong teams contribute to a business’s success because they prevent burnout, serve as a sounding board, provide fresh perspectives, and build an inclusive culture
  • Simple tips for building a successful team include keeping the team close-knit and small, finding qualified people, getting out of their way, and recognizing their accomplishments

Tips For Building a Successful Team

You might think that putting together a team of like-minded people for your business isn’t a big deal, and you would be right. Often, you already have people in mind that are willing to work with you. However, a team of people who all think the same way doesn’t necessarily guarantee performance.

Putting together a team that puts your company on the map means looking for people who can bring different things to the party.

Here are four simple tips to help you build a successful team. These apply to all units you form, regardless of their function.

1. Keep It Close

Many management experts advise keeping a team small, often citing the two-pizza rule popularized by Jeff Bezos in 2002. The rule states that two pizzas should feed everyone on the team, which is a bit vague given the different sizes of pizzas available.

In any case, the idea is that you should have just eight to nine people in a team because a larger team may spend too much time discussing the problem and too little time working on the solution.

It’s arguably more important to have a team where the members have rapport and enjoy working with each other. They may still argue or disagree, but they’ll do so in a constructive way.

You can gauge if a team is working well using collaboration software that documents interactions. Asana is one example of an easy way to organize workflows and help teams work together even when they’re working remotely.

collaboration software -asana
Source: Asana

 

Regular checks on the team’s progress tell you if the team is working well together and identify possible roadblocks. If one or two team members are gumming up the works, you might want to replace them or move them to another team where they may fit better.

2. Find Smart People

Always hire someone who doesn’t need any hand-holding, especially for roles in which you have no skills or knowledge. You should be able to set and forget, after a fashion.

For example, if you hire someone to build a website for your marketing team, you shouldn’t have to tell them what to do. The website developer should know who to tap for information, what resources they need, where the roadblocks are, and how to accomplish the tasks in the shortest possible time. When everyone on the team knows their jobs, they’re more likely to work well together with minimal friction.

Finding smart people might be challenging, however, especially for tech positions. But preemployment testing software such as Wonscore may just make your job easy when it comes to quick assessment and management of candidates.

Wonderlic image
Source: Wonderlic

 

3. Get Out of the Way

An extension of hiring smart people is getting out of their way and letting them do the work the way they want. As an entrepreneur, you probably have a take-charge attitude that makes you good at what you do.

However, you need to trust your team and allow them to do their jobs their way. Employees that feel trusted are more likely to trust you and each other, perform well, and deliver results. If you’ve hired smart people in the first place, you should feel confident about getting out of the way.

Many brilliant people agree that the best way to build a successful team is letting intelligent people do what they do best.

Steve Jobs said, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”

4. Show Appreciation

Statistics show that employee recognition increases productivity and reduces turnover. One study indicates that 91% of human resources (HR) professionals believe that employee recognition reduces turnover significantly, while another shows that 37% of employees need recognition.

Everyone likes to feel appreciated, especially if they’re doing great work. Once you have a great set of people working together, you should make every effort to keep them. You can do that by showing you care about them and recognizing their contributions to the team and the business.

For example, you can offer rewards and bonuses for reaching goals. If you want to make sure you don’t miss any individual accomplishments and have the documentation to justify any recognition you give, consider using employee recognition software.

Qarrot Dashboard
Source: Qarrot

How Do Teams Make Your Business Successful?

Behind the success of any business are people who can work together to achieve goals. You might start a business without any help, but that is seldom sustainable.

As your company gets traction and grows, you need a team to support your expansion. Here are some ways that building a solid team can make your business successful.

They Help You to Avoid Burnout

When you first start your business, the excitement and adrenaline derived from the risks you take can sustain you through rigorous and long work hours. However, the constant demands on your time and energy eventually lead to burnout.

This can impact the continuity of your business, so it’s best to recognize the signs of burnout before it’s too late.

You can avoid burnout for you and your employees if you have a strong team sharing the workload. A cohesive team supports each other, easing the stress while getting the work done.

You Acquire a Sounding Board

As an entrepreneur, you probably have ideas for your company, and you can bounce them off team members and get their feedback. If you choose good people to work with, you’ll get their honest opinions for or against an idea.

Sounding off an idea with people you trust gives you the confidence to take risks.

They Provide Fresh Ideas

Even if you think you’re the king of ideas, you may have a necessarily limited perspective. People with diverse experiences and contexts may help you develop new ideas that can refine your concepts and help your business be and stay innovative.

You might even get some new ideas that may genuinely disrupt your industry.

Teams Build an Inclusive Culture

Employers talk a lot about diversity and inclusivity. However, the real value of working as a team is social interaction, especially in the wake of the pandemic.

In our survey of 3,903 Americans, we found that of those forced to work from home, 46.8% stated they missed office interactions and wanted to return to their workplaces.

Interactions can take many forms, and most organizations shifted to virtual team building during the lockdown. However, the mode or intervals at which they’re held isn’t what matters.

In a strong team, interactions usually mean an open and free exchange of ideas and opinions in an atmosphere of trust. That makes a happier workplace and a more productive workforce.

What To Do Next?

The importance of teams and teamwork is widely recognized. While some may claim that most businesses are merely “reinventing the wheel,” the bottom line is that effective teams are critical to business success across industries, and entrepreneurs know this.

The challenge isn’t in realization but in implementing team-building strategies. Many entrepreneurs lack management skills. Entrepreneurs tend to take chances, are driven by passion, and are often undeterred or unaware of the consequences.

Theirs is to do, not to plan.

While such a leap-of-faith attitude has often paid off for entrepreneurs, it doesn’t make them good at managing people and building teams.

Use these four simple tips to build a successful team and keep them with you as your business grows. If you already have teams in place, check if you’re ticking all the boxes for a strong team.

If you’re missing any, take steps to remedy the situation. It might require creating a bit of chaos in your organization, but it’s still worth it in the end.