The hiring process is anything but simple, especially if you don’t come from an HR background. To make matters even more complicated, many small business lack an HR department and the proprietor of the business is forced to do all of the hiring personally.
If you’ve never hired employees before, it’s highly likely you also don’t know how to build a team. Ideally, you want to create a team that complements each other and actually enjoy spending time together so working together isn’t a pain in the neck. But that’s easier said than done, so today we’re going to look at the best ways small business owners can build a cohesive team.
Spend Time Socializing with Employees in a Relaxed Environment
Small businesses tend to have closer-knit environments and relationships than mega-corporations. The physical space is often times smaller than big businesses, and your team is going to be spending a lot of time together in fairly close quarters. Your team may see you as the “big bad boss,” but you need to foster personal relationships with each of your team members.
One way to do this is to socialize with employees in relaxed environments so you can get to know each other in a non-professional setting. Take them out to lunch, attend community events together, or go on retreats. As long as it’s an appropriate setting, it will help your team understand you care about them as a human being, and don’t see them as worker bees who are forced to do your bidding.
Communicate with Your Team Daily
Today we have more options to communicate with others than ever before. Text messages, instant messaging platforms, Unified Communications, and other communication mediums offer businesses chances to collaborate and synchronize like never before...but only if you take advantage of them.
Not only do you need to communicate with your team, you need to give your team tools to communicate with each other. If you want to give a communication tool for a free test drive, I highly recommend using Slack. It may not make sense for every business, but it’s a great tool for small businesses who can’t afford an expensive Cisco Unified Communications solution.
Budget Wisely and Only Hire Who You Can Afford
Though you may need help and have tasks that you can’t accomplish alone, you may not need to provide a salary. Before you put out a job posting, as yourself, “Do I really need to on-board a full-time W-4 employee, or is this something that can be accomplished with a 1099 contractor or freelancer or a part-time hourly employee?
Additionally, remember to only hire who you can afford. Sure, some flashy resumes might look good on paper, but the greater the talent, the greater the compensation the prospective employee requires. Top talent may want benefits, like health insurance and dental, that you just can’t afford. Don’t strain or break the budget in the hiring process, because it could be detrimental to the future of your business.
Invest in Your Team
Team building isn’t only about finding qualified applicants with the right personalities – it’s also about continually building skills. You can simultaneously strengthen your team and let your employees know you care about their futures by investing in their careers.
Is there specific industry training your company can provide them to make them smarter or more skilled? Are there certification programs or college credit programs you can enroll them in to supplement their current skill set?
Only Hire People Who Match Your Company’s Culture and Values
As the old adage goes, one bad apple spoils the bunch. Obviously, you want to avoid hiring someone who detracts from your team. Someone who’s constantly negative, quarrelsome, and either aggressively or passive-aggressively puts down other members of your team is going to be bad for your business. But a bad apple isn’t just someone who’s overtly rude and negative.
You also have to consider if the person you’re considering hiring is a good fit for your company culture. For instance, if you run a trendy custom bike shop and have the same values as a hipster urbanite, hiring a stiff, square, tightly-wound suit and tie may not be the best fit for your team. Diversity in the workplace is a good thing, but one of the pillars of building a successful team is an alignment of core values.
Celebrate Together and Encourage Future Success
When you overcome a particularly challenging obstacle, it feels darn good to hear that you did a good job. Though constantly being cheery and bubbly 100% of the time may not be feasible - especially when things go awry - you do need to be encouraging when employees perform well. In addition, you need to celebrate with your employees as a team when you overcome a challenge or meet your goal.
Plan a company party to reinforce your admiration for your team’s success. However, don’t be cheap, because it could reflect negatively on your character or even be taken as an insult. For instance, if employees worked their rear end of for an entire business quarter and got little more than a pizza party, it might just cause some employees to become disgruntled.
Accept Failure as a Team
Just as you need to celebrate as a team, you also need to accept defeat as a team. I can already hear some of you protesting that “Failure isn’t an option, and shouldn’t be tolerated or accepted at all!” Though I wish failure never happened, the honest truth is sometimes challenges best even the most industrious small businesses.
When I say accept failure, I don’t mean you should give up. Rather, instead of playing the blame game, you should acknowledge that the whole team didn’t meet its goal, and you should then offer constructive criticism to ensure the same mistakes aren’t made in the future.
Building a team is no easy task, and demands a great deal of focus. Unfortunately, small business owners have the same number of hours in the day as the rest of us, and due to crucial yet distracting elements of running a business, like team building, they forget to stay ahead of the digital marketing curve.
Instead of falling behind, it’s better to contact a qualified web design and digital marketing professional to ensure you don’t miss out on qualified leads and sales opportunities.