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Conversations, thoughts, and insights

Building The Right Team For Your Startup

By Michelle Joseph Sep 15, 2016

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An organization’s most important asset is its people. And especially in the early stage and high-growth stage of the company’s lifecycle, each employee has a major impact on every aspect of the business, from what your product will look like to shaping the company culture. When you are a small team it is easy to realize that a bad hire will cost you so much more than missing out on a good one. Here are four things to consider when building a winning team for your business:

1. Strong leadership & open communication 

People in top leadership positions at small businesses are often times also the company’s founder(s). When this is the case, their passion for the business is quite clear, and passion is essential for leaders to have in order to stick it out and work through the obstacles that almost all entrepreneurs face. However, it’s equally important to make sure the leaders in your organization are enjoyable to work for. Quite frankly, no one wants to work for a jerk. It’s proven that people work better for managers they like. And happier work environments increase productivity, increase employee retention and immensely help attract top talent for your business.

2. Culture drives people & people drive culture 

As a growing organization, it is extremely beneficial and almost essential these days to clearly define your company’s purpose, vision and values. In doing so, these statements can guide your organization in every decision making process and guide your team’s day-to-day attitude and actions with coworkers, clients and other members of the community that your company is trying to establish itself in. Laying these statements out will help align your business and define your culture. Your organizations culture drives your people to work a certain way, and each person that your organization is made up of will continue to drive and evolve the culture of your company.

3. Compliment each other 

It is important to know what skills and areas of expertise your team excels in and also to pinpoint the ones you lack. Know what you don’t know as an individual as well as a collective team. Hire people that are better than you in certain areas. Not only will this enable your business to successfully grow, it will also create a team that relies on each other and works together cross-functionally. Complimentary skills as well as complimenting your teammates for their skilled work will help attract, motivate and continuously develop a great start up team.

4. When it comes to people, go with your gut 

There are certain skill sets that are ideal for each open position your company is looking to fill. To be a successful business leader, you need to have an eye for talent. If you are hiring for a certain position and you feel this person could be an invaluable asset but the full skill set is not quite developed, go with your gut. Skills can be learned, passion cannot. Find the best people and provide a work environment that empowers them to grow themselves while at that same time growing your business.

Attracting, engaging and retaining the perfect mix of talent for your team is not an easy task. However, if you build a solid foundation of people in the early stages of your business’ lifecycle, the culture and members of your team will bring your business the right mix of passionate people to continue to enable your business success.

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