How do I improve team dynamics with a brand new team?
I just brought on 5 new-hires (which is a big jump for my start-up) all in different roles. I have an idea of the steps I'll need to train them individually, but how do I create a great team dynamic as a new manager?
You have the unique opportunity to do it right, or screw it up (you'll probably do it right).
1. Set the expectation early - convey to your team what the expectations are and set the example (Lead from the front).
2. Be consistent - written policies and procedures will help you tremendously here (tough in a startup but start doing it now, it will pay dividends later), this supports the consistency thing
3. Make sure your team can see your vision - convey to them what your vision is and how they fit into it. Discuss the rewards that can be achieved by all (carrot vs. stick).
4. GOALS! Set the goals once the team is up and running. Make sure they understand what the goals are and if you can, set up rewards for hitting benchmarks. Make them attainable but make sure they have to stretch some before they reach them.
5. Compliment publicly, discipline privately. Make sure to show appreciation to them when they go the extra mile or hit a milestone. A majority of employees just want to know they are appreciated.
Kevin Hall mentioned several solid books on leadership and team building. Good luck!!
I found it useful when managing teams, especially during times of transition, to have someone facilitate a team workshop based on DISC and other personality related tools that measure motivations, etc. I still use DISC tools today when coaching because the only way I objectively know how to measure which way to steer the team is through the use of outside tools.
As an example, 4 out of 5 individuals on your team may be so dominant that the team building exercise becomes about how to let others lead at times and why collaboration builds strength.
Conversely, if 4 out of 5 are more passive individuals, they may quickly be put off by the one dominant player. So, they will need some guidance as to how to deal with that person.
So, I say you can't really answer your question until there's a proper assessment of the people and how they'll interact. Then when you know who you've got and they all know who they are working with, the team building planning can begin.
Improving team dynamics of a brand new team (new hire) is a process that starts with:
1. Onboarding. The process through which new (hires) employees are inducted into an organization's culture, norms, policies and practices including engagement and inclusion.
2. Building Interpersonal and intra-personal relationship. This process involves knowing and understanding and leveraging the personality and leadership style of each team member. Understanding oneself and her/his role and contribution to the team; valuing, respecting and appreciating diversity in the area of beliefs, perspectives, education, ethnicity etc. including shared values....
3. Recognizing team development stages/processes. There are several team development theorists: Bion, Tuckman, Lacoursiere, Gibbs, etc. Tuckman team development process is widely used in a corporate environment
Why even train individually? Different Roles are an excellent Q&A that will lend itself to an even more solid team.
One way to create a great team dynamic is "working" together. Just put everyone together and they can help teach and learn from one another. There are more benefits to multiple minds than just great ideas - there are great solutions, great strategies and best of all ... they learn to work together and will build a much stronger dynamic than individualized.
While in college we had our individual assignments and above that we had our Team Learning environment. We had to accept placement into a group of 5 or more students. Our facilitator selected which students would be teamed together . Our grade was 50% our work and 50% our team work. Believe me - there were angry students at the start of the class but by the end of each one we were amazed at how fully bonded we were.
Nevertheless, consider training "the group" rather than the individual because as we all know "There is no I in TEAM"
P.S. As a new manager - this may be a challenge to incorporate but that is when you use your fresh ideas and innovative approach to WOW your bosses - added bonus! Good Luck & feel free to ask questions if you have any - I am very happy to help with this if you need.
Have a great day!
Dear Zack , first of all i would like to really appreciate you your big leap , as hiring 5 Payroll at one shot is not an easy task for a new start-up.
Now i would like to make comment on the finance part which is very necessary for you at this point . You don't need to put the new joiners in different department , rather get them trained in a manner that they are hired for a particular department, so that you should have a versatile platform for all your employees. They shouldn't get a impression that they are hired for a particular department. Conduct regular meeting , and strong interaction with them . They shouldn't be over pressured but on the same hand they should know that who is the BOSS.
I hope the above mentioned points would be somehow useful for you, i am really glad to comment on your query.
Hi Zack, great question and I like Kevin's suggestion about thinking of other teams you've been on, particularly sports teams but it doesn't have to be just athletics obviously. My go to approach for bringing any team together is to get them together physically for a little fun and a lot of planning if at all possible. A full day off site could be done relatively inexpensively in comparison to the payroll you just signed up to cover. If you're a virtual start up as so many are now, a "get together in the same place" may be particularly important. Put together a plan to teach them and lead them as a group through what they need to know as a group; not just about how to do their job but how and why each of them are on the team. Per Kevin, the coach never takes the ball, but can direct the learning process. Lastly, it shouldn't be all work, so while a well structured agenda is a real good idea, plan in some fun time too and if possible some completely social time, perhaps at the end of a one day meeting or mid-way through a 2 day one. Go to a game, go bowling, mini-golf, it hardly matters but a team that plays together will work well together.
As the leader you have a vision and mission in your heart... It is important to get your existing and new members together and share that... Take them out of their work location, even for a few hours and share the road map you want them all to take...
Make sure they all know how important each of their roles is to the success of the whole and each other... I remember an airline executive explaining to me that the guy that empties the toilet of the plane is as important as me in the sales and marketing department - everyone is an imperative piece of the puzzle - make sure they understand you need each and everyone to make the picture...
They will support you and each other, which is imperative to growing and building future success... Keep the communication going after the initial meeting and make sure that you circle back around to everyone on a regular basis. Good Luck!
Great (best?) resource for everything you needed to know about building a team. Based on Bruce Tuckman's ground breaking research (1965, still the standard):
When you have questions about how to effectively apply these natural 'laws' of how people form teams, let me know how I can be of service.
Your very first step is to ensure that each member's personal values are aligned with where you want your business to go. Values do not need to be the same - they do need to be aligned, and that process exists 100% at the UNconscious level. When you are ready for that, ask me or google my Get UNstuck NOW! team coaching system (it includes a front piece to guarantee, in writing, that all values are aligned, as required to ensure what you want).
Hello Zack, great question as the team will be a major contributor to your success or failure. I've trained managers on this topic and can't emphasize enough the need to create a safe environment for the team to succeed.
I would suggest you think of the teams (sports, work, personal, etc.) you've been a part of that were successful. Think about the leadership associated with that team and what they did that made you feel engaged and that you mattered. If you can identify these things and mirror the things that worked, you're off to a great start.
I also suggest reading books that provide insight to being an effective leader of a team. "It's Your Ship", "One Minute Manager", or "Five Dysfunctions Of A Team" are all some of my favorites. Here is a link for other suggestions on books related to this topic: http://humanresources.about.com/od/teamstoppicks/tp/teams.htm
To the original point of a safe environment, the team will be far more productive if they feel engaged, heard and actually feel they've contributed to the success of the team/company. This includes them feeling safe about expressing an opposing opinion and being able to challenge the leadership or the status quo. You've got to be prepared to hear the bad with the good. Regardless, they have to feel safe.
To use a sports analogy, you're the coach. The coach NEVER takes the ball in an actual game, it undermines the players and prompts distrust if they think you don't believe in them or trust them to do their part. Try to avoid this trap. Remember they need a leader, not a friend. Hope this helps.
I frequently get this question by clients. The tendancy is to want to jump into the team aspects before some of the groundwork is created.
The key to creating a great team comes from the foundation you build first. You mentioned that each person (5) have different roles. Because they are new there will be a gap between their understanding of the role and your expectation of they role. People need to get a bit comfortable in their role BEFORE they can even consider teamwork. Part of this effort comes creating the gap analysis for skills, behaviors, and knowledge. Once you have done that then... believe it or know the team dynamic strategy will present itself.
It is really a lot easier that it sounds.
Hope this helps and thank you for the opportunity,