Building a great team has been one of my main focuses in outsourcing to the Philippines. Let me tell you what I think a great team is.
Characteristics of a Great Team
A great team means having fun while still seriously at work. You’re around people who support you, your ideas, style and actions. A great team fits just right on an intellectual and emotional level. Even as they expect me to be the boss and the center of everything, they can think for themselves and they take action according to what they believe is the best choice of judgment.
A great team offers their support before you ask for one, and is composed of people who are available. You can call someone right away and won’t be a distraction. You will be invited to share your thoughts and you are a better person after the call. A great team shares core values and core beliefs that help us in our mission as well as shares in that same mission, and in their unique personal way, individuals achieve that mission.
Mission of Serious Marketing
The mission of Serious Marketing is in our slogan, which is connecting people and ideas. A great team helps to accomplish the mission in a great way. A great team is comprised by great and unique individuals. Even though we’re looking for team players here, I believe the people who know who they are, their strengths, weaknesses, motivations, and strategies will have great social skills. They are leaders, even though they often don’t recognize it themselves.
How to Build a Great Team
How do you build a great team? It all starts before the hiring process with you knowing the kind of team you want to have. Think back to a project where everything was going very well, where communication didn’t feel like an obligation or an imposition, but where communication is a natural thing.
Think back to a situation where you felt this was a great team to work with and where the team members themselves have been asked why they think they have a great team. The answers are probably unique for everyone. Answers to this question help you know the kind of team you want to build. You’ll start looking for personal qualities that will facilitate and enhance the team that you want.
For example, I’m looking for a team whose members can give great feedback to each other, where we can help each other grow on a cognitive and emotional level. Working is learning, and I want people to learn the things that are most important to them while working for and with them.
Your Unique Selling Point as an Employer
As a side note, this is also something you can do to set you apart from other employees. What I often hear from some of my team members is they say they can use the skills they have learned with another company where they can get a better pay. Fortunately, these same members don’t do it because they feel working for Serious Marketing is much more valuable than the money they can get someplace else. It’s a very good and unique selling point for you as an employer.
People I Hire
Looking back, I have hired people in their twenties. I’ve hired people with an academic level of thinking. They either want to start studying for a master’s degree, or they’re going through it right now, or they already have the master’s degree. They all have very good command of the English language which is important. Even though Skype has a video function, it’s very important to be able to communicate with them efficiently, and having a command of the English language which we all share, it goes a long way in helping with communication.
I only hire people whom I feel know who they are, and have a sense of self of belonging of their attributes. I only hire people with a vision. People need to have a goal for themselves that is bigger than what they are doing right now; people with ambition. Be careful! If you are building a great team, having people with ambition may mean that they’ll leave your team. I think that’s okay. They probably want to do greater jobs than you can offer after a while. Your company needs to take steps so you can offer those jobs to some other people.
Dynamic Employee Progress
For example, when I started outsourcing to the Philippines, I used to give very detailed instructions to Neal on what to do, and I submitted multiple videos and tutorials, spent time on Team viewer and Skype with Neal to teach him. So now, Neal has taken on the role of a manager. He does exactly know what I need and what I want, and Neal is very good at communicating that to other people. So right now, Neal is actually doing managerial work. And it’s funny because we never decided to do so, but Neal just grew out of his normal job as an employee, and he grew into his new job.
It’s dynamic and it’s very beneficial to the team because it shows that you as a company give people freedom to develop, and I think that is very important for a great team, that you show that you want your people to develop their skills.
A dynamic team can lead to you, as an employer, making mistakes, and your employees making mistakes as well. This is totally okay because it’s part of how we learn. Our company makes mistakes. I guess it’s very good to have a company culture where mistakes are okay. If you allow people to make mistakes, they’ll be much happier. I guess you can learn a lot from the mistakes as well. I encourage you to foster a culture wherein people can make mistakes.
Those are some of my thoughts regarding how you can build a great team. I’m sure there are many more ideas on how to hire the right people for the job. Those are just the basics.