How often do you think about your team? Conversely, how often does your team think about you? Believe it or not, the “staff effect” is one that can make or break a business. It doesn’t matter how great a product you have, how high your level of expertise is or your beautiful logo, at the end of the (work) day, a business is only as strong as its weakest team member. This is why it pays to take your time with the hiring process. For you business owners, here are five reasons why you should choose your team carefully. For you staff members, here are five things to think about, from your manager’s point of view.
A good team…reduces the chances of burnout.
It’s a classic business owner Achilles heel—trying to do it all ourselves. Whether it’s because you don’t think you can afford the “right” team just yet, or because you think you know your business better than anyone else, owner burnout is real and it can do lasting harm to your business.
It doesn’t matter how much you love something; if you are working at it non-stop for 15 hours a day, seven days a week, it’s going to get old. As a matter of fact, you’re likely going to grow to hate it and that, my friend, is bad for business. Think of your team like a safety cushion. If you take the time to select the right team and surround yourself with people that you trust, it gives you the time and space away from the business to recharge and that’s good for everyone.
A good team…saves you money.
We all know that turnover is expensive. It takes time and money to train a new team member and those resources could be spent building your business in other areas. And those six months that it takes for a new candidate to truly learn the job, are a potential landmine for costly mistakes. You want to train as little as possible, so it’s important to select the right candidates to begin with.
How do you select the right candidate? Well, that’s an article (or series) of its own, but I will say that I personally believe that the most important quality to look for is trust. Much like entrusting your team to take care of your business while you take time away, if you trust your team to do their job and do it well, you can spend time working on growth, instead of day-to-day maintenance. Now you’re making money in addition to saving it.
A good team…improves your reputation.
In addition to costing you money, a high staff turnover rate also costs you reputation points. If you have a revolving door of team members, one (or all) of a few things are happening:
1. Your hiring/firing too quickly.
2. Your training program is ineffective.
3. You are not matching the right roles to the right candidates.
4. You have terrible management.
Regardless of what the actual problem is, you/your business has one and a high turnover rate broadcasts that to everyone else. The best strategy is to ask your remaining staff for their honest feedback, LISTEN and make some changes, fast.
No good employees leave an environment that they are happy in. If you take the time to hire a good team, train them properly and treat them well, they will be just as invested in your business as you are. Think of each team member like a living, breathing advertisement. They are either improving your reputation or detracting from it. At the end of the day, that choice is yours via your management skills.
A good team…reinforces your brand.
Let’s take that idea of your team as a living advertisement a little further (having worked in advertising for over a decade, I’m a little partial to analogies of that ilk). Hiring candidates that reflect the values and personality of your brand serve as a reinforcement, stronger than any logo or color scheme. There is a reason why independent coffee shops have a stereotypical barista type—glasses, ironic t-shirt under a plaid button down, usually wearing a slouchy hat of some kind…you know what I’m talking about, don’t pretend for a second that you don’t. It makes the entire atmosphere a little more artsy, a little more intellectual. It’s staging a smart, real-life environment and making it relatable, through people, which is really fascinating when you think about it.
If you want your clients to think of your business a certain way, you have to have a team that embodies those qualities plain and simple. Then you need to treat and pay them well (that’s the other really important part).
A good team…strengthens your business through diversity.
I can’t stress this enough: every single team member matters. Not only are they each a representation of your brand to your customers, but they each have different talents. Likely, their strengths and weaknesses are not only different from each other, but from yours as well, which is a huge advantage. Some owners are great at conceptualizing, but not so good at organizing. Some are great at marketing, but terrible at communicating effectively person-to-person. You can use your hiring practices to stock your team chock-full of people whose talents complement your own.
Now, the important caveat to consider here is that this requires a certain level of self-assuredness. You have to be willing to take the first step and realize that you are not great at everything. I’m sorry to break it to you, but no one is. Once you can embrace this, it makes it easier to identify the areas of your business that you may not have a natural inclination or talent in and hire accordingly. Nurturing the diversity of a team creates a better environment for you, your staff and your clients. It’s a win-win-win.
If you’re ready to begin, check out our best interviewing practices, HERE.