“The speed of the boss is the speed of the team.”- Lee Iacocca
The success of many brands is based on a lot of factors and one major area of influence is the workforce. The strength of brands is dependent on the teams it is comprised of; and like many fast paced organizations in the digital, branding and tech fields, there is a lot of reliance on teams to achieve excellent results. This implies that for startup brands to get it right, they must also get it right with their teams. The right teams affect the short and long run productivity of all brand, so this is a critical area to be considered carefully.
“T-ogether E-veryone A-chieves M-ore” is an acronym for the word TEAM that holds true in every sense, but for brands especially startup, this may still be a hard-shell to crack. This is primarily because more is required in terms of efforts, time and investment to create the team that is a perfect fit for your organization.
When you think TEAM, think PEOPLE. Why? People are the one who make up your team and there is a subtle tendency to forget that the results your brands obtain are a function of people on board and so people make up the structures you put in place.
To build an effective team for your brand, you must understand the combination of individuals that have the potential, characteristics, skills and strength capable of creating great synergy to become the right fit for your business.
Typically, a team is defined as:
“A group of people with a full set of complementary skills required to complete a task, who often operate with a high degree of interdependence, sharing authority and responsibility for self-management, are accountable for the collective performance and work toward a common goal and shared rewards.”
When there is a strong sense of mutual commitment, synergy is created such that a team’s performance outweighs the results that would be obtained if individuals were engaged exclusively. Consequently, belonging to a team in the broadest sense implies being part of something very significant, that is often larger than the importance attached to an individual.
This is only attained when team members have clarity and a depth of understanding of the brand’s mission, objectives and corporate responsibilities required to achieve the organizational goals and if a team’s improvement efforts do not live up to your brand’s expectations, the diagnosing checklist of the 4 C’s (Clarity, Communication, Collaboration and Competence) below may tell you why.
Clarity: When an employer has a clearly defined path for the organization, with clarity about roles and expectations, then only can clear contexts and expectations be defined for the team. Often, startups teams have managerial challenges and the level of engagement of the team is often not at its best when there are misconceptions about the channel of reporting, roles, individual and collective responsibilities. This is critical to the success of any team for organizations.
Communication: To achieve clarity for any team, there must be sound communication across all managerial levels. Excellent communication can be achieved for a team when information and facts are relayed respectfully and honestly, including criticisms which should be constructive in nature. When team members communicate freely, they most likely are able to proffer solutions to the team and organizational challenges easily. People feel heard when they relay information to those who are attempting to understand their views. A very critical aspect of communication is listening and observation. Attentive listening helps teams understand what is being relayed verbally and what their expectations are for a task, while observation helps teams and organizational leaders pick up on those non-verbal cues, especially when handling critical issues, decision making processes or when teams need to reach a consensus about task or project etc.
Collaboration: Teams that succeed, succeed together and the best of ideas emerge when there is a constant brainstorm session by members of the team. When the level of employee engagement seems poor, that may be an indicator of a high level of lone engagement for work related activities employees individually. For any organization, collaborations is for improvement and growth, as it helps to harness the best of ideas, cut down time wasters and improves employee engagement.
Competence: The selection process of teams is a critical aspect of putting together a strong team. However, after this recruitment phase has been completed, startups often realize that they actually do not have the perfect team. No brand ever gets together a perfect team as this is a long term process that requires investing into the knowing the strengths and weaknesses of the members of the team, their skills and competencies, their desire for growth. Brand leaders or managers must be flexible enough to give room for growth and let all team members improve till they attain and surpass the bench mark set by the organization. This process is speedup by personal training or training by the organization.
With all said, it is important to remember that a great team is built when the selected members of the team work with each other consistently over a period of time, this helps them and the organizational leader establish stronger bonds and a better understanding of their competencies. In the long run, long term plans can be made based on the team strength to bring to fruition the brand goals.