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How To Get Your Staff Working Like A Team

Lee Huffman

All too often, the cry is heard "You can't get good people" or "Why can't I get my people to do as I tell them." Well here are a few ideas that may make life a lot easier.

Consider for a moment, the business owner who has 10 people working in the business yet the owner is the one doing all the work. What is the point!

Back to Basics

Firstly, let's get back to basics. Most people in business will understand how important systems are. Systems are usually responsible for having a business that runs smoothly (and profitably). With systems in place, it is simply a matter of employing people to run those systems.

Michael Gerber's fantastic book (The E-Myth Revisited) really highlights how important systems are for businesses to be successful. A real life example of course is McDonalds. With a food product that at best could only be described as average, it is simply a matter of systems that keep it a hugely successful entity.

The Point: Build Your Systems

If you feel like you are banging your head up against a brick wall, look at the systems in your business. Look at the most basic things from answering the phone all the way through to how you produce your product. If your systems aren't clearly defined and easy to understand, how can anyone understand what you want? Preferably, write them down and turn them into checklists. This is the basic foundation of business and in turn getting your people to work as a team, something that equals more than the sum of it's parts.  

Recruit the Right People

So, the systems have been built and are clearly defined, and now it is a matter of recruiting the right people to run those systems. The DiSC working personality profile can really help in selecting the right people for the job. With this knowledge, you can then recruit the right people for the job. However, the real challenge lies ahead. It is not just a matter of having people who come in, follow the system and get the job done. What you are looking for now is SYNERGY!

Synergy comes from having people who are committed to a "common goal." If people are involved in setting the "common goal," they are generally more likely to commit. If you, as the business owner are dictating to your team "this is the goal," do not expect much commitment. If your team has ownership, they are much more likely to achieve. Ownership is also very useful when designing and building your systems, let alone setting goals. Keep asking the team this question... "I'm looking for [a certain outcome], how do you think we should go about achieving that?" The successful business owner has team members that say "I think we should do like this." An unsuccessful business owner has team members that say, "I don't know, you're the boss."

Last, But, Not Least

Finally, be aware of what you are teaching your team. By this I mean, if a baby cries and it's mother comes running. What will the baby learn to do after a while? Exactly, let out a cry and in rushes Mommy. All I ask is to be very aware of what you are teaching your team. If you are saying to yourself, "no-one can do it like me" and you jump in and do it, your team is learning from that.