Looking for the right people for the right job?
Business is ultimately about people. Hiring and developing the right people can go a long way in building a successful company. So how do you build a top management team for your company?
There are many factors to consider when hiring and developing the right talent for your workforce. Here we examine the factors behind building a top management team for your business.
Clear Job Descriptions
It is imperative to have clearly defined roles. It will be difficult to come to resolutions if your employees are unsure whether they have the authority to make decisions. Once the job roles and responsibilities are specified, it will result in quicker decision making. Avoid vague descriptions so that your workers can have a stronger sense of ownership when it comes to their job.
In the article, The Power of Defining Roles: Why Job Descriptions Matter by Susan Kreeger, she writes, “Clear job descriptions help determine organizational structure, evaluate how needs will be met, identify any gaps in the responsibility of roles, define the functional expertise needed for a given job, and how each job fits into the company.” On a strategic level, it aligns the employees with the goals and vision of a company.
It is important that your management team knows the vision for your company and where they fit within it. In competitive surroundings, employees may tend to focus on individual achievements rather than the company vision. In this case, it’s time to renew the vision for the company – a key role for your management team to carry out.
In the article, “Understanding Workplace Values: Finding the Best Cultural Fit”, Elizabeth Eyre explains that “Your organization’s workplace values set the tone for your company’s culture, and they identify what your organization, as a whole, cares about. It’s important that your people’s values align with these.”
Once this is in place, your employees will do the right thing for the right reasons and build positive working relationships. As the saying goes, “There is strength in numbers”, and a united management team can certainly accomplish much.
The secret behind the strongest management team is clear, concise and frequent communication. If there is a failure to communicate, there will not be a clear vision of responsibilities and priorities. So it’s imperative that team members take adequate time to distinctly relay information to each other.
From Leo Froschhelser’s article, Communication: the most important key to leadership success, he states, “Regardless of whether you’re talking about business, politics, sports or the military, the best leaders are first-rate communicators. Their values are clear and solid, and what they say promotes those values. Their teams admire them and follow their lead. Likewise, if you want your company to reach new benchmarks of achievement, you must master the art of clear communication.”
A healthy channel of communication within the team assures cohesiveness among them, which is vital to enhancing work practices. A workforce that can establish a supportive, positive and open environment will be more inclined to gather good ideas and adopt the best practices of the group.
The business climate everywhere in the world is rapidly changing due to the advancement of technology. An expert in a particular area of technology today is not necessarily an expert tomorrow. Hence, it is essential that your management team is constantly trained and updated with the latest technology and industry changes through training programmes or seminars in order to keep ahead of the competition. It will take time, effort and money but it will be well worth the investment as a team that continues to pursue knowledge will be an exceptional workforce for your company.
Team Building Activities
A great way to build trust and foster friendships among employees so they can work and function as a single unit. Proper use of team building activities can go a long way in helping to build a well-functioning management team. The activities can strengthen bonds and also reduce the chances of conflicts. Your workforce will also be enjoying their work and feel motivated to accept challenges and responsibilities.
Here are examples of team building activities you can try with your team.
- Water balloon toss
Fill up a bunch of water balloons. Split your team into pairs, and have them throw balloons back and forth to each other, taking a step back with each successful exchange. Last balloon standing wins.
- Scavenger hunt
A great way to build teamwork within a healthy competitive environment. Split your employees into teams and allow them to compete with one another in looking for items that are within a list. The fastest team to find all items wins.
- Human knot
Have your team gather in a circle. Tell everyone to put their right hands in the air and grab onto someone’s hand across the circle. Then tell them to link their left hands with someone else across the circle. See if they can untangle themselves without letting go of anyone’s hand.
- Egg drop
Split into teams and build a device from whatever resources they can find that can keep a raw egg intact when it’s dropped from a few stories
- Two truths and one lie
Take turns telling your coworkers two things about you that are true and one thing that’s false. Have them guess the lie.
- Blind retriever
Split your staff into small teams, blindfolding one person on each team. The first team that can successfully direct their blindfolded colleague to a hidden object wins
- Community service
Pick a deserving cause, rally the troops, and give back to the community whenever time allows for it. Team building — and for a good cause.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to the kind of people that you hire into your business. But what if your business is not sufficiently large enough to hire the “best” talents into your company?
The experts or the most qualified people are not necessarily the “best” hires
Don’t worry if you are just starting out and worried that your business is not as competitive because you are losing out to larger companies on hiring the most qualified people or “experts”. Sometimes, they do not necessarily make the best hires.
“I hate to hire people who come as experts because there are no experts of the future, they’re always experts of yesterday,” Ma said. “There are no best people. The best people are always in your company, you train them to become the best.” And that starts with getting in people who are ready to learn and are not afraid to make mistakes, he added. An employee who is motivated and always willing to learn will be able to trump the one with better qualifications if the latter is not willing to adapt.
Ma places a lot of emphasis on being optimistic, a trait that he said helped him build Alibaba into the tech juggernaut that it is today. Being optimistic can help people turn a challenging situation into a favourable one, he said. “As entrepreneurs, if you’re not optimistic, you’re in trouble,” Ma said. “So the people I choose, they have to be optimistic.”
Even for a great entrepreneur like him, hiring people is a process that took him some time to master. He recalls a hiring mistake he made in the early days of Alibaba. “When I raised my first round of funds, it was $5 million. I hired a lot of vice presidents from multinational companies. One of the VPs of marketing came to me, with a proposal for next year’s business marketing plan.”
As it turned out, that plan was designed to cost $12 million — way over the spending budget that the company could afford back then, Ma explained. But that employee admitted that he had never done a business plan below $10 million. “So I said: ‘Alright, it’s not his fault, it’s my fault,'” Ma said, adding that he realized his decision to hire those people then was akin to placing a Boeing 747 engine into a tractor.
So don’t necessarily hire the most qualified, but hire the right people who are motivated and with a will to learn and train them to be the “best”.
In a nutshell, with the right financing for your business, it shouldn’t be a problem to attract not only the best hires for your company but also the proper training and adopting best working practices to help you build a top management team for your company.
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