You will need the help of your small business team if you want to bring your company in the right direction that will lead to success. That’s the fact. But, at first, you will need to escape several most frequently team-building mistakes that you can make. In such a way, you will prepare your company for the growth you want to achieve.
But, as a first thing, you will need to build your own team. How much better your team is, the better results you can expect from the teamwork. Because of that, the question that comes to mind for almost all entrepreneurs is how they can build the right team for their small businesses.
So, you really need to improve your managerial skills related to team-building activities. I know that there will be some mistakes, but you need to put all your efforts into these mistakes to not be fatal for your business performance. Because of that, in this article, I want to mention the 5 most serious team-building mistakes you can make and how to avoid them.
What Makes a Team Successful Team?
Team-building is always an important part of developing and growing small businesses. It is important because the company’s operations are based on employees who are part of some team inside the company. The team results and performance is based on the joint efforts of all team members.
Today, we are witnessing the importance of one variant of team building – virtual team building. The situation with COVID-19 and lock-downs in the whole world brings a need for people to work inside the team, but remotely. According to TeamBuilding, there is a 2500% increase in interest in virtual team building.
One important question here is what makes a successful team successful. Are there some patterns that you can follow to build really great team for your small business? In a recently published HBR article, Sandy Pentland and researchers at MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory show a great analysis of data they’ve collected related to teamwork. They have equipped 2,500 persons with wearable electronic sensors that collected data on their social behavior for weeks at a time. In such a way, they have mapped the communication behaviors of people. Here are several characteristics that characterize the successful teams based on this research:
Team Building Mistakes You Need to Know and Escape
Every entrepreneur should know following team-building mistakes that he will need to escape when building the most effective team for his small business because escaping these team-building mistakes will mean much better working conditions in the team and much better results from the teamwork.
1. Team building mistake #1: You don’t bring the most appropriate team members for a specific problem.
I have heard many times from different entrepreneurs how they complain about their team members. But, the first question that I always ask them is: Who is the most responsible person for bringing those people on who you are complaining about in your small business?
Then, after I ask the question, you can’t hear anything, one big silence from their side. Yes, you are the most responsible person to bring the most appropriate team members to your small business. Do you know what skills, knowledge, and experience you are looking for?
2. Team building mistake #2: You don’t set SMART goals for your team.
The second mistake I’ve seen many entrepreneurs make when building their team is when entrepreneurs didn’t set SMART goals. SMART goals are goals that are specific, easily measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-limited.
Your team members will need such goals to achieve your expectations. If you are working on team building and don’t set SMART goals, your efforts in team-building will not give you the results you want to achieve.
3. Team building mistake #3: Your team members aren’t willing to work together to solve a specific problem.
Another notable mistake I found in many cases through my work is when entrepreneurs put different people together, but they are unwilling to work together. This is the case in the organization where the personal relationship was not on the appropriate level.
Because you are an entrepreneur and responsible for team building and the team’s achievements, you need to think about this type of constraint when building your team.
Start analyzing your potential team members. Look at their knowledge, competencies, and their previous experience in teamwork. Your job will be to connect the best possible team members inside your team-building efforts.
4. Team building mistake #4: You build a team that needs to solve the wrong problems.
Solving the wrong problem is something that will not add value to your small business. One of the possible team-building mistakes I have seen entrepreneurs make is team-building activities for the wrong problems. Do you really need such a team? Why do you want to solve wrong, or non-important problems inside your small business?
Let’s take a startup, for example. You are starting team-building activities, but the problem you will solve for your customers isn’t clear. You don’t know what customers want? What are their desires? In the startup process, you learn and collect data related to your customers. Think about what will happen if you solve the wrong problem for your customers. They will not buy your solution. So, in the beginning, your startup is convicted of failure.
In such a way, you risk losing time and money building a team that will solve a wrong problem from the customer’s perspective. You need to be more careful when you are building your team to solve specific problems.
5. Team building mistake #5: You don’t give to the team members specific guidelines for their work.
Sometimes entrepreneurs think because they know what they need to do, and everyone else knows what they need. But, in most cases, it is not true.
Your team members expect specific guidelines for the work that will help them to achieve your expectations. When you are working on team building, think at the same time about specific guidelines that you will give to the team members for their work in the team. You need to support your team. If you already have your systems and processes, this will become an easy task for you. You will only need to give your team members a copy of the procedures related to their job.
Probably there will be much more team-building mistakes that an entrepreneur can make. Still, these 5 team-building mistakes I discover as something most frequently between entrepreneurs and managers in many small business companies.
Question: Do you have experience with some other team-building mistakes that you have made?