How to navigate your ship through a rough sea. The importance of building a good team for a new business.

September 29, 2016 . by Aaron B

As you all probably know by now I have been working on a new exciting project for quite some time recently. Property Stack which is almost ready to be launched and hopefully it will make a big splash.

The past few months have been incredibly challenging and rewarding at the same time. For sure one of the most exciting challenges I faced was building a small team of like-minded and passionate co-workers who could share my vision. During this time I learnt that a business can be successful only if its people feel they are part of that success. Meaning that people need to feel worthy, part of a team, to have a sense of achievement within the working environment and ultimately feel happy doing what they do.

No matter whether you are a two-person company or employ 100 people, getting your team together and build strong internal relationships is vital. Getting the right team in place is something that is difficult to achieve as employing/hiring/contracting people is always a challenge. How can you get people that buy into your culture or your work ethic when they have so much already going on in their lives?

However, if you DO get the right people on board, with the right motivation and the right working environment and if they actually feel they are part of a company set to achieve great results then the rewards for your business will be clear to see. They will feel pride in their work, they will have a smile on their face and they will engage with customers in a way which will build long-lasting relationships. I am proud to say that I put together a passionate team of people that work very hard, love what they do and are committed to providing our customers with the best possible solutions.

It is not easy to run a start-up, especially when you are frequently out of your office for meetings and the actual time you spend in contact with your team is limited. It gets even more complicated when you manage multiple teams working remotely from different locations. Is it really possible to work together without being in one place? How do you join forces with a spread-out team and limited face-to-face interaction?

The key is to create a powerful team that works effectively even when “the boss” is not available. And if you want to work effectively your team must be harmonious. Here are the key steps to success that I learnt so far:

Build trust and respect. A new business is like a ship going through a very rough sea. The captain needs the trust of his team, because people follow trust and integrity. Uncertainty can be balanced by trust which gives the team the ability to work together no matter what reality brings. The stronger the trust, the better the team will navigate without the captain on board.

Be true to your word. If you demand high productivity and quality work, you’d better be as good as your word. You get what you give. If you promise to do something, be sure you will fulfil it. When team members notice that you are a reliable person, they will emulate your behaviour.

Organize a meeting for all employees. If you want to improve teamwork, help people get to know each other better. Organize in-person meetings for all workers (all teams) at least once a year — more often if at all possible. Informal conversations bring people together and warm up human relationships.

Take advantage of conflict. Misunderstandings can happen anytime and also among the best teams. When confrontation between employees gets out of a hand you must face it. Don’t complicate the situation by deciding what is good or bad. Listen to all sides carefully and then talk to other team members who observed the quarrel. Brainstorming solutions favourable for both sides may even result in ideas that would never have come to mind in without the conflict.

Make hiring a team effort. If you want to hire a new person, discuss this with your team. Let your team members talk with candidate because they will work together and it’s important this person fit into the team. Of course, experience and suitable qualifications are important — but the most important qualities to hire for are always personality and social skills that are compatible with your team. Personality and social skills are like glue, they help people communicate. They can glue different people together, whereas qualifications just ensure tasks are completed properly.