Creating a strong team – surround yourself with good people

September 14th 2016 | Posted by phil scott

Creating a strong team – surround yourself with good people

Should you be hiring superstars?

BBC’s The Apprentice is due to return to British screens this autumn, no doubt bringing with it an abundance of buzz-phrases and self-glorification. No one likes a show-off and I have to admit, watching the overblown confidence of the contestants has become a guilty pleasure.
If you have ever watched an episode, you have no doubt seen how just one top performer can impact a team’s dynamic. If that superstar doesn’t happen to be a team player, the impact can be even more devastating. Disruptive people in any type of organisation can poison the atmosphere for everyone with whom they interact.

High performers who don’t have the same team values and shared goals may produce profitable results in the short-term, but they also create unnecessary conflict and a level of friction in the work place. This disruptive behaviour can also create high attrition levels as team players leave the business to find a more pleasant place to work and ultimately perform.

People are people, no matter what industry they are in, and they bring their basic personalities to work. When someone is disruptive it can be devastating to the entire workplace.

How to recruit for a strong team

Recruitment, whether done internally or through an executive recruitment firm, requires significant investment. Therefore its important to not only consider the skills and experience you need for a particular role, but also the behaviours and values required to ensure you have a high-performing team.

  • When hiring a new team member, define your goals. What is the reason for taking this person on? What is the goal they will be working towards? Only by first identifying and articulating your goals can you then determine the kind of person who can achieve them.
  • What skills or talent will this person need to achieve your goals? What character traits, competencies or attributes they will need in order to be successful and to work well within your team?
  • Identify who the person will be working with, who they will report to, the duties and responsibilities of the role and the expected outcomes. You need to be able to communicate this to the new team member when you recruit.
  • When you interview candidates, tell them what kind of person you are looking for, what you can offer and what you expect of them in return. The best people know what they want and if they want to work for you they will commit to a mutually beneficial relationship.
  • When you make the hire, clearly communicate to them their role and responsibilities and the expectations you have in terms of performance and behaviour within the team. Define what success is for them as an individual, and for the team as a whole.

A team member with the perfect skill set who is not a team player could turn out to be a liability rather than an asset. While skills are important, the right personality fit is vital.