When growing your team, what mindset are you looking for? Many businesses promote competitive working instead of collaborative working. In some instances, such as individual sales, this might work well. However, with something like bringing a project together, pitching your team against each other to see who produces the best work actually wastes energy – the unchosen projects will be tossed aside, and all of that time wasted. If everyone pulls together, you’ll get the best out of each individual and your united, high performing team, will go from strength to strength.
But how do you hire with collaboration as a focus?
Achieving a culture of collaboration can be tricky if you’re moving from ‘competition’ to ‘working together,’ but there are some clever ways that you can support the changes, and the language you use is a key factor….
How do you refer to your employees during the hiring process (and beyond)? As ‘staff’ or ‘team?’
When I hear ‘staff’ I see:
- A body of people
- A faceless entity
- Doers not owners
- A group of people who work together in the same building
When I hear ‘team’ I see people who are:
- Part of something bigger than themselves
- Sharing a common goal
- Individuals working together
- Have pride in what they do
- Taking ownership
It’s the difference between saying, ‘Paul works for me,’ and ‘Paul works with me.’ Make these small changes consciously and gradually the culture in your business will change.
As you move forward, you’ll be hiring with collaboration in mind. So set out your values and hire to those, not from a person’s CV. When you create your job ad, make it stand out, make it conversational and as well as the formalities, include an inspiring paragraph about where the business is going and how the candidate’s role fits in to this.
Also include a paragraph that I call a ‘pen portrait’ – a first person account of the perfect candidate using phrases like,
‘I really enjoy working as part of a team and staying one step ahead of those who rely on me – I always have their back.’
‘I relish pulling together with my colleagues on a project to achieve and exceed targets.’
The way you deliver feedback also has an impact on how your team will function. Delivering positive feedback openly, in from of the team provides encouragement and increases the will to succeed.
Conversely, delivering constructive feedback publicly causes demotivation and resentment – keep the respect of your team by taking them aside when you need to have more difficult conversations with them. And remember, feedback is a tool to encourage improved performance and not to berate. We have a powerful module in Mission: To Manage – The Programme that explores feedback (and communication) in-depth.
When your team are all pulling together to achieve the same goals, when the targets are defined and assigned with deadlines and feedback, your team become accountable, and that is when true productivity is achieved.
If you’re looking for the one right way to put together a high performing and collaborative team, then have a look at the Complete Right 1st Time Hiring System – everything you need, from writing the job description, through the interview, to the probation period.