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3 Keys to Building a Winning Team

How do you hire the right people for the right roles? It starts with defining your company culture and ends with being the kind of leader that high-quality employees want to work for.

Let’s walk through 3 of the best practices associated with building a top-notch team.

1. Value Diversity

Be open to challenging your own perception of the work you do, the customers you serve, and the very vision and mission you have created. A diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce will allow you to do this more powerfully than anything else. Bring in people who look different than you do, think differently than you do and even behave differently than you do.

Observe how they interpret the actions of your customers, perceive their pain points and think about the work you do. People who are different than us have different lived experiences and bring a wealth of information that we wouldn’t otherwise know or understand. You can still be a leader who is in “control” of your business; you’ve just hired some allies that will help you understand and accommodate new perspectives.

2. Work on Your Leadership Skills

If you’re lucky enough to attract great employees who are willing to learn and grow, you owe it to them to do the same, as a leader. Among some of the qualities of great leaders is the ability to:

  • Empower others to do their best work
  • Be willing to listen and create a safe environment where employees can be themselves
  • Have a strong vision that others can relate to
  • Foster strong connections among team members
  • Mentor employees

Some people are instinctively skilled at leading, while others have to work at it. Either way, it’s helpful to study and practice leadership. Be open to reading leadership books, listening to leadership podcasts and taking in-person and online leadership training courses. It’s the kind of thing that pays off in huge dividends.

3. Reward Performance

Of course, it’s not enough to tell your team how great they are. It’s just as important to show them the money. Small businesses tend to be cash-strapped, but if you have your eyes on growth, you’ve got to consider bringing on an employee as a significant investment in your company’s future.

Even if you can’t afford top-of-the-line pay, be as reasonable as you can and look for other ways to reward performance. If the company does well for a quarter or two, share the wealth to help motivate employees to strive even harder to make the business a success. Another way to give your team a boost is to provide opportunities to learn and grow. That might be on-the-job mentoring or job shadowing. Or you might spring for more formal online or in-person training that will help them in their current role and also elevate their overall resume.

This is an excerpt from a blog post originally published on the FreshBooks blog.

by Heather Hudson

Heather Hudson has been a freelance writer for more than 17 years. As a small business owner, she understands the triumphs and challenges of life as an entrepreneur. And as a longtime FreshBooks customer, she’s always looking for ways to work smarter, not harder. You can learn more about her work at heatherhudson.ca.

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